Are Your Sales Scripts Killing Your Pipeline?

To script or not to script… the controversy continues…

Last week I had a conversation with a business owner who told me that he did not believe in letting his sales team use sales scripts. What he actually said was that he did not believe in, “canned scripts.” And I would have to agree.

For some reason, the idea of scripting in many people’s minds is tied up with the concept of being “canned.” I’m not sure where this comes from, but many seem to believe that if you are using a script, you cannot possibly be yourself or be authentic.

On the other end of the spectrum, I often receive emails from readers who ask me if I can recommend a “good, generic script.” I always laugh when I get these emails. You see, what you or your team say to a prospect has to be relevant. Generic simply won’t cut it.

So, what does it mean to be relevant and use a script?

It simply means that you think before you speak and that you are prepared.

Prospects today are busier than ever. They are stressed out. They are doing more with less. They may be working from their kitchen table. They may or may not answer their phone. If you want your sales team to get a prospect’s attention and engagement on their prospecting calls, they better have something compelling to say. This requires preparation. If you want your sales team to get return phone calls or responses to their emails, they better have something compelling to say. This also requires preparation. BTW: This is true for cold calls. It is also true for warm calls.

There are two types of preparation: The first is understanding the market and the relevance of your offering to that market. The second type of preparation is taking that relevant information and putting together a clear and concise introduction. The prospect needs to quickly understand how your company might be able to help them. This is your script. In today’s prospecting world, there is simply not a lot of time and if the prospect doesn’t understand or doesn’t see the relevance, the call will be over before it has even started. And when your team leaves voice mails and/or sends emails, if the prospect does not see the relevance, they will simply delete.

Scripting is not a “canned presentation,” something that you or your team say over and over again no matter what the prospect says. Scripting is about being relevant—quickly. Scripting is about being the best “yourself” that you can possibly be in order to get your prospect’s attention and willingness to engage.

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