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Should you use scripts when telephone prospecting or not?

Should you use scripts when telephone prospecting or not?I’m not a fan of ‘detailed’ scripts. When I say a ‘detailed’ script I mean the type that makes individuals sound like a robot with no personality.

A ‘detailed’ script that fails to give individuals any flexibility should be banned as far as I’m concerned.

Nothing is worse than receiving a telesales call from a telemarketing person who reels off an in-depth scripted presentation with no break to even see if I’m still on the other end of the phone. Many a time they’ve been that bad that I’ve considered whether it would be worthwhile going to make a cup of tea while they go on and on!

When I’m training individuals I will encourage them to use a ‘guide’ or ‘word track’ – this might simply have some key words, or questions to keep the individual focused. It won’t necessarily give lengthy sentences. It might give an idea of how to ‘close’ a call using the right type of phrases but what it encourages is the individual to use their personality and what it doesn’t do is try and change their ‘style’.

It allows individuals to use their initiative which in turn means that prospects receiving the call feel the approach is more natural.  Another great thing about ‘natural’ word tracks or guides is they allow you to stay in control of the call.

I’ve observed many individuals who go to pieces as a result of an unplanned call with no fall back when they are asked certain questions by the decision makes they’re trying to get hold of.

Consider this some of our best soap or film actors have all read a ‘script’ before acting out their scenes – yet they come across natural when we watch them on television. So it’s clear you to, should you choose to use a script, can sound natural if you practice enough. Using a ‘word track’ or ‘guide’ is no different.

A ‘word track’ or ‘guide’ can be seen like a ‘prop’ to use until you feel confident enough to do your own thing. Remembering of course the main focus in any script needs to be to ‘engage’ the prospect you’re talking to.

Scripts that do not allow prospects to talk continue to give the general public and businesses this poor impression and perception that anyone who makes cold calls or prospecting calls is a nuisance.

Below are some tips on putting together a more ‘natural’ script:

  1. Be clear on what you want to achieve from the call and have a primary and secondary objective. That way you don’t feel like a failure if you’ve not achieved your first goal.
  2. Remember that your objective is to build relationships and encourage a flow of conversation in order to generate an opportunity for you.
  3. Your script should have 3 parts, an initial introduction, the main heart of the script and an ending or close.
  4. Within the first 2 seconds use the prospects name – to grab their attention.
  5. Refrain from asking ‘How are you today’ – this will only create barriers. Although some people use it and get great responses. I never have!
  6. Within 2 seconds during your opening express simply and succinctly what you do. Remember you only have a matter of seconds so aim to get straight to the point. Instead of saying ‘good morning, it’s Audrey Bodman calling from a company called XRS resources’, say ‘Good morning, it’s Audrey Bodman here from XRS Resources’. Notice I’ve got rid of ‘a company called’. Waste of your time and theirs!
  7. Don’t say ‘it’s a quick call’ – doing this makes the call sound unimportant.
  8. In the heart of the script – aim to engage them, so choose questions that encourages the prospect to give you information and more importantly interactive with you. So avoid too many close ended questions like ‘would you be interested…’. The response to that will be a big NO and even worse the sound of a dead line in your ear!
  9. Your script should be 30% you engaging them and 70% them interacting with you – doing all the talking. So if you ask good questions you’ll get great responses
  10. To practice ring an answer machine (maybe the one on your mobile phone) and practice your approach. Then listen back and judge how you sound!

So my conclusion is this. Scripts do have a place BUT put yourself in your prospects shoes – how would you react if it was obvious the person calling you was reading from a ‘script’. Would it turn you off?  I know the answer to this so avoid sounding too rehearsed and tune into connecting with your prospect.

Happy calling!

I trust you’ve found this article useful. Please do let me know.

 

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