Every monday night my team and I have a sales meeting. We role-play sales situations, discuss sales strategy, and study product knowledge. Last night we were role playing how to set an appointment over the phone with someone who isn’t familiar with our company.
It was interesting to watch as some of my very talented team members got caught up at various points in the script we use to set appointments. The thing that dawned on me is that they would get flustered because they didn’t have the script internalized. They don’t know it to the point of not having to think about it.
The best truths in life are often very simple. If you don’t develop, implement, and continually USE a personal script, you will be at a loss for words all the time. Buyers will shut you down because they perceive low value.
Scripts have a pretty bad rap…but most people are missing the real point.
We like to say, “He sounded too scripted” as a knock against someone’s style and delivery.
I would agree 100% that sounding scripted is super low value and unattractive…but that’s where the disconnect lies.
Sounding scripted — Bad
Having a solid script — Good
When you first drove a car, were you an immediate expert at working the brake pedal? If you’re like me, you were horrible with the brakes. I remember the abrupt forward jerks of the car and pressure of my chest against the seat belt as I braked too hard and too fast the first few days.
I also remember the very end of my driver’s training when I had attained some level of skill with it. I drove my instructor to pick up another student for her first driving lesson. She got in the driver’s seat and her job was to drive me back to my house. I remember how bad she was with the brakes, and I was amazed at how quickly I had learned to accommodate for the sensitivity of the pedal.
I’ll bet you don’t even appreciate how skilled you are with a brake pedal now. You are capable of the most minuscule movement of your calf and ankle muscles to bring your 4000lb vehicle to a comfortable, smooth stop.
Scripting is the same. If you refuse to practice, it will always feel awkward. You won’t know what to say, and you carry much less confidence. You can’t even listen effectively because you’re struggling with what comes next. If you’ve practiced a little bit, it’s basically just as bad. Now you have something to think about and distract you from just being you. Your inexperience will plainly show.
Here’s the thing though. You’re already using a script right now. You have a general approach you like to use, probably developed from your experience and advice you may have received from others. It’s a loose script, but its still a script. It’s your script.
If it’s working for you…great, but if you find yourself falling prey to any of the following:
Frequently at a loss for words.
Easily stopped in your tracks by simple objections.
You have a tendency to ramble.
I will wager it’s because you’ve never sat down and written out exactly what you should say. What is the list of questions you should ask to lead the conversation to your desired end result?
What would happen if you had developed and distilled the IDEAL dialogue for arranging an appointment, conducting a first meeting with a customer, closing for an agreement to work together. What if you practiced saying the same things all day every day? What if you tweaked it over time to get better and better?
What if you knew exactly what to say?
You wouldn’t sound scripted at all. You’d probably sound like a confident professional that knows what they’re doing.
…and ironically, its because you’ve internalized a script.
If you’re still wondering why the Michael Bay picture is up there, watch this.