Developing a Script

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Developing a Script
Some people hate using scripts and prefer to develop their own pitch. However, if you are new in the industry, or products and services change, a script makes your work easier and keeps you consistent with your co-workers.
In this lesson, you’ll consider the value of scripting and how to create scripts. You’ll also get some practice.
 
Scripting Techniques
Actors use scripts, as do speakers and trainers, and they use them because they are effective tools. Cold calls, like the ones discussed earlier, are most effective when they include these six elements:

  • An attention statement.
  • An identification statement.
  • A people-respond-in-kind attitude.
  • A “reason for this call” statement.
  • A request for a sale.
  • Your response to objections.

Please remember that, at this point, we aren’t trying to turn the prospect into a customer. We’re at the very first stage of the contact. We don’t know anything about the person we are talking to yet. If they aren’t interested, or this call doesn’t get results, we will politely disengage and move on. Before we do that, however, we do want to make one good, solid attempt to break through all the natural resistance any person feels when they talk to a sales person over the phone.
Having said that, “No” answers are a part of the sales process and we really must get over taking them personally. Don’t waste your time spinning your wheels or trying to change that no into a yes.
Let’s look at all six elements of the cold call and see what can be done to make them easier to make and more successful.
 
The Attention Statement
This is your verbal handshake and we want to make it as professional and friendly as we can. This is a prospect’s first impression of us and our company. Keep your attention statement short and simple: “Hello, Mr. Jones,” or “Good morning, Ms. Hendrix.” It is courteous, it includes the person’s name, and it allows us to move on to the next part of the call. Most of us pay attention when somebody addresses us by name, so make sure you have done some research, if need be, to get it right. This can be difficult to do, especially if we are a bit nervous, so practice.
As well, be sure to get the name right. It is hard to bounce back from mispronouncing it. You may want to add, “Is this a good time to talk for a few moments?”
 
The Identification Statement
This is where you tell the person who you are and where you are calling from. Practice speaking slowly, clearly, and confidently. A single sentence can do the job for you. The person on the other end of the line can tell if you are purposeful, poised, and goal oriented.
Example: “My name is Judy Thomson and I work for Thomson Printing.”
 
A People-Respond-In-Kind Attitude
Remember that the attitude you project is reciprocal in nature. If it sounds like you are offering a prospective client something of value that is mutually beneficial to them and you, they will be asking themselves, “What’s this all about?”
At this point, don’t waste their time with idle conversation. Tell them who you are, what company you work for, and then move onto “the reason for this call…” statement.
 
The “Reason For This Call” Statement
You don’t have a lot of time to convince the prospect that you have something of interest to offer; you have two well-worded sentences and that’s about it. Focus on the potential benefit of what you have to offer (make sure it is actually a benefit, not a feature) and point out how your product or service has worked out well for another company, preferably one your prospect will have heard of.
Examples:
“We are offering a special deal on flyers this month and I think our prices could save you a lot of money. Telmark, just down the street from you, are getting us to print the flyers for their new outlet in Bayer’s Lake.”
“We are introducing a new one-day workshop on Selling by Telephone and I thought you might find this training useful for your sales staff. We’ve just completed a workshop for one of the businesses in your complex, and they feel they can increase their sales by at least 20% in the next month.”
 
Get Down to Business (Request the Sale)
This is what the call is all about. You’ve got the other person’s attention. They know who you are and who you work for. Now you will set up the nature of what you are selling or your service, and then you are going to ask them to buy or book a service from you.
Examples:

  • “Our trucks will be in your area on Thursday morning. Will that give you the chance to put a bag of gently used clothing together and leave it on the step for us?”
  • “To buy our magazine in the stores costs $6.95 per issue, but today we are calling to offer you a one year subscription for just $49.95, a savings of more than $33 per year. Can I send you a free issue and then call you in a few weeks to see what you think of it?”
  • “I can book your vehicle into our shop on Wednesday morning and then offer you a complimentary ride to work. How does Wednesday work for you?”

This type of script is short and simple. It gets right to the point and doesn’t require much tailoring. Perhaps that is why it works so well. You haven’t wasted their time or yours.
Response to Objections
This is something that simply gets easier with practice, and with knowing your products and services. For example, people may say that what you offer is too expensive, but when you can explain the value or benefits, they will not be as likely to argue. Sometimes callers will object to try to get something extra from you (such as more for the same price or getting something special compared to everyone else). In order to prepare for objections, you need to learn the products and principles of your organization. Most companies will have an objections response protocol for you to learn from during training. We will also discuss handling objections later on today.
 
Sample Script
Here’s a possible draft of a basic cold calling script and responses, with the various steps marked.

Attention Statement Hello, Ms. Jones.
Identification Statement This is Tom Taylor from Acme Company here in San Francisco.
Reason For the Call Statement The reason I’m calling is that we’ve just put together an exciting, customized software design package for United Consumer Products that allowed them to decrease their average time to market by 17%. It seemed to me that you might be interested in taking a look at maximizing efficiency in your design work, too.
Request the Sale I’d like to get together so we could take a look at your organization’s product design work and tell you about the success we’ve had with United Consumer Products. Is Monday at 1 p.m. good?
Assume the prospect offers an objection: “We handle all of that on our own,” “The software we have is fine,” “We’re just not interested,” or any of the other common roadblocks you run up against (and overcome) on a regular basis.
Objection Response (Ledge) Statement Can I tell you something? That’s exactly what the people at United Consumer Products told us when we first approached them about taking a look at a new software program. I’m just curious, what kind of design system are you using right now?
Assume the prospect responds, either with information that directly relates to your question – a good sign – or a restatement of (or variation on) the previously stated objection.
Second Request for Sale You know, I have to tell you, Ms. Jones, from what I’ve been able to learn about your company, I really think we’d both have something to gain from trying this solution. You are not obligated to sign up beyond the thirty-day trial period, and our customer service staff are here to help you any time you have questions.