Ever feel like you could make more sales if you just knew what to say? Until I studied sales, I didn't know I could plan my conversation ahead of time and sound natural! Like so many, I thought that a script would come across as robotic, and I wanted to be genuine. Present and inn the moment with someone. I didn't realize that scripting, or planning what I would say ahead of time, would actually free me to be present with my customer! And I wouldn't be cluttered with worry about what to say next!
I want to share with you 7 different kinds of scripts you need to be confident in your next sales conversation.
1. Networking script. Have you ever walked into a Chamber of Commerce meeting, terrified to introduce yourself to other business people? All of us have at one time or another. Networking is not so much about talking about ourselves as it is about learning how about other people. Often times, just knowing what to say ahead of time gives us the courage to approach someone new and learn more about them. Creating a script in advance helps you choose the direction you want to lead the conversation in, learn more about the other person, and open the door for further conversation. If you are prepared with the right questions, you will have more success at that mixer, and new opportunities will open up to you.
2. Appointment setting. So often when we call a prospect to set an appointment, we immediately launch into a sales pitch, thinking that telling someone what we can do for them will make them open their calendar and pencil us in! When we call to set an appointment, we need to offer value to the person in exchange for their time. This requires forethought. How can you provide something that they want to know about in exchange for 10 or 15 minutes? By planning what you will say, you will be able to get in front of more customers. (Hint: When you are setting the appointment, ask the customer to open their calendar while you are speaking to them. This ensures you actually get the appointment.)
3. Identify true needs: Planning what you will say to get the prospect to tell you their true needs is an art. Coming up with the right questions and statements requires forethought. Even when your customer is laughing with you, you must nonetheless craft questions that invite your customer to tell you a story: Their story. Left to ourselves, we tend to ask close ended questions, to which the buyer responds with " yes" or "no". Preparing and practicing statements to invite explanations enables you to best help the customer by getting them to tell you what they really need. (Hint: The customer really doesn't open up until you get to the 4th or 5th question! Listen for their pain!)
4. Asking for the order. So often we get tongue tied when the customer needs to know how we can solve their problems. Knowing exactly what you will say in advance will take half the worry out of asking for the order. Simple techniques like saying, "This is how we can work together" send a signal to the buyer that she must make a decision about working with you. The key to this script is to explain simply the solution you are providing to the problem, how you will deliver that solution, any bonuses you are including to get action right away, and the price to move forward. Language here is very important. Using words like purchase and investment sound more inviting than cost and price. See what works best for you.
5. Answering objections. What do you say when the customer says, "It's too expensive," or "I need to talk to my partner"? Do you clam up? Do you believe the sale is over? The sale is actually still very much alive, even if the buyer voices one of these concerns. Most sales people believe that answering objections is engaging in an argument, so they do not prepare any response to answer common objections in their industry. Yet because we know what most concerns are, we can prepare an entire script to address the objection, use it as an opportunity to reiterate the benefits the client is looking for, and ask for the order again. Writing your script in advance, and practicing it, can help you turn an objection into a sale!
6. Voicemail. This critical script can keep you get a call back from a prospective client. Often we say, "Hi, this is Anna with XYZ Company just calling you back to follow up on our meeting." This kind of voicemail will not often get answered when you are following up. When you leave a voicemail, leave a BRIEF message that references value you wish to provide, or and action you are following up with. Depending on the purpose of the call, you will need different scripts for your voicemails. Consider what you can say that will help you stand out. One young lady created follow up scripts through coaching that have opened the opportunity for a contract in excess of $25,000. Does it work? Yes, when you work it!
7. Email. What kinds of emails can you send to get a response from your client? The key to email scripting is the same as voicemail scripting: have a purpose for the email that requires a response from the recipient. If this is a follow up email, reference an action that you or the client were going to check in with each other about. If it is to get an appointment, provide value to the client in order to get on their calendar. I always make it a point to use email and phone calls in tandem. If I call someone and leave a voicemail, I send an email to let them I know left a voicemail. If I send an email, I'll call about 15 minutes later to let them know I tried to get in touch with them. Recently, after following up an email with a phone call, I received a call from my client five minutes after I hung up the receiver!