Ditch the Script and Watch Your Sales Soar

There are a lot of sales trainers and business coaches that teach people how to sell using scripts. Some teach you how to create your own scripts to read on sales calls.  Others hand you a template that you can recite word-for-word. While this may sound good on the surface, using scripts can really tank your sales.  While the thought of you not having to think about what you’re going to say next during the sales conversation may sound appealing, it isn’t the most effective approach to selling.

Have you ever answered the phone and had a telemarketer roll right in with their scripted sales pitch? I’m sure we all have, and it comes off as ScriptActressquite inauthentic and even annoying.

Unless you are a highly talented actress, your prospects can tell when you are using a script– and that doesn’t exactly build rapport with them or give them confidence that you understand their situation and can truly help them solve their specific problem.

If you really want to be more skillful at selling and increase your sales, you have to know how to, build the relationship, ask the right questions, listen to your prospective clients, and respond in the moment with clarity, confidence, and authenticity.  Scripts aren’t going to help you do this.

In fact, if you really want to watch your sales soar, ditch the script and truly master the sales conversation.

Here are 3 tips that will help you put aside the script:

1) You need structure.  You don’t need to write out what you are going to say word-for-word, but you do need structure in your sales conversation.  I teach my clients what they need to focus on at different stages of the sales conversation to make them more effective, rather than handing them a script.  While you don’t want to work from a script, you also don’t want to totally wing the conversation and risk rambling on, so you do need to build in structure to move the conversation along a productive path.

2) Have conversation sparkers handy. Instead of scripting out exactly what you are going to say, it is preferable to prepare a few questions ahead of time that get the conversation going.  It’s also good to have a few statements in mind that open up discussion and address common concerns that your potential clients may have, but you never want to ask every prospect the same canned questions, regardless of their situation.  You are always responding in the moment.

3) Coach through the sales process.  Instead of scripting the conversation, coach it.  Sales is a lot like coaching in that you have to be able to ask powerful questions and uncover your potential clients’ needs.  You also have to be an extremely good listener and be able to hold the space for your potential clients’ goals and help them bridge the gap between where they are now and where they would like to be. Sales and coaching are practically the same animal. The only difference is that in sales people tend to let their own agenda hijack their client’s agenda.  People who are great at sales, are able to hold their clients’ agenda in my mind and come from a place of service.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment below.

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About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Heidi Alexandra Pollard says:

    Great tips – indeed when someone cold calls and launches straight into a script is comes across quite inauthentic and even annoying. I teach my clients a simple four step process that works without the need for a script and keeps the conversation flowing.

  2. Tiffany, I just hate it when someone tries to read to me from a script over the phone! Ugh. Great tips on being natural. I also agree that great sales people hold their clients’ agendas above all else!

  3. I don’t like 100% scripted sales calls (or any type of call) because it doesn’t allow for staying right in the moment. I do 100% believe in structured calls, though, especially for sales conversations. Good tips!

  4. Actually had a telemarketer ask me to hang up so they could leave their message on my voicemail. Of course I obliged, except I left the phone off the hook.

  5. I not only don’t like getting cold calls, scripted or otherwise, I also hate making them. But I love the idea of having conversation sparkers handy. That’s a great way to take advantage of an opportunity, on the phone or in person. I’m off to work on crafting a couple right now!

  6. As a professional actress for the past 20 years I can tell you that in our training we are taught the same thing. While we are given a script, our job is to “set it and forget it” in other words, do all the pre-work (memorize your lines, back story, know what you want from the other person, etc.) and then understanding why you are saying each line from the script so that when you go to perform the scene, you trust that the “homework is there’ and then authentically act in the moment, listening and reacting, only using the lines from the script. When an actor “dials it in” it’s what we are referring to when he has learned his lines and that’s it.He’s just reciting them with nothing attached to it. So, you see, reading from a script with no intention and no authenticity doesn’t work for anyone.

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