In Sales 101, they taught you how to prepare a sales script.
Then they told you to leave it in the car when you go on sales calls because scripted sales conversions are anathema to buyers – they're cold, stilted, and unprofessional. Everything you want to avoid when trying to convert a high profile sales target.
But when it comes to telemarketing, your early lessons about sales scripts no longer carry any weight. Telemarketers rely on sales scripts as a fundamental component of the selling process. A telemarketer without a sales script is like an executive without a Blackberry – it's just not practical in a real world business context.
From a management perspective, scripts standardize the telemarketing process. Most of the people who staff call centers have limited sales experience and little or no authority to cut special deals with customers. A tight script reduces the possibility that the selling conversation will go off course or wander into uncharted waters.
On the other hand, the mere existence of a sales script won't necessarily translate into selling success. Good scripts are carefully crafted sales plans that consider a broad range of customer responses, yet stay focused on moving the customer to a positive purchase response.
- Immediately grab the prospect's attention. Good sales scripts grab the prospects' attention right out of the gate. Don't go for shock value, but if you wait until the end of the call to talk about how the product or service can change the prospect's life, there is a good chance there won't be anyone on the other end of line.
- Keep it brief. Most companies have reams of marketing content about their products. Including all available information in a telemarketing is impractical and disrespects the prospect's time. Provide call center reps with as much reference material as possible, but keep the script concise rather than overloading it with details.
- Communicate passion and energy. Sales scripts should be vibrant and upbeat. Straight presentation of the material is ineffective unless it is accompanied by appropriately energetic language like action verbs and a few descriptive phrases.
- Incorporate a subtle sales strategy. At all costs, avoid designing your script around a hard sales strategy. Subtle closing techniques are the preferred format in today's telemarketing industry.
- Document and revisit frequently. Carefully document and distribute your script to your entire team, along with instructions regarding its use. You should also plan to revisit your script periodically and to make adjustments as needed.