In the world of B to B tele-sales and tele-prospecting, minor wars have been raged on whether or not to script the call. There are those who love scripts and they have some compelling arguments to support their claim. Others would rather chew off a body part than script a call and have some rather convincing reasons in their favor.
The truth is scripts can work for and against you. Knowing how and when to use them or avoid them is the key to better sales results. Regardless of where you sit on the scripting fence, here is a definitive look at scripts and the ultimate solution to help you maximize your calling opportunities.
The Case Against the Script
1. Scripts Lack Flexibility
Because scripts are highly structured, it assumes your client based is a homogenous mass that thinks, acts and responds in the same manner. You know and I know that just isn’t true. Certainly in a B to B setting, a script tends to lack the flexibility that is needed in a client dialog. A sales rep has to be able to react and respond to the client depending on the situation and circumstances. Scripts don’t allow that and that severely limits their effectiveness.
2. It Sounds Canned
For the most part, scripts tend to sound ‘canned:’ awkward, stiff, stilted, insincere, mechanical, belabored, rote, bored, lacking conviction and the list goes on. Unless your sales rep is a particularly good actor who can call effectively delivery his lines, the script rarely comes off as natural. Your clients pick this up immediately. They don’t have the time or the inclination to suffer through a droning pitch. Put more simply, prospect know when a script is being read and don’t like it. And rarely do they buy.
3. It Burns Out Reps
Look at a script from your sales rep’s perspective. In fact, why not give it a try yourself. Recite a script thirty or forty times a day, five days a week and four weeks a month and you’ll clearly understand the impact it has on your rep. Mind numbing repetition will frustrate your reps in record time which leads to burnout which leads to turnover. And that costs you money.
Once a script is in place and up and running, sales reps become hooked or dependent on them. It becomes difficult if not impossible for them to think out of the box when the client doesn’t follow the script you’ve set. They recite; they don’t think. Of course what this really means is that you can and will lose selling opportunities.
So scripts are evil and nasty things in the world of tele-sales, right?
Well, maybe not.
Check out Part II of this series: 5 Reasons to Love Scripts