I did a teleconference a few weeks ago with people who were new in sales and new to prospecting. The focus of the call was to help participants get beyond fear and understand their prospecting process.
One of the participants on the call told me that she had been given the telephone prospecting script that her team leader uses to set appointments. The team leader was a highly successful sales professional who had been in the business for many years and made quite a lot of money. The participant, who had been in the business for approximately a week, told me that she was going to work with the script and “make it her own. ”
“No!” I cried out. “Don’t do that! Don’t make it your own!”
My reasoning? This participant was a beginner. She knew nothing about sales or prospecting. She had a script that was crafted by someone who was highly successful on the telephone. This particular participant did not know enough to make it her own. More than likely, in making the script her own she would eliminate all of the powerful, persuasive and motivating language used by the sales super star who had given her the script.
Some words are better than others. Some words are stronger and more evocative than others. When you are on the phone with a prospect, you have about 10 seconds to grab and hold your prospect’s attention. If you do not do that within that first 10 seconds, your call is more than likely over. If you get through that first 10 seconds, that buys you another 10 seconds. If you get through that 10 seconds it buys you yet another… and so on… 10 seconds is not a lot of time. To get through those 10-second increments, you want to use the most powerful words that you have at your disposal.
If you are a beginner it is entirely possible, indeed even likely, that you may not be comfortable with certain powerful words or phrases. They may be very unlike your usual way of speaking. Even if you’ve been in sales for a while you might be set in your ways, accustomed to a certain delivery, and changing that might feel uncomfortable.
I’ve met many people who say they do not want to work with scripts because then they “cannot be themselves. ” Remembering that your prospecting call happens in 10-second increments, you want to be the very best self that you can be, every time. That requires preparation.
One of the things that I’ve always loved about being inis sales is that it is crystal clear. You always know exactly where you are. You are either scheduling appointments, or you’re not. You are either closing, or you’re not.
If you are new to sales and a successful professional gives you their script—don’t change a word. That script will be your gold mine. If you’ve been in sales for a while and want to try out a new script, test it first. Your old script becomes your baseline. For example, make 30 prospecting calls using your usual script and keep track of the number of appointments that you schedule. Then make 30 more prospecting calls using your new script exactly as written. Keep track of the number of appointments that you schedule. At the end of those 60 calls you will know which script works better. That becomes your new baseline.
© 2005 Wendy Weiss
Wendy Weiss, “The Queen of Cold Calling & Selling Success, ” is a sales trainer, author, and sales coach. Her recently released program, “Cold Calling College", and/or her book, “Cold Calling for Women", can be ordered by visiting http://www.wendyweiss.com Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get Wendy’s free e-zine at www.wendyweiss.com