Script or No Script?
High on the list of the more frequently asked coaching questions is, “Should I use a script?” For this, I have two answers, the upside and the downside:
Answer #1: The Upside
The upside of using a script is control. By writing it down and referring to it, you can make sure to include several points. For the most part, you will be getting voicemail. Using a script means you can put on a professional air, read what you have prepared, and stick the landing. It is the most fool-proof way to make a sales call. In addition, you are following in the footsteps of some major companies who use scripts, such as Verizon (whose Customer Service reps are taught to repeat your issue back to you and then ask, “Is this correct?”), Apple (whose phone support advisors robotically apologize for the problem you are having and then add, “I can certainly understand why that would be an issue,” just as their script reads, and every other company you call where the employee asks how you are and then is scripted to say, “I’m fine. Thanks for asking” as a reply.
Answer #2: The Downside
The downside of using a script is two fold. First, you sound like someone reading a script. It has no personality or humanity to it. You are coming off as a rookie. Second, the call is not customized to the individual or the company. Their problems are perceived to be the same as the last caller and the next. This is fine if your goal is to provide pricing and win only if you are the lowest bidder. But if your goal is to get into the right kind of sales conversations, you must first do some research and then use that information to finish the sentence, “The purpose of my call is….”
Are scripts useless? No. You should certainly have a formula for leaving a good message. You should have an opening, a middle, and a close. It’s okay to have some bullet points handy as a reference. But separate yourself from Verizon and the others. Be prepared for the call. Practice. Then, get ready for either voicemail or a live conversation and let ‘er rip. Don’t be afraid of saying the wrong thing. Lighten up, Francis. Be human.
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