When salespeople are forced to use sales scripts, all too often they fall into the trap of delivering a one-sided speech rather than engaging in normal conversation with a give and take. While well-designed sales scripts can be helpful to keep salespeople focused and on target, they often leave potential customers feeling as if they're being talked at, rather than participating in a conversation. Here are tips for turning your sales script into a conversation.
Use the Script as a Guide Only
Instead of adhering to the word-for-word language typically laid out in a sales script, use the script merely as a guide. Highlight key points or words you need to hit, but ignore the rest of the dictated speeches in order to sound more natural. Consider rewriting your sales script as a bullet point list to give yourself the freedom to phrase things a little differently during each conversation.
Begin Your Conversation Naturally
When customers hear the beginning of a sales script, they may have a tendency to stop listening or participating in what should be a conversation. Defuse this reaction by reworking the way you get into a sales conversation. Begin the conversation more naturally, asking about the customer and trying to ascertain his needs. Start by finding out what's on your customer's mind, and use that as a segué to discuss the products or services you're offering.
Rewrite Your Script to Focus on Relationship Building
Make your top priority in any sales call relationship building rather than getting through your spiel. Break away from the script any time you have an opportunity to establish rapport or understanding with the customer. Let your conversation grow organically to create a personal experience for the customer. Once a customer feels there is even a fledgling relationship beginning, he is more likely to lower the defenses that are naturally raised when a sales script begins.
Listen to Yourself
Many salespeople don't realize how canned their sales scripts sound to customers because they've never taken the time to listen to themselves. Try recording your sales script, and listen to it. If you're able to do so within the policies established by your company, record a couple of sales calls where you use your sales script. Listen for the moments when a customer backs away because you're coming across as agenda-driven. Notice the moments where you can be more organic in your conversation by responding to the customer's needs or allowing a moment of authentic relationship to blossom. Incorporate what you learn from these experiments into your regular sales conversations.
Even with all the modern technology available to today's salespeople, it's still the personal touch that matters in connecting to customers. Try stepping away from the rigidity of your sales script to make an authentic connection and build a relationship with your customers, and expect to see your efforts reflected in the bottom line.
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