Don’t Underestimate the Power of Scripted Sales Statements
As you raved to a friend about the story line in a movie you just saw, did you think about how many times the actor’s words had been written and rewritten before they were finalized and repeated in the actual film?
Or what about the well-rehearsed political candidates’ “stump” speeches? How many times do you imagine the words in the especially hard-hitting segments of those speeches were modified to give the candidates exactly the effect they expect to achieve?
While salespeople can never predict every question every prospect may ask, there are literally dozens of prospect questions that are quite predictable. These questions are asked so often that to me it makes perfect sense for salespeople to script; that is, write and rewrite their answers until the words express precisely what the salesperson wishes to convey.
Think about it for a moment. Why recreate the wheel, so to speak, each time a prospect tells you: your prices are too high, one of your predecessors took advantage of me 10 years ago or I am happy with my present supplier and see no reason to change?
Any salesperson who is an aggressive prospector is certain to hear these and other predictable reasons their prospects recite for staying with their current supplier.
Suppose an aggressive, combatant price buyer demands that you quote him some prices before he will give you the time of day. He won’t answer your questions. He won’t engage in conversation. His style is to use your prospect call to extract from you some low-ball prices.
Do you encounter this kind of buyer from time to time? Is such a buyer’s behavior predictable? Do you struggle to figure out how to respond to this kind of buyer? If so, maybe it would be a good investment to spend some time putting your response on paper and rewriting it until you are satisfied with your words.
I have done this myself. In fact, I have spent a considerable amount of time scripting not just one response, but two responses I like. Here is the first response I wrote:
“Are you telling me that if we could come to terms on price that you would be ready to do business with me?”
Here is the second:
“I understand that price is important, but what other issues do we need to discuss before you’ll feel comfortable giving me a piece of your business?”
In my way of thinking, I cannot hope to do business with an aggressive and combatant buyer who refuses to engage in a dialogue with me. So I must keep my cool and say something that will make it obvious to him that I am a professional and I am not going to allow myself to fall into his price trap.
It’s difficult to think straight when you are confronted by this kind of buyer, so it has been my experience that it’s best to do your thinking in the privacy of your own workspace so when you do come under fire you are prepared. Your response is memorized and your demeanor and voice intonation are so well rehearsed that you don’t have to think, you just execute.
The most powerful and the most memorable words that have ever been read or said are those written in classic novels or heard in movies or plays. In the case of movies and theater, the actors began reading the words very slowly and verbatim from a written script. But pretty soon they put their own spin on the scripted words with their facial expressions and voice intonation.
Think of the movies you’ve watched multiple times or the great books you’ve reread.
Great salespeople are great communicators. They are masters of getting their points across to buyers and other decision-makers. If you believe your skills of communication could be improved, consider scripting your responses to the questions you know from experience prospects will ask time and time again.