Is your close rate where you want it to be? If not, the problem may be in your phone game. In fact, 86% of prospects aren’t satisfied with their phone sales experiences. But a phone sales conversation—especially cold calling— is nothing to sneeze at. I know firsthand just how challenging they can be.
Let’s do some roleplay: you’re on a sales call. The conversation is going well. Suddenly, the prospect hits you with an objection you weren’t expecting and you freeze like a deer in the headlights. At that moment, don’t you wish you could look off-stage like an actor in a play and yell, “LINE?” and have a perfect answer that sounds natural? When you make your calls using a sales script, you can essentially do just that.
Let me provide you with my secret to sales success: six key elements of results-driven sales scripts.
Why Use Sales Scripts?
The argument of sales scripts vs. no sales scripts resurfaces in the sales community every two weeks on LinkedIn. Some sales professionals worry that a sales script is too generic, defeating the purpose of collaborative, organic sales conversations. I disagree. I think it’s possible to have an organic conversation aided by a script. There is a difference between using proven talk tracks and sounding like you’re reading a script.
RELATED READ: Why You Should Script the Sales Conversation
What’s more, using a script for your sales conversations comes with some key benefits you won’t want to miss out on:
- Consistency in messaging
- Confidence in advancing a sale
- Scalable sales team improvements
- Improved close rates
When I started speaking to sales organizations and facilitating workshops, the number one comment from all the different companies was “Can we have access to more of your language choices?” When I started to build Sales Accelerator, our first content was one hundred talk tracks for every phase of the sales conversation, from prospecting to closing, with proven language that provides confidence and competence.
1. Introductions: More Than Just “Hello”
The first step of any call is your introduction. The key to a great introduction is to be straightforward: Lead with your name and company. You know your client’s name and their role, but they don’t know who you are. When speaking to someone for the first time, introduce yourself, making sure your client knows who you are.
You don’t ever want to use language that would make you sound like a person who isn’t serious. Asking a client if they have 27 seconds or whether or not is a good time are all crutches developed because the salesperson lacked good talk tracks. Ensure it’s a convenient time to speak, if not offer to set up another time to speak.
Build rapport—but don’t linger. The modern version of rapport is less about “hope you are well and safe” and more about a business conversation. The more you are able to help your prospective client recognize you are a person who might help them improve their results, the more likely you’ll capture their attention.
2. Offer Value ASAP
Your call needs to offer value that is worth your customer’s time. One of the most important concepts in sales is The Trading Value Rule. This rule requires that you explain the value you are going to create for your prospective client in the conversation to which you are inviting them. No one believes learning about your business is about them and their challenges.
Present value your customer can gain from speaking to you right now… even if they don’t buy. When you use the Trading Value Rule, it’s best to promise to create value for your client “even if there is no next step for you or your prospect.” When you create value, you’ll have little trouble acquiring another meeting.
3. Ask Great Questions
A great sales pitch involves more active listening than speaking. Great questions are not any derivation of “So, what’s keeping you up at night?” These generic questions are outdated and don’t create any real value. A better question might be something like, “Is it better for you to change on a timeline of your choosing, and what kind of problems will you have if you have to change on a timeline not of your choosing?”
Ask questions about your lead’s goals, struggles, and needs, and listen to their answers. It’s important to know that you are not solving a problem but helping your clients to improve their results. You need to ask questions that help you understand how best to help your client succeed.
4. Provide Reasons to Change
Another element of a great sales script is to focus the conversation appropriately. Don’t focus just on your company and your solutions, discuss the ways their struggles will compel them to change in the future. One of the major changes in how we sell using a modern approach is by starting the conversation with insights that help the client recognize the need to change. Instead of asking your client to confess they have a problem, you help them understand why they have that problem in the first place.
Establish your credibility by providing advice. When you already know the client’s problem, you can start by sharing your advice and your recommendations about how your clients should go about changing. “Would it be okay if I shared with you how you might go about exploring the different ways you can improve your results and what factors you should consider?
5. Prepare for Objections
As I hinted at in the intro section, a great benefit of using sales scripts is the advantage it gives you in handling objections. You’ll want to note common objections and script responses and rebuttals to those objections.
There is a truth about objections that is not well-recognized by salespeople or people in sales enablement and improvement. An objection is language used to avoid making a commitment without expressing the client’s real concern. When a client says, “Can you send me some information,” they don’t really want information. Instead, it means you didn’t offer them enough value to say yes to your meeting request. Knowing what to say and how to say it is what allows salespeople to advance the sale.
This allows your sales representatives to present themselves confidently in the face of those objections when they come up. The more confident and competent the salesperson is, the easier time they’ll have resolving the client’s concerns.
6. Wrap Things Up
The end of the call is one of the most important parts of the conversation. What this looks like will depend on where you are in the sales process. You use this opportunity to ask for a meeting, ask to take the next step, or ask for the sale, etc. Every good and effective script should end with a commitment to do what comes next. You might say, “Based on our conversation today, the next best step would be to meet with your team to have them help make sure whatever might do is going to work for them. Can we get your team together on Thursday at 11:00 AM?”
Follow through with the next steps before the conversation ends.
Beyond Sales Scripts: Level Up Your Sales Skills
Using these elements, you should be able to devise a customized sales script to use in any situation. You can then revise your script as you continue using it, optimizing it until you can use it to close any sale and hit any target!
Why stop at a sales script? If you’re looking to level up your sales skills, check out our free resource, the Sales Hustler eBook. This resource will provide you with the keys to reach your full potential and pursue new opportunities with confidence.