How do you boost your company’s revenue, garner commission, and establish yourself as a power player in your market? Today’s consumers are savvier than ever, forcing business owners to employ a myriad of marketing strategies and sales tactics to remain competitive. Telephone prospecting or “cold calling” is an oldie but a goodie that can be very effective if orchestrated properly. While some people undoubtedly possess an innate knack for selling (over the phone or otherwise), it’s a valuable skill that can be learned and honed.
Sales scripts, not to be confused with telemarketing scripts, are routinely used and advocated by the world’s most successful salespeople. If you’re new to telephone prospecting, developing a script that you can refer to during the call may also help bolster your confidence and enable you to keep the conversation on track. Here are the six basic components you need to create a powerful sales script that achieves results.
- Approach and introduce yourself. At the beginning of the call, introduce yourself and state your full name, job title, and company. Then request a moment of the prospect’s time.
- State your purpose. After you’ve introduced yourself, quickly move on to clearly stating the purpose for your call. If you’re trying to set an appointment, say that. As Steve Kloyda, The Prospecting Expert, rightly points out, “Confused people will not respond to action.”
- Ask questions. And not just any old questions – thoughtfully planned out, open-ended, guiding questions. If you want clients to arrive at your conclusion, you need to steer them there. Asking questions is an important part of any conversation, but in a sales situation, asking the right questions is critical. Make sure your questions are open-ended and can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. “Do you get along well with your boss?” is an example of a close-ended question; however, if you reframe it slightly (“Tell me about your relationship with your boss”), you can keep the conversation going and hopefully gain some useful insight.
- Listen to the answers. You’d think this would be too obvious to be included, but given that most people are terrible listeners, it warrants a shout-out. During a sales call, your active listening skills will play a fundamental role in the outcome.
- Preempt common objections. If you did your homework and prepared your questions, you should see these coming and be ready to address your prospect’s concerns. Put yourself in their shoes and try to determine what perceived factors might be holding them back. This will allow you to work with their objections and redirect them to the purpose of the call.
- Invite your prospect to take action. Just like a well-designed landing page, your ultimate goal for a sales call is to drive your prospect to take action. With a landing page, this usually entails obtaining contact information through an opt-in form. For a sales call, the action can be virtually anything, but like your purpose, it needs to be single-minded and clearly stated.
While the formula we just described is technically called a “script,” don’t get so caught up in selling that you forget to be a human being. People do not want to hear a scripted sales pitch; they want to have a conversation, which requires that both parties listen as well as talk. Breaking down this process and understanding some of the psychology behind selling will serve you well no matter what your title is or what industry you work in. Ready to start dialing?