By Paul Bunn
“I’m just preparing my impromptu remarks.” – Winston Churchill
One of the keys to effective listening, especially over the telephone, is to use a script.
Before you recite a myriad of reasons that disagree with that idea, momentarily suspend your disbelief and read on.
When prospecting, or selling, you either follow a well thought out process or you’re “winging it”. The chances are that if you’re winging it, you’re not thought of by your prospects as a good listener.
We train salespeople to design “offers” that quickly and accurately describe their product or service. Then we drill them on how to reply to eleven typical responses that they are likely to hear from prospects.
We also recommend that they create a “prospecting board” or visual display of these responses and standardized phrases to handle them. The most successful prospectors use them every time they prospect. Therefore they don’t have to memorize the replies, even if there are only 11 replies needed.
These successful prospectors also read their offer (script) every time they make a prospecting call. Do they sound like they are reading from a script? Yes, sometimes, in the beginning. Does it adversely affect their results? No, it actually has a positive effect.
In numerous surveys on the decision criteria people use in making important purchases, trust and respect are numbers one and two, respectively. Effective selling, whether you’re using High Probability or not, is about those two factors. Listening to prospects is one way to achieve mutual respect.
Even people who are great at multi-tasking find it very difficult to concentrate on two different speakers at the same time. If you are trying to listen to your prospects and at the same time, thinking about what you are going to say next, you’ll find that you don’t hear them or connect with them deeply enough.
Using a script is a reliable and measurable way to discover what works and what doesn’t work in your communication. It also is a way to be well prepared for making calls, and increase your listening and building a relationship of respect with your prospects. Scripts also keep you in control of the sales process.
If you are a salesperson who uses High Probability, perhaps this article is a reminder about one of the fundamentals of written offers and responses. For those of you who want a refresher or coaching on your prospecting system, stay tuned for the announcement of the High Probability Mastery Coaching Program. Or call us to find out more.
If you are a salesperson who is not using our system, to discover how using a script and a few short responses can help you sell more with less stress, and build relationships of respect with your prospects. Or, if you want to discover what HPS sounds like, give us a call at (610) 566-1535, or toll-free at (800) 394-7762.