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Don’t Shoot from the Hip, Use a Script

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By John Boe

Give me a salesperson who’s struggling to fill his or her calendar with client appointments, and I’ll show you a sales rep without a phone script. Unfortunately, many salespeople labor under the false belief that they’re too experienced to use a phone script and as a result, sabotage their phone calling effectiveness and income. A well-designed and properly rehearsed script is a powerful tool for projecting a confident and competent professional image. In addition, a script guarantees that every call is delivered in a consistent and concise manner.

Sales reps that prefer to “wing it” and shoot from the hip, tend to lose focus and are quickly sidetracked down numerous unproductive paths. It’s been said that the only thing worse than listening to a salesperson using a phone script, is to listen to one without a script. There’s absolutely no substitute for preparation and practice. Top producers understand the value of using a script, but you can’t tell they’re speaking from a script. Just like a movie actor, they practice and rehearse their words over and over again until they sound smooth and conversational.

Here are some proven tips to help you create a phone script that will keep your appointment calendar full:

1. Write out your entire phone script from hello to goodbye.

2. State your name and organization at the beginning of the call.

3. Timing is everything. Be considerate by asking your prospect if they have a minute to speak with you. If your call is viewed as an interruption, you’re dead in the water before you even begin. If your prospect indicates that it’s not a good time for your call, apologize for the interruption and ask them when it would be OK for you to call back.

4. Use a series of open-ended questions to draw your prospect out. Keep in mind when you design your script that your primary goal is not to sell anything, but rather to build rapport, gather information, and make an appointment.

5. People are more comfortable with salespeople who they feel are similar to them. Use your voice to build trust and rapport quickly by “matching and mirroring” your prospect’s voice tone, pitch, and pace.

6. Never interrupt your prospect and allow them plenty of time to respond to your questions.

7. Look for opportunities to make an appointment, don’t just answer questions. Avoid the temptation to answer all of your prospect’s questions over the phone but instead, guide them toward scheduling a face-to-face meeting.

If you really want to dramatically improve your phone calling effectiveness and income, take the time right now to begin working on your phone script. Once you experience the positive results from using a phone script, you’ll never want to “wing it” again.

John Boe presents a wide variety of motivational and sales-oriented keynotes and seminar programs for sales meetings and conventions.

For more information, visit www.johnboe.com.

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