“You know what you’re doing and that’s why you’re able to change it up.” Blake Shelton, The Voice, May 7, 2013
I’ve had plenty of sales people tell me that having a prospecting script feels inauthentic and they’re uncomfortable using one. Those are the sales people who end up hating making those calls and struggling to make their numbers.
Cold calling has never been more simple because of how easy it is to sound intelligent to the person we’re calling. With even just a bit of information (plans meetings, for instance, and works for XYZ Corporation), you are ready to go.
Here is the key to success. Okay, that was a lie. This is one key to success (the other is to authentically care about their success more than about making the sale; oh and another is to take control of the next step and give them a reason to want to take that next step with you…).
Create a script and practice it.
The first few times all you’ll be doing is reading it. You’re likely to feel fake and foolish. Massage the script to be sure you’re using your words and keep practicing. What if the prospect says this? How will you respond? Write it down? Was your response good? How can you improve it? Practice it? What if the prospect says this instead?
Practice how you’ll start the convo and how you’ll continue the convo. Practice with a goal of memorizing the best responses.
Then, here comes the good part: As you practice your memorized script, become present. Improvise. It’s only when you know the script so well that you can enjoy the freedom to improvise and make it better.
This has worked for so many successful sales people. High achievers know exactly what they’re doing.