Your sales team sound like robots!

Business Development, script to not sound like a robot

There’s nothing worse than taking a business call and realising very quickly that the person on the other end is simply ploughing through a list of questions sounding like a robot. Regardless of your input or feedback, they are going to get to the end of that list, whatever it takes! Every question seems to be read in a monotone voice, making it impossible to engage with them. And unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence. But surely there is a better way to structure a sales call.

Should I dispense with a script?

Whilst a fixed set of questions will not get you far, neither will a totally unstructured call that ends up being a waste of everyone’s time. So no, we would not recommend a totally unscripted approach. But we do suggest you move away from the idea that a script is a rigid device.   

When you turn on your TV or go to the theatre, what you are seeing is, of course, scripted. But you don’t tend to register it as such, because any actor worth their salt will bring the script to life in the way it is delivered. And the writer will have structured it in a way that sets a scene, tells a story and draws a conclusion.

You can take the same approach with your sales calls. You just need to find a structure to work to.

Getting the structure right

There are various different ways to structure a sales call, and you can test out different ones until you find the one that is most effective for your organisation and your target market.

Here at Intelligent Talk, we find a combination of two methods works well.

The Inverted Pyramid method helps you to prioritise the information you want to impart, and in what order. Originally a tool for journalists, it is just as useful for spoken conversations. Think through the information you want to get across in your call and where in the pyramid it should sit before you pick up the phone

The other method we like is PASO. This is a tool that marketeers have used for years and works on the basis that resolving ‘pain’ is a key motivator for most people. Focus in on the problem that your target is having. Then turn the knife. Make it hurt just that bit more! At that point, you present the solution that will make that pain disappear.

Asking questions

A key tool in the armoury of any sales call is to ask open questions – and crucially, to really listen to the response. The reply you get will give you information on where to take the call next. So your structure needs to be flexible, enabling you to be responsive to the answers you receive.

Think about delivery

Remember what we said about actors? How you speak is arguably as important as what you say. Think about times you have sat through a presentation delivered in a monotone – you just switch off and stop taking in the content. You need to express empathy with your prospect so that they really feel you understand their issues. Using variation in tone to convey interest and recognition will help you to come across as genuine and passionate about your subject. 

In a nutshell, the key to effective telephone scripts is to ensure you are talking about what your audience cares about. Instead of a hard sell, create an environment where the prospect realises you can solve their problem. And condemn that list of fixed questions to the bin forever.

Published on: 30th October 2019

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