We all know what it’s like to be bombarded with terrible telesales calls following poorly crafted scripts and sounding like worn out Daleks from Dr Who. Their heart really isn’t in it and it shows.
These calls really give the profession of selling a bad name!
There is no excuse for employing a bunch of amateurs especially when it comes to well known brands and charities. They really need to be aware of the potential impact on their brand.
Interestingly, once they talk rationally most salespeople accept that they do follow their own script, let’s call it a process. It’s just they are not aware that they use the same words and phrases (mini scripts) in each and every sales interaction but they have not formalised it.
However, without understanding the script (process) their performance can be variable and this lack of understanding when multiplied over a whole sales team can have a huge commercial impact on a business.
Surely, the goal is to understand what works well consistently and then incorporate the best practices across the whole sales team?
So let’s look at another profession where scripts are used all the time, we’re of course, talking about the acting profession. All plays are scripted but there is a world of difference between an AmDram production and a West End professional production.
In the professional production we are totally unaware of the script whereas in the amateur production the script can seem to get in the way.
Exactly the same applies in sales, however, let’s think of a professional salesman as being a lead in a West End professional pantomime production. Feeding off the audience, ad libs are the order of the day but the script is there to keep the play fundamentally the same every show. Knowing the story and the next line brings clarity out of what is seen as totally natural, free and easy.
Indeed great performers, like Morecambe and Wise, successful ad libs were scripted. Ad libs that worked in rehearsal or live performance were noted and then incorporated in the main script. The important thing was they understood what had changed for the better and then used it again and again to enhance their performance. It was the discipline of the script that gave them freedom to enjoy the moment making it seem fresh, seamless and natural every time.
So are scripts useful in sales? Absolutely. Without knowing the process, the outcome of every ‘performance’ will not be consistent and that will impact results and the bottom line.
The key is knowing the script (process) so well that it becomes second nature and then each individual’s personality and charisma can shine through and make it a professional West End performance.
It is all about understanding what works and taking out what doesn’t.
It’s being able to consistently replicate excellence and that is the key difference between being professional rather than amateur!