Scripted calls don’t have to sound awful.
I’m not going to mince words — scripting is the way to go for prospecting calls. When I state this at one of our “Connecting to the Big Cheese” prospecting workshops, I often hear comments such as, “I don’t want to sound fake!” or “I want to sound natural.” The paradox with sales is that the best salespeople are scripted in many areas. People on the receiving end of their prospecting calls (and face-to-face meetings too) don’t realize that they are practiced and scripted. Why? Because they are skilled in sounding natural!
How do they do this? Here are the 5 ways to sound as good as they do:
- Turn it down to 1 and up to 10. When you speak naturally, your volume gets soft sometimes and LOUD other times. You need to do the same when you are using scripted language
- Use your range. Most people vary their pitch or tone when they’re talking. When they are really excited, they’re voice goes up. When serious, it goes down. Do the same but be careful not to go up and down too much and turn it into a yodel!
- Use the gas pedal and the brake. Nobody (except the most boring speakers) talks at the same speed all the time. When people speak naturally, their speed varies. Make sure yours does too.Think of your voice as a roller coaster. They go fast. They go slow. They go quiet. They get loud. They make low sounds. They make high sounds.
- Avoid being too polished. When people are in a conversation with others, they take time to form their thoughts and this time often comes out as “ah’s” and “um’s” and “you know’s” along with other “fillers.” Sometimes, if we get too good at delivering our script, it comes out as being too perfect and becomes different from how we would talk in a regular conversation. Don’t be afraid to put some fillers in.
- Practice, practice, practice. We all understand and accept that practice is paramount for success in sports — how many of us would question the value of practicing our golf swing for hours — but salespeople seem to develop an allergic reaction to role practice when growing their essential career skills. Some of the highest paid people in society, professional actors, rehearse their lines for months to ensure that they deliver them just right. Why would we treat our sales careers with any less commitment to excellence? You will need to practice your delivery of your scripted phone calls and voicemails not ten times, not twenty times but literally, hundreds of times to get them perfect. The best way to practice is to choose a practice partner — someone who will give you straight feedback on what you’re doing well and where you need to improve. If you make mistakes with them, while it might cost you a bit of time and create some ego bruising, it’s a lot cheaper than making mistakes in the field, where it can cost you big dollars in lost sales!
Getting to be great at prospecting calls involves a lot more than reading a script. However, if you dedicate yourself to constant practice, reflection and incremental improvements, you will master this essential skill over a few months. It’s an investment that will pay dividends for a lifetime in your sales career.