The Laosy Life Sales Development Series – 1.0 “Creating Effective Call Scripts for Inside Sales”
Many people think sales is something that can be learned over night like reading a motivational sales training book or watching an inspiring sales movie like “Glengarry Glen Ross” or the “Boiler Room.” Before you get so pumped up and start dialing the phone and promising the world, take a breath and realize that great fiction doesn’t apply to the world of sales development and training. The reality is that you must put a daily effort to develop and strengthen skills like how a world-class athlete wakes up every day and practices skills in order to grow better, stronger and faster.
(Who wants to win a set of steak knives? Great scene from Glengarry Glen Ross)
Recently, I have been hired to work and develop a sales team. After a thorough assessment with the owner of the company, I saw a great opportunity to develop talented individuals and establish a sales process from the ground floor. As part of my training process, I would like to highlight some of the materials that I am working with here in my blog.
My first individual session was with a highly motivated woman. She is fairly new to sales and wanted to really understand how to develop herself in order to close more business. From what I discovered through my inquiry, she was not a heavy phone person. It was easy for me to assume that she felt a bit uncomfortable and didn’t have a concrete plan or strategy with her phone calls. Many salespeople struggle with phone skills no matter what level they are at. Being newer to the process, I needed to engage her in the sales process. Part of the sales process is prospecting – making calls, cold and warm calls, to prospects.
(I found the movie, “The Boiler Room”, entertaining. Leave the lying and cheating to Hollywood.)
I reviewed the basic sales process with her – prospecting, needs-analysis, meeting, proposal, and negotiation/closing. It was clear that I needed to work with her on prospecting and qualifying the opportunity. I started asking a lot of questions to discover her current process. She was very hesitant on when to ask for an in-person meeting versus a phone meeting. After a series of more discovery questions, she answered her own question that asking for an in-person meeting will be to her best benefit as it will allow her to meet and present to her prospect in a manner that will allow her to build effective relationships.
I believe the power of coaching is in self-discovery. It is more effective than “telling” a person what to do. Self-discovery unlocks the hidden obstacles and allows for effective coaching and feedback. It fosters a two-way communication and ownership. People are more willing to work towards an objective if they feel personally vested on the outcome.
Now that she good about her approach on relationship building, I asked about her introduction calls. She didn’t have an idea how to approach the calls. This was perhaps the reason why she doesn’t do many out-bound cold calls and prefers the safer warm calls. I asked her about a script. She didn’t have one written out. I shared a personal story of how I first started doing my phone calls and I was scared to death on how to approach it. I soon overcame my fear by working on my personal script and practiced it on every phone call for months until I finally felt comfortable picking up the phone. The script was a great guideline for me, giving me confidence with each call and each hang-up. I came to discover that it is ok to get a rejection and it was part of the process. Soon, I discovered new ways to overcome “hang-ups” by working on impact statements and better qualifying questions. This is something I will work with her on after we work through her scripts. Below is an outline of the script process I asked her to complete for me. I am looking forward on what she develops and how she uses it in her next calls.
(A “bad” call script can be damaging. Take the time to write an effective one that conveys confidence.)
Call Script Overview
– The key to a very successful call script is to write one in your words that will reflect your personality. Having a call script will sharpen your introduction and lead to more quality conversations.
– It is important to get to the point.
– It is more important to reach the decision maker. You will need to ask for the decision maker on most of your calls. It is really important to start with the DM.
– The tone of your voice should be very positive and high on enthusiasm. It should convey confidence and portray you as an expert. Always talk about how this opportunity or meeting will impact the organization or person. Keep it vague enough to entice them to a meeting.
Call Script Basics – use this framework to create your own call scripts
– If you know the prospect’s name, ask for it. If not, you will need to ask for the decision maker.
– Greeting. “Hi! Mr. or Ms. Decision Maker”
– Identify yourself and your company. “My name is Alan. I work with Company and publish their membership magazine.”
– Creating the Impact statement and value proposition will help capture attention. Tell them what you do and position yourself as the expert. Use phrases like “we specialize in…” or “our reputation is…” Feel free to name drop as it adds credibility.
“We specialize in partnering with highly coveted companies that invest in reaching a highly rich and affluent audience in the luxury category. We have successfully supported the marketing programs of companies like (list comparable companies or notable companies).”
– Articulate benefits. Sharing success stories are a terrific way to point out benefits. “Through the first two issues this year, we have helped increase the exposure of (company) to this very lucrative audience and as a result, we have helped them their goals through our partnership (or other marketing objectives). We are delivering a great return and benefit for their marketing programs.”
– What is your objective of the phone call? Is it setting up a meeting? Ask for what you want – an introductory meeting. “I would like to meet with you to introduce our company, learn more about your marketing needs and do what I can to help you guys get exposure to this highly affluent and lucrative audience. Can we meet for about 15-30 mins on Thursday?”
– Be persistent. Keep asking for what you want!