The reading level for this article is All Levels
I did a teleconference a few weeks ago with people who were new
in sales and new to prospecting. The focus of the call was to
help participants get beyond fear and understand their
One of the participants on the call told me that she had been
given the telephone prospecting script that her team leader uses
to set appointments. The team leader was a highly successful
sales professional who had been in the business for many years
and made quite a lot of money. The participant, who had been in
the business for approximately a week, told me that she was going
to work with the script and "make it her own."
"No!" I cried out. "Don't do that! Don't make it your own!"
My reasoning? This participant was a beginner. She knew nothing
about sales or prospecting. She had a script that was crafted by
someone who was highly successful on the telephone. This
particular participant did not know enough to make it her own.
More than likely, in making the script her own she would
eliminate all of the powerful, persuasive and motivating language
used by the sales super star who had given her the script.
When you are on the telephone with a prospect you have about 10
seconds to grab and hold your prospect's attention. If you do not
do that within that first 10 seconds, your call is more than
likely over. If you get through that first 10 seconds, that buys
you another 10 seconds. If you get through that 10 seconds it
buys you yet another... and so on... 10 seconds is not a lot of time.
To get through those 10-second increments, you want to use the
most powerful and persuasive words that you have at your
If you are a beginner it is entirely possible, indeed even
likely, that you may not be comfortable with certain powerful
words or phrases. They may be very unlike your usual way of
speaking. Even if you've been in sales for a while you might be
set in your ways, accustomed to certain words and a certain
delivery, and changing that might feel uncomfortable.
I've met many people who say they do not want to work with
scripts because then they "cannot be themselves." Remembering
that your prospecting call happens in 10-second increments you
want to be the very best self that you can be, every time. That
One of the things that I've always loved about being in sales is
that it is crystal clear. You always know exactly where you are.
You are either scheduling appointments, or you're not. You are
either closing, or you're not.
If you are new to sales and a successful professional gives you
their script--don't change a word. That script will be your gold
mine. If you've been in sales for a while and want to try out a
new script, test it first. Your old script becomes your baseline.
For example, make 30 prospecting calls using your usual script
and keep track of the number of appointments that you schedule.
Then make 30 more prospecting calls using your new script exactly
as written. Keep track of the number of appointments that you
schedule. At the end of those 60 calls you will know which script
works better. That becomes your new baseline.
© 2006 Wendy Weiss