Scripts have long played a role in sales training, although opinions vary as to their usefulness. On one hand, especially for inexperienced people, they provide a roadmap to follow during a sales call. On the other hand, they can be relied on too much, resulting in the robotic delivery which characterizes many telemarketing calls.
In my opinion, the key is to create flexible scripts with several choices depending on the prospect’s response, which allow some room for “improv.” From handling gatekeepers to follow-ups to appointment scheduling, each type of call has unique aspects that can be addressed by developing a script for each to use in sales training.
Here are some recommended areas where scripts should be used in role playing.
One of the most dreaded tasks in sales can be made less painful by having a rehearsed script to tap into. Inc.com recently published a cold calling script by Keith Rosen that is an outstanding template for improving cold call performance. When using it as a role playing script, consider how different responses warrant different actions and how the script can be customized for your business.
By qualifying quickly and upfront, your salespeople can save a lot of time by eliminating prospects who aren’t ready for your product or service at this time. Bombarding them with blunt questions about which issues they have in their business and how much money they have in the budget are not likely to get great results, however.
Instead, a softer approach should be scripted out and practiced in sales training sessions which encourages the prospect to speak more than the seller does.
Irate or Aggressive Customers
Regardless of your product or service, every business will encounter the occasional angry customer. How you deal with these customers could be the difference between a lifetime of loyalty and the loss of their business. Bloomberg Businessweek outlines a number of best practices in their call script for angry customers that are a great starting point for forming your role playing script. Key points include:
- Acknowledging the customer’s concern
- Inquiring about their preferred solution
- Owning the mistake, and
- Ensuring problem resolution
Closing a Sale
Many scripts focus on qualifying a sales lead and introducing the product or service, but finding solid scripts for closing a sale is difficult since there are so many variables, and being robotic or unnatural at the close is the kiss of death.
Mike Brooks offers five closing questions that can be adapted easily to fit any role playing script. Inc.com also recommends a similar tactic. The key to closing a sale is engaging the customer, establishing trust and showing exactly how your offering solves an immediate need. By incorporating tie-downs and other simple questions, you can improve your call scripts and role playing benefits immensely.
Role playing scripts are an excellent way to provide new techniques and address a variety of scenarios in your role playing sales training sessions. At Asher Strategies, we firmly believe in role playing as an educational tool, and scripts make it easier. Try some in your next training session.