If you think scripting a sales process reduces creativity – think about movies, songs or just feel the emotion as these children perform..

One of the most common beliefs that come up during sales system developments is that “scripts” turn us into “robots”.

And it is true.   You will have been the victim of a rubbish script at some time.  Usual examples are telemarketers and door to door sales people.  You can feel the ‘fakeness’ in the greeting and loaded first open questions.

Trouble is – that using the lousy end of performances as the model or determinant of the power of scripts – is NUTS!

Would you take the output of very early ‘learner’ musicians who may also be tone deaf  to make the decision that “music is awful to listen to?”  Probably not – but that is what many have done with the idea of ‘scripts’.  We listened to a few badly constructed scripts, delivered by unpracticed, uncoached “sales” people – and it sucked – so we decided that “Scripts were not for us!”

What we meant to decide was that ‘Lousy scripts delivered pathetically were not for us?”

After all – have you ever been to a great movie?  One that made you laugh, or cry, or tremble with fear or excitement?  And GASP out loud in surprise?  Where you have been so drawn in to the ACTORS persona’s that you feel what they feel?  And then left the movie theatre with an elevated mood and a new perspective on the world?

Now think about this.  Every single word is COMPLETELY SCRIPTED in 99% of movies.  Every action is rehearsed.  Every camera angle, every lighting and sound effect – is considered microscopically.   If the director considers that a scene is not delivered effectively – the do it again, and again, and again.

A great movie script with poor delivery will usually suck.  A poor movie script with great delivery – will still be poor.

Is this just the same as a great sales script with poor delivery  and a poor sales script delivered well?  And if the performance is delivered to the wrong audience – more lousy beliefs about scripts will erupt.

So here is the first basic key to sales success.  Deliver your film [sales presentation] to an audience who has a little pre-existing desire to experience it.  ie don’t make a movie for people who never, ever go to the movies.

The second key has it’s clues in the charming performance in the video in the right corner of this page.  The talent show is structured.  The hosts rotate their questioning.  They ask the types of questions that make the performers more interesting, more engaging and more emotive.  Even in whatever language this is – the hosts  interaction with the children “draws us in”.  The responses even more so.

The the children do their ‘performance’.  Every part is carefully scripted.  It is a ‘dance’ like all good scripts are.  The children have done it a million times – and each part is constructed in detail – for a purpose.  They are about 5 or 6 years old.  Because they have a script, and because they had a structure that their script will work in, and an audience looking to be drawn in  – and because they have done the work to be able to complete each part of the dance – we the audience get to be enthralled.

Let’s find a ‘real’ example of a sales script that works in Townsville.  On Tuesday this week I went into a bakery to get a quick late lunch after a hectic morning.  It was the Brumby’s near the IGA in West End.  I was greeted with great smile from a teenage assistant “Good afternoon, what would you like today?”   [Script].   I chose the tomato and beef pie and a bottle of water.  “Great – anything else?”  [Script].  No thanks I said.  And then she left me in wonder with “This week we have lamingtons for $1 with any other purchase.  Would you like one?”

I don’t eat sweets much, but I have a rule that if anyone “bumps’ me [offers me more during a sale] I usually take it.  Just to reward them!  It happens very rarely here in Townsville – apart from the Institutionalized versions [but still good] at MacDonalds.    I buy the extra warranties, the belts, the shirts, the extra – if I am asked – and it is not sweets.

I thanked my Brumby’s assistant – and asked how often people took the offer.  “Heaps” she said – “We do several trays per day.”  This simple script could add $1000 per week to a store’s profit.  Of course the script could be even better, but it was still a great performance.

I asked a few clients about whether they would pay the extra dollar for a lamington – most said YES.  And we went on to review their point of sale scripts and structures.

Now – when you think about scripts in your business.  The question is not whether or not you like them, or if you are going to use them.  The money question is how good are your scripts, and how well are they being presented?  If you have not selected and worked on what scripts you want your team to use – THEY WILL BE WRITING THEIR OWN.

More later on the structure of scripts and how to help your team to love them soon.




About the Author Business Coach James Hooper

Townsville based James Hooper: The term "rainmaker" is becoming regularly used in business context as someone whose role is to 'make rain' or 'create growth' in your business. In some senses the term 'business coach' is limiting as it is primarily about optimizing the effectiveness of the owner/operator. Sometimes the leverage is in the business systems rather than in the operator - and focus on that produces the preferred outcomes. Business is a game, a puzzle, a tool to get you what you want in life. Call me for a second opinion (other than yours) on how to make your business give you what you want it to.

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