To write a great script, you need to write a bunch of great scripts. Most sales happen in stages.

I suggest creating scripts that focus on the following stages:

Introduction. Mapping. My Education. Their Education.  Objection handling. Qualification.

So, let’s assume, for these purposes, that you are selling a brand new product or service for a company that no one has heard of.  And you’re calling a person that you don’t know, at a company that you’re not familiar with.  The coldest of cold calls.

First things first.  An introduction.  Your introduction should be quick, tight and simple.  A few sentences.  Your name, your company name, and a super simple overview of  what your company does.  Nothing technical.  Nothing that anyone will spell incorrectly on the message they pass to their supervisor.  Don’t say in twelve words what you could say in three.  “My name is Carrie.  I’m calling from Coldcalls.ca.  We provide outsourced sales support”.  That’s my intro.

Then, mapping.

Mapping is a series of questions that will teach you who’s who in the organization.  Find out who does what, starting from the top down.

Next, my education.

When you’ve purchased a list, and you have a lot of dials to get out, you won’t always have the time to research every company on the list.  With a name like “Joe’s Chicken Shop”, and a category like “Retail”, you’ll need to figure out what they do.  Do they sell chicken?  Do they sell chickens?  Do they sell things FOR chickens? Ask some specific questions about their business. If you only want to talk to the owners of specialty food stores, and this store sells chicken feed, you now know they’re not a prospect.  I normally ask prospects point blank “What do you sell, and to who?”

Then, their education.

Here’s where you finally get to make a bid to win some business.  A longer elevator pitch, ideally referencing a testimonial from the vertical you’re calling in to.  With numbers to back it up.  Then ask an open ended question about a problem you can solve.

That brings us to objection handling.

Let’s assume the prospect engages with you, answering the question.  Regardless of how he’s answered, you’re  now going to move in to objection handling.  Let’s say the answer puts our prospect in the land of “everything is perfect, nothing could be better, we’re making money hand over fist here, thanks for calling”.  That’s pretty rare, and they obviously don’t need your help. But wait, you say.  Our product will revolutionize the way they do business!  And maybe it will.  So how do you turn the conversation your way?   You compare their situation to a client win.  Something like this:  “I’m glad to hear things are going so well.  We’re working with COMPANY NAME right now, and they’re doing well, too.  In fact, since we WHATEVER YOU DO HERE, their sales overhead has decreased by 20%.  Then the prospect says “Really?”  And re-engages. Or throws out another objection.  Like, for example “Well, we’re much smaller than they are.”

Objection handling is all about giving compelling reasons to continue the conversation.  Assuming the prospect isn’t just blowing you off, they really may just need some more information.  And if the prospect is just blowing you off, let him go.  There are a hundred more chicken stores in the sea. If you spend all your time trying to make the 99 people who don’t get it get it, you’ll have less time to focus on the one percent who do get it.   Make a list of all the objections you’re likely to encounter, and come up with a compelling story for each of them.  Then turn that into an open ended question to stimulate more discussion.  I love to talk about objection handling, so if you have a particularly challenging objection, send me an email and we can work on it!

Now, let’s move on to qualification.

Some will say that you should qualify before you even dial.  This is mandatory on very small campaigns (say under five hundred leads total) .   For large campaigns, again, you’re not going to be able to research every company on the list.  You could qualify/disqualify earlier in the conversation, but I think that the more your company name is out there, the better.  Have the conversations.  Get people interested.  If you find out during the qualification stage that it’s not a fit, that’s okay.  That contact will change jobs in two years.  Or that contact will talk about your company at a networking event with larger customers.  NO CONVERSATION IS EVER A WASTE OF TIME!  Qualification should include specific questions – closed ended.  Do you have more than 5 sales reps?  Do you have a budget in mind for this project?  Things like that.

That, my fine internet friends, is where I take my leave of the process for clients.  From there, my clients go on to what I would consider the final three parts of the sale:

Problem solving. Negotiation. Closing.

Now, if there are, as we’ve agreed, nine parts to the sales process, and I could eliminate the first six of them so that your sales reps could focus on the final three, how much of their time does that free up?

That’s what I thought.