“I hate sales scripts” and “I won’t use a script when cold calling or selling” are two comments that are frequently made when I introduce the concept of writing and using a script during my training sessions. In many cases the objections are very strong indeed. And in spite of the fact that I emphasise that you only use a script until you know the words off by heart, many people, at first, absolutely refuse to have anything to do with sales scripts. Do you have a problem with writing and using a script too? If so, read the rest here – it will quite likely change your mind…
Imagine you are at a theatre and you, and hundreds of other people, have bought tickets to see a production of Hamlet. Unbeknown to you, the three actors who have been picked to play the starring roles have never appeared in Hamlet before and have not rehearsed their parts at all. They were a bit busy with some other things and so just agreed with each other that they would have a quick read through the script the night before, ‘turn up and give it a go and see how it turned out’.
Do you think Shakespeare wrote the entire script from scratch without making any changes to it at all or do you think he re-wrote it several times until it had the impact he wanted it to have? Do you think those actors gave a good performance? Do you think the audience were pleased to have attended? Do you think they recommended other people to go and see the play? What about the critics? Do you think the play had a good write up in the press? Do you think the play ran for long? Do you think those actors were hired by other producers in the future? Of course not – the whole performance would have been a total disaster!
Now imagine another scene. This time the actors have been practicing for months. They started off on stage in rehearsals with the scripts in their hands and reading from those scripts. They learned their lines as they practised what they would say, the way they would speak and the expressions and body language they would use. After a while they learned the script by heart so they no longer needed the script any more. Indeed, they no longer felt like they were working from a script at all. They had become the characters in the play.
After months of rehearsals the opening night came. The audience loved the production and gave the actors a standing ovation. The critics loved the play and recommended everyone saw the production. Tickets were sold out months in advance. The actors reputation grew in stature and because of the success of the production, they were able to command much higher fees for future productions.
Are you getting the picture?
Do you think it might be a good idea to start off by working from a script that has been written and rewritten several times until it is as perfect as it can be? Do you think that if you knew precisely what you were going to say and do, that you would feel more comfortable and in control? Do you think that if you rehearsed the script over and over and practised what you would say and how you would say it that you would become more relaxed, more convincing and more likely to make a sale?
Or are you still going to just turn up on the day, give it a go and see how it turns out?