In any sales role, the thought of having a sales script is often a topic of debate. Some sales trainers swear by the script, while other have the exact opposite mentality. My personal thought on scripts lies somewhere in between these two opposite ideologies.
Benefits of a Script
Scripts offer the sales rep a guarantee that they can say exactly what they want to say. There is no fear of forgetting a specific point that you want to make or having to make an on-the-fly decision of what to say when the person on the other end of the phone answers the call. We have all received spam phone calls with a scripted sales rep on the other end that is reading verbatim off of a company dictated sales script. They never miss a beat, and they don’t have to worry about what words to use.
Disadvantages of a Script
Scripts sound awful! This is simply the #1 reason that scripts disgust me when they are read verbatim. The sales rep sounds robotic and nowhere remotely close to genuine when they talk to you. They make you feel like you’re not even listening to a human being talk. Personally, I tend to just hang up the phone when I receive a call like this. Sometimes, though, if I’m feeling up to it I will hear the person out and ask them if they are reading off a script. It’s kind of fun to throw them off their game a little bit.
I found myself searching for scripts online when I first entered the logistics world and needed to make cold calls to prospective clients. I even watched videos online that showed various brokers and sales reps making cold calls. My thought at the time was that I would find the one that sounded best and emulate it myself. This was a mistake.
What I’ve found with time is that every phone call is different. Every person you talk to is different. Therefore, every call that I made had to flow different than the others, even if just slightly. I noticed that there were common questions, objections, and topics that came up in my best calls, so I decided to make myself a reference sheet rather than a script. I wrote down questions that I wanted to ask the prospect. The more questions that I was able to get through on a call, the better the call usually went.
Asking questions is a great way to gain valuable information from a prospect. When you can uncover needs or pain points in the prospect’s business, you can identify the value and solutions that you can offer them. By keeping the call very conversational rather than robotic or pre-planned, you can keep the mood light and your nerves calm.
It took me a few months to really get in my groove and comfort zone which made the calls that much easier as time went on. There is no quick fix perfect script that will win you more business. Strong phone skills are the key to successful freight brokers, and you will develop them over time. You will find your own voice, and the calls will feel much more natural the more that you do. This is why repetition is crucial as you build your book of business.
If you’re having a tough time as you start off, I also recommend that you listen in on other people’s calls to listen to their tone of voice, how they start their call, and the questions that they ask. This is a great way to identify what you like and don’t like about someone else’s method. Take this information and apply it to your call process as you grow.
You have an objective when making sales calls; you should be moving your prospect through the sales process and setting up the next step in closing them. If you have a great call and really connect with a prospect, it can be easy to forget to setup a follow up call or meeting with them. Before you hop on a call, have a plan for what you want to accomplish and what your goal is for the next step. That could be setting up another call, sharing your contact information, asking for a chance to bid on some lanes, etc. Don’t forget this crucial piece in the equation. It’s likely different for each call, but make sure you have a plan in mind and stick to it.
Now go make some calls!