Engaging Sales Scripts: Examples for Door-to-Door, Telemarketer, and Event Marketers
I'm not married. "Ohhh noooo," I think. "Yesss?"
"This is Miranda calling with Mother's Against Drunk Driving, and we're calling today to talk to you about dying children, and I'm sure you're aware that blah was blah blah this year, and blah blah in your community and blah blah blah buy a magazine."
This was the call I got this morning. Or at least this was what I heard. It seems some telemarketing firms need some serious help writing an engaging script. The phone reps are mumbling about death and economic depression in their first breath, and I'm not even listening after their introduction. They're not excited about what they're talking about, so I'm not either.
In telemarketing sales, as in all forms of effective one-on-one (called "interpersonal") communication, the message has to leave your mouth, travel through the phone, reach my ear, and be translated by my brain the exact way you want me to understand it. Rattling off a script with the enthusiasm of a post office clerk will not sell me on an idea or a product I was not planning on buying in the first place.
To be successful in sales, it drastically helps to know how to identify with and how to engage your customer. You have to toss a life preserver into that pool of indifference, the dead-air of silence that existed before you two met, that their ego, their sense of self, their pride, excitedly wants to grab onto.
I've worked in direct sales since I was 6 years old. Well, that was when my dad took me to my first Home Improvement Expo. He was selling water softeners to the passing public, and I was in charge of the table display. I'd fan out the business cards, line up the brochures, and neatly organize the magnets while he'd talk to every single person that walked by.
"Catch the game last night?" I'd hear him ask the man in the Pirates hat. "2-run homer in the 12th...unbelievable". Or, "You're from Franklin? You come down Route 8 there?". My wide child eyes saw that dad was friends with everybody! And it made him so happy! He was always laughing and smiling at these shows. I remember asking him - a lot - "do you know him?" after a customer would continue by our booth. "Yeah", he'd say, "he's a customer".
Dad told me years later after I started my own career in promotions and sales how much he hated those shows. And while he did know a lot of people in our small town back then, dad didn't personally know everybody, but you couldn't tell. It's likely he did go on to meet everyone else in town in his 35 years (and counting) in sales, most of them customers of his several times over.
Even when I visit my hometown, I get stopped by strangers at the gas station or the grocery store: "You're Mike's daughter! Tell your dad I said 'hi,'" they fondly say with a smile. Dad knew the keys to successful selling were personal relationships, positivity, and truth, and he still gets excited when we sit down to discuss our current sales pitches.
Treat Your Customers Well
If you want sales to treat you well, you have to treat your customers well. Think of it as sales karma—the Golden Rule is in effect here. If you want your job to make you smile, first you have to give a smile. It all starts with this. No, it's not easy to smile when you haven't made a sale all week. I had 0 smiles to spare after making $10 working all day outside in a Colorado blizzard.
As any sales professional can tell you, keeping your attitude is something you'll have to practice. Experience is your best teacher here.
In the meantime, there are tips and tools you can use in your actual sales pitch to help close a sale. A sales pitch isn't magic or talent, even if the sales rep is talented, or a magician. The sales pitch is a system, a methodology, that a sales rep is hired to use consistently. Even the most mediocre of scripts will yield some results if used consistently.
So while I have no money for magazines today, Ms. Telemarketer here is my actual contribution to your campaign.
5 Steps to Writing an Effective Sales Pitches
"Hi! How are you?". This is it! Say these 4 words, then shut up. The introduction is a question, and it's meant to elicit a response. If your customer doesn't answer this, they're not answering anything else, and you should move on to your next lead.
This tells who you are, what you're doing, and qualifies them for your sale.
Who you are: Tell them something they already know. Recognition is key here. If you're selling DirecTV, say "I'm with DirecTV". If you're a new company trying to make a name for yourself, mention your popular competition. "You know Chem-Lawn, right? We're ABC Lawn Care, we do what Chem-Lawn does (yes, say it again!) right here in Erie (mention the town they live in for double word score!)
What you're doing: This preps your customer for what you're about to ask them to buy. Give them an idea so they can start thinking of how to use your product or service as you continue your pitch. A common example would be "we're just in your neighborhood looking for new customers..." and in the same breath, qualify them:
Qualify them for the product/or service: "...you have a lawn, right?". "You watch TV, right?". If they say no, rebut them with "well you know someone who does, right?".
Asking "right?" after your qualifying question gets them to say "yes". The more they say "yes" to throughout your pitch, the more motivation they have to say "yes" to your close. Once you qualify them, that is, get a question here that they can say "yes" to, move on. If you can't qualify them, you won't sell them. Might as well move on to your next lead.
Now, mention three (and only three) benefits of your product and service. You know dozens of reasons why your product is worth buying, but the presentation needs to be quick and to the point.
Save the other benefits for answering any questions they may have. For now, choose three benefits that directly relate to how they qualified for your service.
"Our lawn service (1.) gives you greener lawns with (2.) no chemicals for (3.) less money". Or, "Our TV service gives you (1.) all the channels you're already watching with (2.) better quality for (3.) less money than you're spending now". 1-2-3 done. No more talking about your benefits.
Note: Price Pitch
If you're selling something they have to pay for today, you'll want to pitch the price here. To pitch price, tell them how much it is at a store they know, how much it is through you, and how much they save. Use the word "dollars" to make things sound pricey and "bucks" to make them sound cheap. For example, "Wal-Mart sells this emergency kit for 50 dollars, but we sell the same one for just 20 bucks. That puts 30 dollars right back into your pocket!" Then seal the price pitch with an obvious "yes" question, such as, "you like saving money, right?". And "yes" they'll say - and you go for the close.
Yes, "assume the sale"—act as if they have already told you they want to buy. After all, they did just tell you "yes" (once, twice, maybe three times by now if you're getting good). The next sound out of your mouth is you're closing sentence, and it gives them one of two choices. Calling to schedule appointments? Ask, "So, does Tuesday or Wednesday work best for your free consult?". Selling candy bars door-to-door? "So do you want two like everybody else or just one for yourself?". Starter kits for ... whatever? "Everyone's picking up the enhanced pack this week because it's on sale, did you want to do that too, or just get the basic kit?"
Now, this is the moment of truth. They will either agree to buy your product or they will try to back out. The more you've related to them up to this point (smile, share a laugh, tell them you too have children, or watch TV, or whatever they qualified for in the beginning), the harder it will be for them to back out. Whether your customer has decided to buy or is undecided about buying right now, you can end the conversation with "and we take cash and checks and cards, whatever's easiest for you."
After you've written up their order is a great time to tell them about that "special promotion" you forgot for buying customers. Use the momentum you've started to get them to buy one to sell two! "Oh, I almost forgot - since you bought one, you get another half off! Did you want green or red?". Or, "You know, since you scheduled for Wednesday I could do another estimate in your area, can you think of anyone else who's (qualify them) got bad water?".
Once you've composed your effective and engaging sales script, be sure to use it consistently with every single person. While the words and structure of the script are important, the interaction between you and the customer is even MORE important! Pausing to let them answer is the key to engagement, and will actively involve your customer in your pitch.
Asking questions they can't say no to helps them to decide for themselves that they do want to buy your product, and will close more deals for you. So to increase recognition of your product or service, and to increase YOUR sales, use these 5 steps. Your customers will be happier, and once your sales increase, you will be too!
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.