Sales scripts get a bad rap, but they provide a clear road map to help you position your business in the best way possible. There are many possible approaches to a sales script, and the ones you choose will be influenced by your services or products, how you communicate with prospective customers, and your message. For any approach, the end goal remains the same: to engage customers.
With a few tips, you can ensure that your sales script doesn’t sound impersonal or stilted. Below, learn all about sales scripts and how to develop one for your business.
When pitching a product or service to a potential customer, many sales representatives use sales scripts, whether they are communicating via telephone, email, voicemail or in person.
Though the word “script” is in the phrase, you should think of it less as a traditional script than as a set of guidelines. The most effective sales scripts are succinct, attempt to solve problems, use personal opinions and anecdotes, and tell your brand’s story.
Salespeople should avoid reading a sales script as they talk to a prospect; instead, they should use it as a guide for addressing a potential customer’s questions or concerns. [Read related article: 14 Traits Successful Salespeople Share]
A sales script shouldn’t be a sheet of paper that a salesperson reads from but rather a set of guidelines to engage potential customers.
To develop a sales script, you should ask yourself questions about your product or service, your audience and more. Follow these steps to get started:
A sales script revolves around a specific service or product, so this is the logical first step. Whether you want to sell something that helps businesses grow, improves the hiring process or anything else, your messaging needs to be clear. And if you don’t understand exactly what you want to offer, that will be difficult.
Who do you envision getting the most out of your products or services? If you want to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses by improving their content strategies, for example, you might target new founders who need more guidance and don’t have the right tools in place. Creating a buyer persona will help you craft a stronger message because you can tailor it to them, addressing their pain points, how you can help them and why your product is the right choice for them.
Some businesses use market research and data to create a fictional buyer — for example, a woman in her mid-20s named Sasha who started her business six months ago and has yet to optimize the content on her website. You can also look at your best clients to determine what they have in common.
Ask yourself questions like these:
With your target audience in mind, identify how your product or service will benefit them. Come up with three to five main benefits (although your list may be longer, depending on your service). For example, if you offer accounting services to small business owners, these may be some of your business’s benefits:
This part is twofold: You want to not only show that your business’s benefits can ease the prospects’ pain points but also ask smart questions about the issues they face. Let’s use the accounting service example again. These might be the pain points for small businesses that don’t use an accounting service:
Once you have identified their problems, ask them questions directly related to those pain points:
Because this is all about what you can do for your prospective client, try to spend extra time on this step.
Just like the essays you wrote in high school, your sales pitch needs a conclusion. This will depend on how the conversation goes, but your closing could be to ask them for more time or whether they want to hire you.
Keep in mind that this conversation is about the customer. While you are selling your product or service, you want to give them an incentive to either enlist your services or continue talking to you.
When you’re crafting a sales script, it’s important to be clear and concise, to not dominate the conversation, and to avoid jargon. Check out some examples of sales scripts for different communication methods below.
Introduction: Hello, [potential customer’s name], this is [your name] from [company name]. I help [target audience] [value point]. Is this something you would like to learn more about?
Hello, Sasha. This is Mark Michaels from Michaels Marketing. I help small business owners hire marketing professionals who can hit the ground running. Is this something you would like to learn more about?
Prequalifying questions: I have a few questions: [list questions].
I have a few questions:
Pain points: When speaking with other small business owners, we’ve heard them say [pain points]. Is this a concern for you?
When speaking with other small business owners, we’ve heard them say that they’re unsure how to gauge if a potential hire has the right skills to elevate their marketing. Is this a concern for you?
The product or service: Based on our conversation, you might find it useful to talk at length about what [company name] can do for you. [Company name] [details about product or service].
Based on our conversation, you might find it useful to talk at length about what Michaels Marketing can do for you. Michaels Marketing helps companies find professionals who can handle all things marketing, whether that’s rolling out a campaign from scratch or improving on existing strategies.
Close: I know you weren’t expecting my call, and I want to be respectful of your time. Are you available for a 15- to 20-minute meeting where we can chat further about [pain points]?
I know you weren’t expecting my call, and I want to be respectful of your time. Are you available for a 15- to 20-minute meeting where we can chat further about your marketing goals and how we have helped other companies transform their businesses with the right talent?
Subject line: The right marketing professional for your business
At Michaels Marketing, small business owners regularly tell us:
Do you have time to chat for 15 to 20 minutes about the marketing challenges your business faces? I can share how we have helped other small businesses find marketing professionals who are ready to hit the ground running.
You can book time on my calendar here: [link to tool]
Hello, Sasha. This is Mark Michaels from Michaels Marketing. When speaking with small business owners, we typically hear that:
We can help in all these areas, which is why I have reached out to you today. I will give you a call again next week, but if you want to catch up before then, you can reach me at [phone number].
Again, this is Mark Michaels from Michaels Marketing, and you can reach me at [phone number]. I hope to speak to you soon.
Hi, Sasha. It’s so nice to meet you. I’m Mark Michaels, and through Michaels Marketing, I help small business owners hire marketing professionals who can hit the ground running.
I’d love to learn more about you and your own challenges hiring marketing professionals. I have a few questions:
It’s interesting that you say you aren’t sure how to gauge if a potential hire has the right skills to elevate your marketing. This is something I’ve heard in the past from many other small business owners. To help with that, we set up time with small business owners to learn more about their goals. From there, we can pinpoint what skills you need most in a marketing hire. Is this something you would be interested in?
I don’t want to take up too much of your time. Are you available for a 15- to 20-minute chat so I can help you find the right marketing professional for your business?
Sales scripts are divisive among salespeople. Some find them unnecessary or inauthentic, but there are also many reasons to use sales scripts. A sales script allows you to accomplish the following goals:
When you’re managing a sales team, it’s important to know how team members are communicating with your leads and customers. A sales script serves to do just that, keeping everyone on the same page. Giving your sales team the ability to deviate from the script somewhat may be valuable, but providing a sales script as a helpful guide can improve consistency in the sales process. Consider coupling your sales script with one of the best CRM software platforms, which allow you to log all communications with leads and customers so everyone knows about the most recent interactions your company has had with every individual.
Jacob Bierer-Nielsen contributed to this article.