In telemarketing services, out telemarketers started out by discussing why they all hate scripts. Here’s what our agents say when I ask them, “Why don’t you like the scripts you’ve been given by your company?” These are some few of their responses.
- I sound like I’m reading.
- They sound robotic.
- I feel like I’m reading.
- It doesn’t sound like me.
- It’s confining.
- I can’t respond to the client the way I want to.
- The message may not fit the client.
- I sound like a telemarketer. All those things are true. But now let’s compare scripting to ad-libbing. What are the dangers of ad-libbing?
- You say “um” and “er” because you are thinking.
- You sound unprofessional.
- You might talk too much.
- You go out on tangents that don’t relate to getting an appointment.
- You miss the point of the call.
- You might be boring.
We can agree that ad-libbing can be dangerous, but an interesting truth to remember about ad-libbing is that you may, in fact, say something brilliant! But because you adlibbed, you cannot capture the brilliant verbiage and then repeat it. By ad-libbing, you may be losing the best words you accidentally say because they were not written down.
So we have to find a happy medium between ad-libbing, going on tangents, just saying whatever comes to your mind, and being so confined by a script that you sound like a robot that is spitting out words you would never use.
The motto for good scripting is “Planned, not canned.”
You need to know what you are going to say, and yet you must be able to say something that fits your personality— and matches what you need to say to that particular prospect. Let’s talk about how to construct a script and yet put your own personality into it. It’s important to think in terms of good phrases instead of learning scripts by heart. I am not a big fan of memorizing a script unless you can memorize it but say it out loud in a natural way. Most people do a whole lot better by listing the key phrases in the script and then using their natural talking ability to get their message across.