Give me a salesperson who’s struggling to fill his or her calendar with client appointments, and I’ll show you a sales rep without a phone script. Unfortunately, many salespeople labor under the false belief that they’re too experienced to use a phone script and, as a result, sabotage their phone calling effectiveness and income. A well-designed and properly rehearsed script is a powerful tool for projecting a confident and competent professional image. In addition, a script guarantees that every call is delivered in a consistent and concise manner.

Sales reps who prefer to “wing it” and shoot from the hip, tend to lose focus and are quickly sidetracked down numerous unproductive paths. It’s been said that the only thing worse than listening to a salesperson using a phone script is to listen to one without a script.

There’s absolutely no substitute for preparation and practice. Top producers understand the value of using a script, but you can’t tell they’re speaking from a script. Just like a movie actor, they practice and rehearse their words over and over again until they sound smooth and conversational.

Here are some proven tips to help you create a phone script that will keep your appointment calendar full:

  • Write out your entire phone script from “hello” to “goodbye.”
  • State your name and organization at the beginning of the call.
  • Timing is everything. Be considerate by asking your prospects if they have a minute to speak with you. If your call is viewed as an interruption, you’re dead in the water before you even begin. If your prospects indicate that it’s not a good time for your call, apologize for the interruption and ask them when it would be OK for you to call back.
  • Use a series of open-ended questions to draw your prospect out. Keep in mind when you design your script that your primary goal is not to sell something but rather to build rapport, gather information and make an appointment.
  • People are more comfortable with salespeople who they feel are similar to them. Use your voice to build trust and rapport quickly by “matching and mirroring” your prospect’s voice tone, pitch and pace.
  • Never interrupt your prospects and allow them plenty of time to respond to your questions.
  • Look for opportunities to make an appointment; don’t just answer questions. Avoid the temptation to answer all of your prospects’ questions over the phone and instead guide them toward scheduling a face-to-face meeting.