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How to not sound canned: The value of a bulleted script

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When you call a prospect using a script, you need to incorporate a conversational style.  If you sound like you are reading, you will defeat the purpose of having a well written script

The best way to sound natural, but prepared, is to write a script, and then read it, out loud. After feeling more comfortable with the words, you need to rewrite the script in bulleted phrases.

That way, you will “talk” the key points — in the proper order — and remember the important words. But it will also help you to use your natural gift of talking, while keeping you on track with what you are trying to say.  It will also keep your script to the 35-40 second recommended length.

I’ve written a script both in literary format and in “conversation” format so you can see how a script would be converted to a bulleted version for speaking on the phone.  This is a script for a new agent calling their natural market.

Hi, this is _______ and I’m sure that you’ve heard about my new career with (name of your company).  I’m really excited about it and the reason I’ve called is that I would like to position myself as an additional financial resource to you. 

I want to set up a time when we can get together so I can share with you the total scope of the work that I do.  That way, you can use me, my expertise and the resources of my company any way that makes you feel the most comfortable. With that in mind, what is less hectic — days or evenings?

Format your calls

  • heard about my new career

  • excited about it

  • reason I’ve called

  • position myself

  • additional financial resource

  • get together

  • share with you

  • total scope of the work that I do

  • me, expertise, resources

  • any way that makes you feel the most comfortable

  • less hectic

Note that the bulleted version is only the key phrases of the script. If you try to talk a script that is written in full, literary English, you will hamper your natural talking ability (and isn’t that part of why you are in sales?).

Use double spacing for the bulleted version.  Have the complete script on the same page (either above or below the bulleted version), but in a smaller font and single spaced.  Read it out loud several times so that only using key phrases will work.

If you don’t know the script, this will only make you hesitate more on the phone!

January call backs

Many of you will find prospects that just won’t meet with you before the holidays and insist that you call them after January.  If someone twice says, “No, really, I need you to call me after the holidays,” then you should try to schedule an appointment for early January while you have them on the phone.  If that doesn’t work, then move them to your January 2011 call back file.  When you actually make the call in early January, keep your script short and sweet:

Happy New Year! It’s Gail Goodman. How were your holidays? (Give this conversation a minute or two).  I’m calling to continue our conversation about getting together and I have my calendar in front of me.  Would earlier or later next week be easier for you?

Don’t over-script! If you expect client prospects to remember you and your call for an appointment is not a surprise, keep the script short and to the point.

Read also these columns by Gail B. Goodman:

To qualify or not qualify the prospect: That is the question

Scheduling appointments: Stop typing and start talking

Meeting a prospect at a social event: the right way to network

Digital-vocal-personal: Determining the right communication mix



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