I was talking with a former customer of Sales Scripter this week, and she mentioned that they did not need Sales Scripter anymore because “sales scripts are really only something that new salespeople need,” and they let their new salesperson go. She mentioned how she and others on the team have 18-plus years of sales experience, so they really don’t need to use a script.
As she was saying this, I was thinking how much I completely disagreed with what she was saying, but I chose not to get into a philosophical discussion with her and try to change her mind. There are so many reasons why I believe she does not see things correctly, but to try to outline those or change her mind during a quick phone conversation would not have led anywhere.
My response was to let her say what she wanted to say, and I then canceled her subscription. But here are some of the reasons that I disagree with how she sees things:
Does experience always help someone to know what to say and ask?
Yes, an experienced salesperson may never be at a loss for words when talking with a prospect. They can go on and on about their company and their products. And they usually are good at keeping the conversation going with the prospect.
But this does not mean that their sales pitch is good and that they are asking the right questions or going down the right talk tracks. I have found myself in conversations with experienced salespeople where they would not stop talking about their products and never stopped to ask me questions to learn anything about me and really determine if I needed what they were trying to sell.
Yes, it can help a new salesperson who has no idea what to say. But they can also help an experienced salesperson to stay on the right track in terms of their pitch and questions.
Is what you are saying working?
Do you feel what you are saying is working when you talk with prospects? Are you always able to extract the key information that you need? Are you always able to keep conversations going? Able to easily identify what problems the prospect is having? Able to separate the good prospects from the bad? Are you able to easily close prospects?
If you cannot answer all of those with an extremely confident “Yes,” there could be an improvement in your efforts by adding an element of sales scripts.
Do you know exactly what questions to ask?
You may have 10, 20, or 30 years of sales experience. But do you always know exactly what questions you should ask in all the different prospecting situations you find yourself in?
Whether you realize it or not, there are different pre-qualifying questions that you should ask when talking to different prospects. When you change the product you are trying to drive demand for, the questions should change. When you change the type of prospect that you are talking to, the questions should change.
What I personally find is that the more sales experience someone has, the fewer questions they usually ask when they talk with prospects.
We are not completely scripting conversations out. They can be more of lists of key questions that you should ask in different situations.
Are you able to consistently get around objections and gatekeepers?
There is one guarantee in sales, and that is that you are going to have to face both gatekeepers and objections when prospecting. These are difficult for salespeople of all levels of experience. Do you feel like you know how to consistently get around them?
The good thing with this area is that there are only a handful of different objections and gatekeeper situations that you are going to consistently face. With that being the case, it is fairly easy to stop and think about what responses you need to consistently get around the different roadblocks.
If you try to have all of these different responses in your head and improvise without any type of sales script, you might not always be ready with the right thing to say.
The alternative that we suggest is simply to create some that list out how to respond to gatekeepers and objections. This will help the most experienced salesperson improve their results.
Do you find yourself having difficulty closing deals?
One of the most common areas that experienced salespeople want to improve is to be a better closer. This is interesting because they feel like their pitch is fine, but then it is difficult to close.
Closing should actually be the easiest step in your sales cycle. The reason it is not easy is that their pitch is off and that they are not saying and asking the right stuff during the sales process.
Let me give you a quick example. If you improve your ability to ask good pre-qualifying questions, you will do a better job of screening out the bad prospects that don’t fit well. By simply doing this one thing, you will immediately improve your close rate as it will be easier to close the prospects you pursue because they will fit better.
But if you don’t use any type of sales script, it can be tough to always know what pre-qualifying questions to ask. Yes, an experienced salesperson does not need a script that tells them everything to say. But a document that simply lists out the key questions to ask can help a salesperson of any level to stay on the right track when talking with prospects.
There was not a thought in my mind to try to share these points with this customer. I could tell by how she talked to me that there was nothing that I could say that would make her see things differently. She has 18 years of sales experience and does not need a sales script.
As I have hired people and worked with clients, I have learned that sometimes you just can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But if you agree with only half of all of that, you can see that sales scripts are not just for those who are new to sales.