Salespeople – especially new ones – like scripts. They believe that having the “right” words to say will improve their chances of success.
But the danger with using a script is that your language becomes rote and bland and you get so wrapped up in trying to memorize and deliver someone else’s words that you don’t pay attention to the person in front of you. Let me explain.
I often say, “If I can show you how to make more money in less time and have a better quality of life, should we chat?” Is that a script? Maybe, but for me it’s more of a conversation starter. Real estate is a relationship business, and everyone’s circumstances are different. I think it’s important for us to be compassionate leaders; to ask questions, listen, and to really understand the person in front of us. More than the words you say, people care about your intentions. When someone has good intentions, even if they mess up a little bit, you can feel it.
Back in the ‘70s, and ‘80s, scripts were the way to do business because we were in a push rather than a pull marketing culture. Push marketing was all about touting your sales awards and making sure everyone knew you were a big deal. Marketing was more about ego, so it followed that if you parroted the script of a top producer, you could be a top producer too. I believe that we’ve evolved tremendously since then.
Today people want to be tied to a cause. They want to be passionate about something. They want to know that they can add value. They want to be able to grow as human beings. How are you going to find out what your prospects are passionate about, what matters to them and what their super powers are, if you’re spouting a script and delivering, “the company line”? It’s so much more important to ask the right questions.
So many times last year and in a variety of circumstances, I heard these words, “I wasn’t heard. I wasn’t asked. I was misunderstood. They misinterpreted my intent,” and this really struck a nerve with me. Although you don’t have hundreds of hours in a day to chill out with people, you can take a minute to stop and acknowledge the person in front of you. You can ask effective questions so that you get to the meat of what that person is really looking for. If you’re more concerned about speaking your script than listening, you won’t know if that prospect is right for your business and they won’t feel heard. It’s better to find out up front if they’re not a good fit. While using a script can be useful when you’re learning the ropes or to help you become comfortable talking to people, selling is not about coercing somebody, it’s about being compassionate, listening to what they want, and having the sincere intention to help them achieve it.