We’re all familiar with the poorly-written sales pitch: vague, slow to develop, and too much about product details rather than why it’s perfect for you.
Yet while it’s easy to point out these failings, writing a sales script that dodges those pitfalls is a much steeper mountain to climb. If it were that simple, we’d all be millionaires! Writing a winning sales script may be difficult, but it is doable – and this guide will show you just how to get it done.
Sales Scripts: What They Are and Why You Need One
First off, what exactly is a sales script?
A sales script is any predetermined dialogue, guide, or framework that shapes sales reps’ pitches to potential customers. Most sales teams use sales scripts for cold calls or sales calls to qualified prospects, but they could guide interactions at every stage of the sales cycle.
Despite its name, a sales script can be as vague as a checklist of questions or as detailed as a full dialogue tree, with options depending on the direction of the conversation. Your sales team should determine what works best for them.
You may be asking yourself: shouldn’t a talented sales rep be able to go up to a customer and wing it? Doesn’t a script take the “personal” out of personal selling? These are good questions.
And it’s true that sharp sales reps often flow through a pitch like water going downhill. But you can rest assured that they weren’t born that way. They’ve probably had years of practice with thousands of customers. More importantly, they’re likely following an internal sales script they’ve honed and perfected over the years.
For a new sales rep or new business, a script ensures everybody’s on the same page. If left to their own devices, an errant and untrained sales rep could waste hours fumbling through sales calls, making promises the company can’t keep, and damaging its reputation. Sales scripts provide much-needed guidance and alignment, while giving reps the flexibility to adapt to each customer as they see fit.
Steps to Writing a Sales Script
Now that you’re aware of their benefits, it’s time to learn how to write a good sales script.
It’s a bit more complicated than banging out a simple conversation that ends in a massive sale. Here are some steps to follow to craft a good outline and start your first draft.
1. Set Your Goals
A sales script isn’t a one-size-fits-all outline for customer interactions. A cold call with a potential lead, for instance, is drastically different from a post-purchase follow-up.
Though you’ll likely need to write a sales script for each sales conversation, let’s focus on your first one: the cold pitch that will begin conversations with potential customers and likely serve as the foundation for your other sales scripts. We can call it the “cold call script,” though it might be used in other situations.
Consider the exact product you’re attempting to sell, any impressions the potential customer might have that you’ll need to overcome, and actions the customer must take next to move down the sales funnel.
For a cold call script, your initial goal will likely be learning more about the customer or gauging their interest in your product offering. While your ultimate goal is of course a sale, your immediate objective is getting the prospect to agree to another phone call or schedule a demo.
Having an achievable, short-term goal in mind not only helps narrow the focus of your script, but also sets metrics to gauge sales reps’ success.
2. Know Your Target Audience
Remember, sales are a two-way street. You know what you want to sell, and maybe how you’d like to sell it, but it’s impossible to know what the potential customer needs, or how they’re feeling that day. Even so, the next step in this process is to consider the person on the other side.
Who, exactly, is your customer? What problem would they like to solve? What’s motivating their conversation? Do some online research to get a sense of your prospect’s situation. The more you know, the better you can tailor your pitch to match their needs.
If your company has multiple target audiences, you might want to write a number of sales scripts targeting each one. Just know that it might take some time.
3. Develop Your Benefits
We’ve come to the heart of your pitch. How does your product solve your target customer’s problem or address their particular pain point? Use powerful examples to highlight tangible benefits they can expect from your product.
If you’re selling an air filter, for instance, telling potential customers that it captures particles as small as .2 microns is unlikely to deliver major sales. Much better would be to say it “removes 99.9% of all dust, pollen, and bacteria, making the air in your home clean, fresh, and safe!”
Your message should be clear, concise, and focused on the benefits. Keep in mind that these benefits can go beyond the product itself; you could mention unlimited customer support or free shipping. Be sure to take the time to get this part right – it could go a long way toward determining your sales success.
4. Anticipate Objections
If you were a consumer, what would prevent you from buying this product? Anticipate these questions and objections, and address them in the script.
Here are the four most common sales objections and tips for working around them:
- Problem: Buyer has an issue with the price.
- Solution: Highlight the value and benefits and/or negotiate the scope.
- Problem: Buyer has little need for your product.
- Solution: Dig deeper into prospect’s pain points and target one that’s more potent.
- Problem: Buyer sees a need but doesn’t consider the matter urgent.
- Solution: Remind them of their goals and how your product can help them get there. Ask them to explain why it’s not urgent – this might be a cover-up for another issue with money or authority.
- Problem: Buyer is leery of your company.
- Solution: Highlight your authority in the market and customer success stories.
You could either address these concerns before the prospect can think of them or give the prospect time to ask these questions and have an answer prepared. The former would likely be faster, but the latter could help build rapport.
Don’t be discouraged by an objection – there’s a good chance it means your prospect is paying attention and thinking critically about your offer!
5. Make It a Personal Conversation
It’s hard to believe, but on successful B2B cold calls sales reps spend nearly as much time listening as they do talking (55% to 45%), according to a study by CRM consultancy Gong.
Thus, the image of the smooth-talking master of sales is largely a cliche; to succeed, your sales reps need to listen to buyers’ needs just as much as they promote your goods. This helps build a rapport and a human connection.
Your reps should introduce themselves by name and build an identity beyond “salesperson.” Research the prospect and their company, learn their goals and mission, and give them space to talk freely and open up about their pain points. Nobody wants to be told what they need; we prefer to come to such realizations on our own.
The script should flow like a conversation, with opportunities for your prospect to give opinions and ask questions. If your sales script is three minutes of information bombardment, your prospect will likely hang up.
This step applies mostly to B2B sales, but B2C sales pitches should follow the same principle of building a connection. Once you’ve set your buyer persona or ideal customer profile, research the lingo they use and the values they’ll respond to.
6. Give a Call to Action
Wrap up your sales script with a call to action your prospect can easily act upon.
You might be tempted to close more broadly, with something like “would you be interested in this?” or “does that make sense?” But closing questions like this tend to overwhelm and feel a bit aggressive.
A call to action, on the other hand, can reflect your main objective. You could ask “Do you have five minutes right now to discuss purchase details?” or “What’s a good date for you to view a demo?”
Even if the answer is no, they’ll likely offer more details that your sales reps can use. If you’ve done your job right and built a connection, the prospect should be on their way down the sales pipeline, fast-tracked toward closing a sale.
7. Refine and Practice
The pen might be mightier than the sword, but just like a sword, your sales script needs to be tempered in fire before it can be wielded. Run through it with some family and friends and get their feedback.
Sit down with your sales team and see where they think it could be improved. This could mean adding more detail, taking out boring bits, or changing the structure. Once you’ve got a final version, make sure your reps practice it until it sounds natural and they can answer any question without batting an eye.
Example Sales Scripts
Seeing all the steps to write a good sales script might be intimidating, but the hard work is well worth it. Read through these two examples and see for yourself the impact of a well-thought-out script.
Let’s say I’m writing a cold call script to sell the Zephyr, a small, mid-priced, low-noise cordless vacuum cleaner. My target audience is work-from-home professionals who live in cities. I’m looking to close the sale immediately at their doorstep.
Bad Sales Script
Hello and welcome to the Zephyr! Are you tired of wrestling with bulky, heavy vacuum cleaners that make cleaning a chore? Do you need a cleaning solution that’s convenient and affordable? The Zephyr is the perfect solution for work-from-home professionals who live in cities.
The Zephyr offers a range of benefits to make cleaning easier and more convenient, including:
- Cordless design: Say goodbye to tripping over cords or struggling to find an outlet. Our cordless vacuum is easy to move around without being tethered.
- Lightweight and portable: Our vacuum cleaner is lightweight and easy to carry around, making it perfect for small apartments and home offices.
- Easy to use: With simple and intuitive controls, our wireless vacuum cleaner is easy to use and maintain.
- Affordable: Our mid-priced vacuum cleaner is a great value for anyone who wants to invest in a quality cleaning solution without breaking the bank.
- Versatile: Our vacuum cleaner comes with a range of attachments to make cleaning floors, carpets, and furniture a breeze.
You may be wondering, “How is the Zephyr different from other models on the market?” The Zephyr is designed with your specific needs in mind. We understand that living in a city means dealing with smaller spaces, and that’s why we’ve made our vacuum cleaner lightweight, portable, and easy to use. We also offer a mid-priced option that’s affordable and effective, making it accessible for anyone looking to upgrade their cleaning routine.
So, are you ready to experience the benefits of the Zephyr? Don’t wait any longer to make cleaning easier and more convenient. Order your Zephyr today and start enjoying a cleaner, more comfortable home or home office. Thank you for considering our product, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
Good Sales Script
Hello [prospect name]! I’m Victoria from Four Winds, where our products make housekeeping a breeze. I understand you work from home, which can be pretty demanding on your living space. How has your recent experience been in terms of keeping your home clean?
[Prospect gives detail on their housekeeping experience, mentions troubles vacuuming.]
I see how that could be a problem. Well, if you’re having trouble, I’d like to introduce you to the Zephyr, a vacuum cleaner that won’t break the bank – or your back. The Zephyr’s battery-powered, lightweight, and near-noiseless design means you can clean even while chatting on the phone!
[Prospect says they already have a vacuum cleaner and can’t afford a new one.]
I understand, but think of this – for just $75 you can forget about backaches, worrying about the kids tripping on the cord, or upsetting the whole house with noise. And if you’re not happy with your purchase, we offer a full refund for a full three months after purchase! That’s more than enough time to take the Zephyr for a test drive.
If you’re ready to move forward, we can process your payment and get a Zephyr to you by tomorrow.
Note that the bad sales script was written by an AI. On top of being long-winded and robotic, it also fabricated details about the product and company. So it’s best not to cut corners with your sales script!
You can have the most amazing product in the world, but your company will struggle if your sales team can’t close deals. One sure route to sales is an excellent cold call script, which helps your sales reps put their best forward when interacting with prospects and guiding them through the sales funnel.
Take your time and follow the steps laid out above. With luck, you’ll soon have an excellent sales script that will boost your revenue and put your business on the fast-track to success.
FAQs When Writing a Sales Script
What’s a sales script, and why do I need one?
A sales script is a written or spoken message that outlines the key benefits and features of your product. It’s mostly used for cold calling, but you can write a sales script for any part of the sales process to persuade potential customers to move through the sales funnel. A sales script guides a rep’s sales conversation through key talking points about your product, company, and potential objections.
Who is my target audience when writing a sales script?
Your target audience will vary depending on the product or service you’re selling, but it’s important to clearly picture your buyer persona before writing. Consider factors such as demographics, location, and budget in your description. For example, if you’re selling a vacuum cleaner, your target audience might be middle-class work-from-home professionals in the city.
How do I write an effective sales script?
To write an effective sales script, consider your goals and target audience, outline your product’s benefits, anticipate objections, make it a conversation, and end it with a call to action. Once you’re done, refine and practice your sales script before testing it out on customers.
How can I test the effectiveness of my sales script?
One way to test the effectiveness of your sales script is to use A/B testing. This involves creating two different versions of your script and testing them with different segments of your target audience. You can also solicit feedback from customers or colleagues, or use analytics to track metrics such as conversion rates.
How often should I update my sales script?
It’s a good idea to review and update your sales script regularly, especially if it’s not achieving the results you want. You should also update your script if there are changes to your product or service, your target audience, or your competition. A well-crafted sales script is a work in progress, so don’t be afraid to make changes as needed.