Telephone sales can be very difficult. No doubt about it.

Many people claim the only way to be successful is to work from a phone sales script.  Others say the days of using a script are long gone.

My view of phone sales scripts is they’re an essential tool if you expect to be successful in selling over the telephone.

I’m not saying you should use a telephone sales script when you’re on a call; what I’m saying is you should use them for preparation.

Think of your phone sales script as a playbook a football player might use to know what he should do in a particular situation.   In the same way a football team has playbook which contains plays, each individual play has multiple options.

The reason for the options is to allow the offense to be in the best position to take advantage of weaknesses they may see in the defense.

Same thing applies in telephone sales.

The script is what you rehearse with, it’s what you base your telephone call on, but once the call begins, you’re prepared to go with an option.

I’m a firm believer in using phone sales scripts from which to practice, but under no circumstance do I suggest you should stick with the script once the call begins.

Could you imagine the members of a football team taking their playbooks onto the field with them?  How funny would it be for them to put their playbook on the ground in front of them to help guide them as to what to do once the play begins?  There’s no way that would happen, so why go into a sales call with the phone sales script right in front of you guiding every word you say?

Use your script to prepare and to know your key points and each part of your selling process, but once the call begins, allow yourself to be flexible enough to adapt to the other person on the phone.

I have an quote I like to use in sales training sessions: “The best presentation ever made is the presentation never given.”   My objective with the quote is simple — you know your material so well that once it’s time to actually make the sales call, you don’t need your material.  When you know your material this well, it becomes easy then to flex with the customer.

The take away in all of this is simple — have a phone sales script that you use to help you learn and know what it is you’re offering.  However, once the phone call begins, put the script aside and handle the call based off of your knowledge, experience and personality.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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