This guest episode felt more like a fireside chat or a (non) argument at the bar about sales scripts.
[Spoiler – we both pretty much agree on the use of scripts, from the full word for word to outline mode for experienced reps]
Darryl, my sales experience brother from north of the border, and I talk about:
- The definition of a sales script
- Should you read it word for word?
- The different types/phases of scripts
- What to do if the script makes you sound robotic
- How you should have flexibility when using a script
- How being too fluid might mean you lost control
- Trusting professional sales people to know what to do
- And lot’s more…
Links from Darryl:
Darryl Praill, Chief Marketing Officer of VanillaSoft, is a high-tech marketing executive with over 25 years’ experience spanning startups, re-starts, consolidations, acquisitions, divestments and IPO’s. He has been widely quoted in the media including television, press, and trade publications. He is a guest lecturer, public speaker, and radio personality and has been featured in numerous podcasts, case studies, and best-selling books.
Praill is a former recipient of the coveted Forty Under 40 Award, and has held senior executive roles in leading companies including Sybase (now SAP), Cognos (now IBM), webPLAN (now Kinaxis), and CML Emergency Services (now AIRBUS). He has raised over $75 million in venture funding across multiple organizations and consulted with world-class corporations including Salesforce, SAP, and Nielsen. He is a Computer Science graduate from Sheridan College.
Episode 30a – Transcript
Jason: Welcome to The Sales Experience Podcast. This is another special guest episode. So, I do my best to find a wide range of people to talk with that could include some value, whether you’re a salesperson or sales leader. And today, I’m excited to have a conversation and see where this is going to go. It’s always fascinating whenever I’ve talked to this person or seen him talk. I have Darryl Praill on with me today and he works for a company called VanillaSoft. And if you’re on LinkedIn, or social media, and literally everywhere, anywhere, and you’re in the marketing technology, or business to business, sales, space, anything like that, you have seen him and his videos, and he is all over the place. Darryl, welcome to the sales experience podcast.
Darryl: Jason, my friend, thank you for having me. I am tickled to be here dude. I am really, really excited about the show.
Jason: I think this is fun, because it’s one of those things where this is a rarity now in this day and age, where we actually met in person first and–
Darryl: Let’s talk the crazy talk. I know.
Jason: And then connected on LinkedIn and then now we’re actually talking. Usually in this day and age, it’s like linking up with people online, which is great, because you can do it all over the world. I mean, you’re in Canada, we met at the Martech Conference in San Jose, Silicon Valley a few months ago. And your session, which was hilarious and awesome at the same time, which was the Day Marketing Held Sales People Accountable. I thought that was fasting because it’s a marketing conference full of marketing people who are all excited to hear you bash on salespeople who are not being held accountable. And then here I am a sales guy in the audience also excited because I know that accountability for salespeople can be tough.
Darryl: And the irony of that whole conversation for the audience here was the title of that presentation was meant to infer I was going to hold that. But the reality was actually ended up defending them and explaining why they do what they do and how to overcome their challenges. But yeah, no, I love that title. Every time I do that presentation, the first thing I asked the audience is how many people like even read the abstract. You just saw the title and you came and like overwhelming their hands go up, it’s just because the title. So yeah, a little bit of clickbait in that title, but I do like it.
Jason: Well, and it does address an interesting conversation for another time, or people I’m sure can find your thoughts on that online. But today, what I wanted to talk about was sales scripts. Now, obviously, you work for a company, VanillaSoft, you’re in charge of the marketing. And it’s a great piece of technology that helps with the sales flow and sales people from a marketing aspect. And again, holding salespeople accountable and giving them the tech to fill in there. But for sales scripts, which is kind of where the conversation goes, right? So first, there’s marketing that generates some kind of lead. In the business business space, it’s the market qualified lead and then the sales rep takes over. Some companies have scripts, some don’t; what are your thoughts on sales? Great. Let’s start there. Your thoughts on sales scripts?
Darryl: So if you want entertaining, I’ll answer your question shortly. If you want an entertaining, entertaining and our piece of entertainment, around the topic of scripts a few months back, I did a live stream debate not even like an educational session like Jason and I are there right now, it was a debate. And basically it was called to script or not to script and I did this with a fellow named Benjamin Denhain. If you know Benjamin then you know how to write. His moniker is well deserved. And his moniker is the UK, United Kingdom’s most hated sales trainer. And when we did this debate, it was ruthless because I’m known to being sometimes direct and forthright.
Jason: Despite being from Canada.
Darryl: Despite being from Canada. In fairness to my fellow Canadians, I did grow up right on the Detroit border. Some may argue, I’m more American than Canadian, but we went at it and contextually, this will answer your question, where do I fall on the debate? Benjamin was anti-script, I am pro script. But I’m pro script with some caveats. So, we’ll start there.
Jason: Okay, so let’s talk about that.
Darryl: What are my caveats?
Jason: Yeah, let’s start with the caveats.
Darryl: So, people have hang ups, right, we all have, and classic expressions, hurts hang ups and habits. And you need to understand that whenever you’re having conversation with somebody, because sometimes those hurts, hang ups and habits come into the conversation. And I’ve never seen that more prolific than the topic of scripts come up. It’s like, boom, all of that baggage we have from jobs before and managers before just comes like flying forward and people get emotional about it. So the baggage usually ties back to people saying I hate scripts, they suck, they’re useless because they’re all about their experience was literally reading scripts. And every single time, you know, eight hours a day, five days a week, you know, every week after week after week reading the same freaking script. It didn’t feel right, it didn’t sound right, it didn’t respond to the conversation that was going on so it was awkward. And if I tried to deviate, I got shot down and I did not have a good experience with my job. That’s not my idea of the role, the purpose the function of a script. It is not, in my opinion, some of you read verbatim. There’s a lot of reasons why, we can get into that. In my world, in my point of view, a script is simply meant to act as a guide. So, if I am new on the job, first day, I’m going to love that script because I don’t understand what I’m talking about. I don’t understand the pros and the cons, I don’t understand the value prop, I don’t understand the branding. I don’t understand the objections and the questions I’m going to get asked. I just, I may or may not have had some training, but I am struggling here on the phone. So you know, that becomes a safety blanket for a little bit. And then over the coming, you know, days and weeks, you get used to it. And then you should be allowed, encouraged in fact, to go off script. The script becomes instead of a, you know, sentence by sentence conversation, it becomes talking points that you want to make sure you hit. But it’s your conversation, it’s your language, it’s your style. It’s no longer what’s written down on that page, you know, you’re not a Hollywood actor reading off the script. That’s how I think. And so what’s great about that, is even as a veteran sales rep, who’s been doing this for forever, that script is going to remind me, you know because I’m going to get on tangents. I’m going to talk about the weather, the politics, whatever it might be, and then I’m going to, my eyes are going to go to the screen and I’m going to see a talking point that I missed. And maybe I choose to talk about that or not, but it’s a reminder to prompt. Or they may ask me an objection that I never heard before. And boom, there’s the script and, you know, I don’t lose the mojo of a great conversation, I can respond. So, it’s another tool in my kit and it does a lot of things for the company, as well as for you. So, those are the caveats. I can talk about the pros and cons but to me, it’s not a verbatim thing. It’s a guide. In that spirit, I’m pro script.
Jason: I think there’s always that transition that you talked about where you go from brand new in an organization or new to sales, whatever that is, with a new product or service. You’ve got a script, word for word, just follow this, we know that this works, you know, just get it down, try to get some of the marbles out of your mouth. And then over time, there’s that transition to, you know what I’ve done in organizations where I’ve had different levels of scripts. So, there’s the full script, then there’s more of the talking points that you’re talking about. And then there’s literally the outline bullet points, just make sure you do these things.
Darryl: Love that. I love that. But let me ask even on that third phase of what you talked about, I mean, would you Jason, would you call that a script?
Jason: So I wouldn’t, because that’s the outline of what they need to talk about. But it should fall under that same category because it’s guiding them through the conversation, whatever that looks like.
Darryl: All right. So, let’s carry on that conversation. So, in the tool that you’re using, perhaps you’re using, oh, I don’t know, VanillaSoft, a wonderful sales engagement tool. Or perhaps you’re using something else we’ll say, a CRM from wonderful San Francisco. Each of those tools are tools in sales, engagement tools in CRM, you know, they have a scripting feature, let’s go with that, they have scripting capability. Do you stop using that scripting capability? Do you put those talking points somewhere else or are they still within this scripting user interface of that tool?
Jason: I would think they should still be there. And the veteran person knows what they are, they can see them, they can skim them with their eyes, but they know it by second nature, and it’s just working into the conversation and then it’s just that visual reminder. I mean, that’s really the thing because a lot of my time has been in financial services or debt relief, where there’s compliance related things that have to be said every time things, you know, obviously you can’t say and then certain scripting that you’ve got to follow no matter how veteran you are, there’s some parts that you’ve got to go through.
Darryl: It’s kind of like reading your Miranda rights, you got to say it the right way otherwise, it doesn’t apply.
Darryl: Not that I would know anything about Miranda rights, just throwing that out there. And that’s maybe my point is that, you know, people got hung up on their definition. And I get it, we’ve all got that hurts, hang ups and habits. But the tools that we use, whether you’re using the full bore script, like you said, in version one, you know, phase one of your version, or you’re using that middle ground, where it’s kind of like, you know, a little less wordy, or you’re using just the third one, which is just outright talking points, that’s it like bullets. It’s still in that scripting tool, it’s still a scripting tool. Therefore, to me, it’s still a script. Maybe I’m splitting hairs, but I don’t think I am. I’m using the scripting tool to capture these talking points and make sure they’re in front of me.
Jason: And I agree with you, because I think all of that is important. This is the challenge I’ve seen with every sales rep. They always go through this cycle, where they start off really strong, they use the script, maybe it’s word for word, they’re brand new, right? Then they start progressing, they start learning more, they start thinking they don’t need the script as much. And they just want to use the short version or nothing at all, because they’ve got it, right. Air quotes, they’ve arrived, and they know how to close deals, and then they start falling off because they’re doing those tangents. They’re all over the place, they’re talking too much, they’re not listening enough, and then their sales performance drops off. And then like for me, what I’ve always done is usually found their full script, it’s probably in the bottom of their drawer under a bunch of food or other stuff and literally had them go back to the basics to remember that flow if they’re falling out of that routine.
Darryl: So you’re really hitting up on a really interesting point, which I think is part of the reason why scripts actually get a bad reputation. What I heard you just say, there was nothing wrong with the script, per se, you know, we can– Let’s table for a minute that I’m making an assumption in this conversation, that the script actually has some legs. It’s not written by a moron, it actually has some–
Jason: It’s proven.
Darryl: It’s proven all right, so let’s just make that assumption and table it. The example you just gave, you know, I got comfortable like you mentioned. And then you know, over time, you get further and further off script, and then your conversions dropped. To me, that says it’s not the script, it’s the sales leadership. It’s the sales, training and coaching, they should be monitoring for that. There’s also additional tools that are to me go almost hand in hand with the script, like conversational analytics, maybe it’s refract or course are -, for example, some of the players were your monitoring to see because you also made another point, you know, they stopped listening. You know, those kind of tools will indicate and tell you as a sales rep, when you didn’t pick up on a variety of triggers, that you should have or that your percentage of talking heavily outweighed your percentage of listening, and it probably should be the flip. Scripts are not the problem, scripts done well are a tool. But again, it comes down to your execution as a sales professional and then the infrastructure you have around you; your sales leadership, your trainers, or other supporting tools like conversational analytics to monitor you, to police, you, if you will, to make sure that you’re saying, doing all the right things, because the script is, it’s just literally one input. Even in a conversation, the script is only one element of that conversation, like you said, are you listening? You know, do they know you’re listening? Can they tell your listening? You know, are you engaged? The script is a crutch. That’s all it is.
Jason: You’re saying all kinds of nasty, dirty words in the sales world. You’re talking about scripts and then you’re talking about policing, using management and coaching and accountability to hold salespeople to–
Darryl: To everything they don’t want. But here’s the thing. So yes, you could view that as I am the Overlord making sure that you are doing what you should do. And if not, we shall thrust you out into the nether world. That’s one way of looking at that. Or another way of looking at the exact same scenario is, I’m here to help you be successful. Right. So, if you’re open to some back and forth, and some coaching, I’m going to help you make more money, and become a better salesperson, which is going to help you in your sales career. Admittedly, I’m painting a wonderful picture and not every sales leader is gifted with those skills, which makes for a bad experience. And some sales leaders have control issues. I know this is probably shocking to you. And when you go off script, they freak out because maybe they’re the ones who authored that script and they believe in it. And it’s A, if you don’t have success it’s because they’re right, and you’re a moron. Or B, if you do have success, then maybe they’re wrong and they don’t want to face that.
Jason: And that’s an assault on their ego.
Darryl: It’s assault on their ego, yes. Welcome to peopling
Jason: Yes, well, and it’s interesting that you mentioned about the second type of person, the second sales professional or aspiring sales professional who sees the accountability as coaching and somebody who wants him to get better. And you also mentioned, Refract, because I had Richard Smith from Refract on my second week of the podcast, where we talked about watching film, and how you know, get in that mindset of wanting that feedback and moving forward. And it’s the same thing with scripts. I’ve all the sales people that I’ve met, who are excited about script, whether they’re new, or veterans and veterans that still use it because they know the value you in it; it’s the same people who are open and willing and want to move forward. And then the other side is the people who are resistant to scripts, feedback, coaching, training. It’s the same ones who have the ego where, you know, they think they know everything, and t they don’t need any help. They don’t need your script, they already know what they’re doing.
Darryl: Right. So, is the script and the scripting the issue or is the attitude or skill set the issue?
Jason: Generally, it’s the attitude, right. Now, sometimes I’ve seen some pretty terrible scripts that are pretty ineffective. And so that could also be it but you know, you won’t know that until you try it.
Darryl: It’s interesting that you mentioned the point of watching film, I hadn’t thought of that analogy. But that’s actually a really great analogy and I hate to give Richard credit, because I literally was on a podcast with him not too long ago, myself. So, I can’t suck up to him. But in this case, that was actually a really good example to him. And I’ll share a story which shows you that you know, even though we’re talking sales right now, this concept is universal. So, I live in Ottawa, Canada, the nation’s capital. And although not nearly as exciting as what’s going on in the nation’s capital in the US these days. You know, we have a hockey team, and there was a little bit of, let’s call it drama earlier this season. And what it was, was that a video taken by an Uber driver, who was driving the players after the game back to their hotel or something, the video leaked out. What it was, is they were complaining about their coaches, see it’s going full circle. And one of the points they made was the video coach, and they said, all he does is freaking plays video. Here, watch this play where they scored on you. He doesn’t actually tell us what’s wrong. He doesn’t tell us what we should have done. He doesn’t show us video clips of that same play where it went, right? Because there was a different behavior on the ice. So, they’re not sales guys but they are professionals and it is a skill and it’s a craft. And you know, they’re the top of the game. And it’s no different. It’s absolutely no different. They were fundamentally saying show me the script. If this is the wrong script, please show me the right script and help me understand the difference so that I myself can then go try, because that’s the big thing here, right. Is that those players, if they were showing the right video, then when that scenario happens again, in the next game, they’re going to try to implement what they were just taught recently about the right way to do it. If it goes well, and they have a positive success on the ice in that example, then they’re going to go, I’ve learned something. And that’s how I’ll treat this situation every time moving forward. Sales is the same way, it’s the exact same way. And this need to have coaching and to have prompts and people helping us out hasn’t changed no matter whether you’re a professional athlete, or your professional salesperson, you are a professional. That’s how you should be approaching it.
Jason: One thing I’ve worked on with salespeople and managers and leaders for a long time is the instinct is rep gets off of a call, doesn’t close the deal, something goes sideways, maybe they should have closed it, it doesn’t. Okay, let’s examine that call. Let’s figure out what you did wrong. It’s tough to know what you did wrong because there’s so many different things that could go sideways. You can pick some stuff up, but you don’t exactly know. There’s no way to know what you could have done to divert the water exactly. And instead, what I’ve tried to focus on and this goes into the scripting conversation as well is taking a reps good calls when they close the deal and analyzing that and finding out what works so you can replicate that right? There’s one side where you want to stop doing bad stuff that’s not getting you the results you want in life or in sales. And then there’s the okay, this work, let’s keep doing this. Which same thing with a script, we know the script works. Whenever I’ve handed somebody a script, I said, I know this script, you read this script and you have it sound mostly human, you will close x percentage of the time, just keep doing this because I know this works and it’s successful and don’t worry about the rest.
Darryl: I love that. Another thing about scripts is to your point, is the whole concept of AB testing. So, we can assume the script is good, but if it’s not working for you don’t just arbitrarily say this script sucks. All right. I don’t like it and I’m not doing it. That’s the wrong approach.
Jason: Yeah, the all or nothing.
Darryl: Thank you. It’s not all or nothing all right, it’s all about increments. It’s that marginal game. Okay, the script sucks, you don’t like, it fair enough. If you want to change it, let’s do this methodically. Let’s change one notable element at a time. And we’ll make an A version and a B version. And then -, you know, today I’m doing you know, or this morning, I’m doing A and then tomorrow or this afternoon, I’m doing B. And let’s see over, you know, the next week, if I go back and forth, what performs better. Guess what? B actually did perform better. Great. Let’s bury A. A is gone. We’re sticking with B. So to me, the script should be the starting point, but it should be a living entity that is constantly being refined, constantly being refined. Because the reality is, is that the value prop of your solution today that resonates with your audience may not be the value prop in six months, when there’s kind of a shift in technology, a shift in thinking whatever it might be. A script that worked well today may suck in six months time so the script has to adapt. Again, that has to be a culture. So, let me ask you this, Jason how do you respond when people say if I use a script, I sound robotic?
Jason: Well, so that’s a tough one because generally the sales that I’ve done and focused on is direct to consumer sales over the phone, helping people with either their finances or their debt. If you sound slick, and salesy is gonna, their barriers already up, because they’re already worried, concerned, they have fears, they have issues in their own life. And then they’re worried about talking to some salesperson who’s going to totally get one over on them. Yet, they’re still calling because they still have some pain. The last thing they want is a very slick, polished, perfect over the top charismatic person, who then is going to trigger all those alarms that everyone is afraid of. It’s fascinating because in some realms being a little more, just human, not robotic, but being a little more human, or reading from a script, or even the prospect understanding, like, hey, I’m a professional, I’ve got to read this, this is part of the process so that I can make sure I cover everything, set some minds at ease. Might not work in everything, but there’s some aspects were sounding a little more monotone or structured actually plays better with conversations.
Darryl: So, that’s kind of interesting. I can see, you know, I’m thinking on my own personal experiences. I can see an element of that, for example, I know whenever and I know you’re a lot of B2C, so I’ll use a B2C example. Let’s say I’m calling in because of my satellite TV isn’t playing nice.
Jason: They’ve got to go through some disclosures and disclaimers and stuff when they change your plan, that kind of stuff.
Darryl: Exactly. So you have– an even then, you know, like, Okay, Mr. Praill, so, you know, what’s your account number? Yeah, whatever. Okay, great. So, are you still living at this address? Yes. Is this still your email address? Yes. Right. You know, it’s clearly a scripts and they’re not asking that because they’re curious. But they’re actually doing that, because they’re actually making sure that the database is up to date so they can communicate with you, and stay in touch. That’s all scripted. You know, me as consumer, yep, I get it, you got to ask the questions and theoretically, it’s to help me as much as it help you so, I’ll work my way through. Now, when I have an issue, let’s talk.
Jason: Right, let’s have a conversation. And on the flip side of that, though, is when somebody’s robotic, and rough, because they’re new and it doesn’t matter what they’re saying because they really don’t know what they’re talking about; that’s a training function and a practice function they should be smoother before actually talking to other people and so that’s different. But using a script, even as a script as a way to, you know, for you and I were very animated, excited people. And in some situations, that’s great. You’re doing presentations in front of a room of people, that fires them up. You know, us doing conversation with an end user consumer who might have some concerns or fears that may not be the best approach. So, sometimes scripts can help kind of bring somebody down and keep them in the right frame of mind.
Darryl: Yes, it’s true. That’s a really interesting point of view. I should have had that when I–
Jason: Even business to business, right? If I’m calling businesses, and I’ve got a script, I mean, you know, okay, maybe they’re expecting me to be this super excited guy, but all they really care about is am I going to solve their problem? Just tell me how you’re gonna. What are you going to do for me?
Darryl: Yeah, but I really liked that idea of scripts can somehow, sometimes for the right individual, keep them you know, that common steady, keep them focused, right? Because some of us, you’re right, you and I are, let’s go with the concept of expressive. There we go. Whereas others, perhaps are a tad more, I don’t know, quick to anger. So, the idea of a feisty, spirited, strong willed. So, the script can, you’re right, can help you stay focused and zoned in. So, I’m a fan of that. The other reason I now as a marketer, I’m a fan of a script is this and this is something salespeople don’t always think about. I have a brand and I get frustrated as a salesperson fighting with certain sales individuals who think they know better what our brand should be. And even if they have success, use that as justification that they’re right. Here’s the scoop. My brand is conveyed across way more vehicles and properties that you can imagine a brand on my telephone, of a brand on our email, of a brand on our collateral, brand on our website, brand on our searches and marketing, brand on our trade shows, brand on our speaking, brand on our podcast, brand on our webinars, you know, the list goes on. And so what I need is, I need that customer or that prospect of customer to have a consistent experience with my brand from the first time they even hear about us, or Google us or find us, you know, through all the email marketing and nurturing that marketing does, until finally, they’re two thirds of the way through the funnel and they finally talk to a live person in the sales role. And then onward, once they become a customer, and they’re on boarded and they’re engaged with my support and success, the brand is critical. That script is one of my vehicles for making sure that you stay on message and use the right– There’s certain keywords that I need you to say, you know, for example, just a simple one. In my category, VanillaSoft, a lot of our clients don’t call us sales engagement, they call a CRM. We’re not, but that’s what they call us. I understand. That will change if everybody consistently everywhere says sales engagement. And it has. I’ve seen dramatic change just in the last year where people are no longer looking for CRM solutions that do what we do, they’re looking for sales engagement solutions. That’s because of conversations that I’m having that are embedded back in the script. A lot of what I do is intentional, it’s not meant to make your life difficult. It’s meant to be part of a bigger experience, a bigger goal and objective.
Jason: Yeah, and I think that’s an amazing point from the marketing side, which is your whole focus is that a lot of times the sales people don’t have complete visibility, which I always think is a mistake at some level within an organization, but they don’t have visibility over what marketing is doing. They’re just getting a prospect, they’re getting a lead, and they’re supposed to move forward with it. But they don’t know what the message is, they don’t know what the marketing look like they don’t know– they might think they know what the branding is. But at the smallest level, they don’t know what that Facebook ad look like or the letter that the person that received or you know, the banner ad or what was said at the conference, like in your realm. And so sales just has to pick up this conversation that’s already in mid sentence and they have no idea what was said in the first half of the sentence. And so a script should be written from the standpoint of, you know, synergy between sales and marketing, where sales is building a script to pick up where marketing is lofting the ball in the air, and then sales just gotta run with it.
Darryl: So, let me throw another one at you there, my good friend. So, robotic is a big one I hear. The other one I hear a lot of, let’s call it a lack of flexibility, but you can call it whatever you want to. It’s the premise that the script assumes the conversation is going to go one way and the reality is it goes another way. And either I have to kind of force the person on the phone and go back to the way my script is or I have to go off script and then get chastised by my leadership. So, it’s a lack of flexibility to anticipate how the conversation is going to go. And I’ll give it a twist to that. Or, and this is where I know the sales people listening right now are yelling at us. The salesperson actually, smartly, intuitively understands the conversation and knows if I go down a different path that’s not on the script right now. Instead of this being a 10 or 20 or 3 minute call, I can make this a five minute call and close the deal because I already know what’s going on. I’ve had this call before, this is how to close it. Anyway, how do you respond to that?
Jason: So going backwards, I think what you said at the end is a perfect example, when you have a sales team or sales rep who has graduated, in my opinion, away from full script mode to outline mode, like the third phase, and you’ve cross them to close deals, you know that they know what they’re going to do, you know that they know how to get from point A to point B. So, you have a sports team, you’ve got like a Kobe Bryant on the team, you don’t need to tell him what to do every step of the way because you trust him, you’ve built some plays around it, and some teamwork, but otherwise, you’re not worried about the moment by moment events because you just got to trust that person. So, same thing with a sales rep with, you know, you have this structured script if somebody follows your 18 page script. And I know that sounds like a lot. But I’ve literally written those for new people where it’s also a walkthrough guide, though. Because one of the things I’ll I just mention, and this is important for new reps, or sales people to understand is what’s really good if you’re new is if you have a script that also has all the instructions for what you’re supposed to gather within the script. It’s a guide, it’s a full walkthrough. So anyway, you know, there’s the long version of the script, but the experienced person knows that literally, if they go through that, like you said, it will take 30 minutes or 45 minutes. And they can get this done in 15 because this person’s ready to go. They can skip all of the intro stuff, the story time, a lot of the questions, they already know what the issue is, and they could jump to it. And I think that’s fantastic when you get leadership involved, like we were talking about earlier that doesn’t have control issues, and trust the salesperson, and then the salesperson that you know, knows how to get results. So, I think that’s the key for that part.
Darryl: I so love that answer and it’s something we often forget, right? We seem to resent scripts, because we think the script is only one way. And what you started off talking about which I fully agree with is there should be versions of script depending on where you are in your comfort, in maturity, your skill set. So that as you said, when you get to the second or the third stage of my maturation, I am empowered, I am allowed to jump around because instead of it being an 18 page script, now it’s a one page talking points I can bounce around on, it’s still there in front of me. So, again, it’s not a problem with a script, but perhaps how your organization chose to implement scripts.
Jason: And then on the flip side of that, when we’re talking, you know, one of your questions just now was, what about getting off the script, but then having to move forward and use the script in order without getting bounced around. For me, I always view that, especially with some reps with their personality type and what they might struggle with. But generally, it just comes down to a lack of control. I could with almost anybody, have them go as a prospect through my script and my process and my order, because I’m in control. I’m the professional, they are seeking my help, I’m going to help them and we’re going to do it this way. When they ask questions, answer their questions. I reverse it back on to them, ask questions of them, and then go back to where we were, and keep moving forward. Because I know the process and they want to help and I’m going to solve it. For example, you go to Department of Motor Vehicles, I mean, you can ask questions all you want, but they have a process and an order. And you’re going to go through it in a certain way, whether you like it or not. Whether you like it or not, they’ve got this form, and then they’ve got this form and then you need to go talk to somebody in the back while drinking coffee for 10 minutes and then come back to you and make a photocopy of something, I don’t know. But there’s a process and you’re under their control and guidance, because they’re the ones who are running the show. And I see a lot of sales people new, sometimes in that middle phase where they think they know it all but they actually don’t, where they don’t keep control of the conversation and their money at the will of the prospect who’s now driving the bus and they’re just along for the ride. And maybe the prospect will drive them across the finish line or maybe drive them into a lake. I don’t know, who knows.
Darryl: I love it. I love it. And that’s, you know, again, like full circle, if that’s the case, they’re not quite, you know, savvy enough to pick up on the signs that the prospect’s slowly taking control of the conversation. Then that’s a coaching moment, again not a script issue, or maybe it’s a combination of coaching and scripts, written script you know. So again, I will turn around and I’ll say I’m pro scripts, I think that this answer that says are a bad idea. You can’t be yourself, you can’t personalize it, you sound robotic. I think it’s all BS and I think it’s based on a confined narrow definition of what a script is. And I’ve heard other people call them calling guides as opposed to scripts, you know, because it’s really kind of like a phase two or phase three what you’re talking about. But okay, you want to call it a calling guide instead of a script, you know, I really don’t care. It’s just a frickin [??? 33:09]. And if that makes you feel better, great, do it. I liked scripts. The other part is, you know, again, from a management point of view, just to throw this out there, something that you guys don’t always think about, is when I do bring on that new employee, yes, they need to be ramped up and trained. But we also need to understand is I’m paying them their full salary from the get go? So, the sooner I can ramp them up, the sooner I start to recover some of those costs. And you know, for many organizations, you don’t start breaking even on that employee for at least six months. So, that’s a big expense. So again, it’s another tool to help make the process a faster ramp and more efficient and more controlled, but that’s just me.
Jason: We’ll finish on that note as well. With the business side is that if you’re new in sales, or you feel like resisting a sales script, A, remember the company is paying you. So, whatever tools they need you to use, use them that you you work for them. And then the second part is remember that business is in business. And if they’ve been around for any length of time, they know enough of what they’re doing, they’re not going to set you up to fail with terrible tools. Their goal is to help you win so that they ultimately win as a business. And so I see a lot of reps who just resist and think they know better than the guy who owns a business that’s been successful. And it’s like, no, just trust, trust that this machine has been working for a while and that they know what they’re doing.
Darryl: Again, people listening to this going yeah, but I worked at whatever and they were morons. And you’re right, there’s always going to be an exception to every rule. The upside to that is you’re wiser now and you recognize that the organization doesn’t have their wherewithal together, then you have options. You can take your script savvy skills and go elsewhere.
Jason: And there’s some organizations that are really a good fit for some personalities and behavior types and sales people that with a script or without where, you know, you might not be a good fit for them. But they’re looking for a certain type of person. And you know, there’s another organization out there for you.
Darryl: You know, the funny part is, this is just irony, talk about there’s some kind of people, and they have different, you know, the wire different ways. I had one of my co-workers, my colleagues, the door was open as I was walking to the studio, she peaks in and she goes, I so love that studio of yours. It’s so cool. I wish I had one. She goes I would love to use and I said, well, let’s get you one, let’s get you on camera. You got a lot to say. Let’s get you a studio, right. And her response to me was, yeah, but I need to write a script first and I started laughing. And I’m like, if only you knew what I was talking about. But it’s funny because some people like her like, like other people, they find great comfort and solace in, I guess, safety, safety in a script. So, we’re all wired different and that’s why you need to have different versions of the scripts to reflect your skills and your inclination. But you also need good coaching and you also need other tools to make sure you’re listening and you’re picking up the cues. It’s all about being a full 360 degree kick ass Sales Pro.
Jason: Yep. Perfect. good place to stop. Darryl, I appreciate you being on the show. I know there wasn’t a lot of battling, debating, arguing. We generally agree on most things. However, this was still fun, hopefully, valuable for everybody and I appreciate your time.
Darryl: It’s nice to not get bloodied up in a debate for a change. So, I’ll take this as a win. I loved the conversation. It was constructive, it was healthy and I think hopefully, everybody listening, you got something out of that. Maybe you may go think oh, I hadn’t thought of that. That’s a good point. So, go back to your organization and make the changes you need to make so that you’re successful.
Jason: Perfect, appreciate it. That’s it for another special guest episode of The Sales Experience Podcast. As always, make sure to subscribe. Get each episode as soon as they’re available. It’s going to be on iTunes, Rate, Comment, do whatever you can on that their. Show notes will be on the website, CutterConsultingGroup.com. And until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.