Friday, November 7, 2008

Stick to the Script!

To ease the pain of cold calling, "A good sales script is essential," says Christine Comaford-Lynch. The perfect script should contain four elements, she says:

Start with who you are and where you are calling from. Move on to explain what you are selling. Continue with two compelling features of what it is you're offering. Finish with a request for commitment, by asking: "Is this something you want?"

Don't be discouraged if the answer to that last question is "no." According to Comaford-Lynch, disqualifying bad leads is an essential part of the lead-gen process. In fact, the dialogue you prepare with a good script should be able to both attract a good lead and disqualify a bad one. Two tips for creating that perfect dialogue:

Limit your script to 45 words at most. "Conventional sales theory (and countless studies) have found that after 30 seconds, your listener will begin to have negative feelings about you. That means you really have about 20 seconds, which … only works out to about 45 words," she says.

Practice your offer with a 14-year-old. If he or she understands it, it's likely clear and concise enough.

"[C]ustomers' buying decisions have a lot to do with five factors," Comaford-Lynch concludes: "trust, respect, brand recognition, quality, and price. … So drop the schmoozing, and start building rapport."

The Po!nt: Get writing before you start calling. The key to an easy cold call is an informative script, well-rehearsed, that's designed to build rapport—as well as disqualify a bad lead.

Source: BusinessWeek.

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