How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Write out the whole sales presentation, including every word that you will used. Make good use of persuasive language.
Base what you write on sound research and evidence. The knowledge, evidence and obvious value should leap out of the words.
Review what you have written very carefully, thinking about the impact of every single word.
Rehearse your script as you would rehearse a play, becoming word-perfect and acting out the role to perfection. Work on intonation and the way it sounds. Record yourself and review the results. If you are speaking in a larger room without a microphone, ensure your voice will carry without breaking or deafening those at the front.
Then put on the virtuoso performance for your customers. After each performance, reflect on what happened and how they reacted. As necessary, review and revise the script, but be careful of over-reacting to a single situation or comment.
A salesperson has a big presentation to do to a customer executive board. She researches it, scripts it and rehearses it very diligently.
A home-demonstration company gets a script written by a professional firm and then teaches it to all of its salespeople.
A telesales company writes a series of script fragments for its salespeople to use in various situations, such as initial contact and responding to particular requests.
This works best when customers are very well understood and the scripted performance plays directly to their known needs and characteristics.
It does assume that customers will not question the sales person or otherwise knock them off track.
It is a relatively old approach and was popularized in the 1920s after early sales research showed much commonality between sales.
It offers the advantage to a company of uniformity of performance, as all sales people can be trained to say the same thing. It also helps when the sales person has only a short period in which to sell, for example in market trading or telephone selling.
The main disadvantage is that what is said may not be of interest to all people. It assumes homogeneous customers, which may well be an incorrect assumption. Also with little customer interaction it reduces the chance of creating a bond between the sales person and the customer. Finally, it can appear formulaic and impersonal to customers who reject it as 'uncaring', pressurized or just not really understanding their needs.