Script Your Sales Presentation

I can’t say that I watch a lot of professional sports, but in the fall I have been known to take a Sunday afternoon and watch the Green Bay Packers play some football. In the late 90′s when they were winning a lot of games, commentators used to make a big deal about how the Packers would script out the first 15 plays of the game, and practice those over and over again. They felt the confidence it gave the team resulted in early success and set the tone for the rest of the game.

Scripting out your sales presentation can be hugely beneficial. Too many people see scripting as mechanical and rigid. If you’ve ever seen a good production of a Shakespeare play, you know that’s not true. Even though the actors are following a script, they’ve learned it so well that they’ve really made it their own. The script acts as a vehicle which allows them to express the emotions and ideas much more clearly and forcefully.

There are a few key places where scripting can really help in the sales process. By deciding what to say beforehand, and practicing (possibly even memorizing) it over and over, you are much more natural because you’ve made the words your own and can really put feeling and emphasis into what you are saying. By writing out just the first few sentences of the following sections, you will see a big jump in your confidence and your results

1. Script the very beginning of the presentation. There are many sales people who just show up to meet a customer without thinking about how they are going to start the conversation. You don’t want to hem and haw at the beginning of the sales call; this is when you want to focus on building rapport and creating a strong first impression. Know what questions you want to ask the customer right out of the gate and what information you want them to know from the beginning.

2. Script any major value propositions. If there is something that really makes your product stand out, don’t wing it. Make sure you have a solid delivery of this core material.

3. Script your close. The statements and questions you use when you close your sales should be clear, consistent, and confident. When you lack confidence in how you are asking, it is often perceived as a lack of confidence in what you are asking. Don’t let your clients misinterpret your stumbling for the right word for an inability to have confidence in your products and services. Another benefit of scripting certain parts of the sales presentation is that it allows you to be consistent. This consistency allows you to test, measure, and improve your results over time.

Just like a surgeon has a set method for performing open-heart surgery, you want to know exactly how your sales presentations will go. Obviously, because of the inherent nature of human interactions, it won’t go exactly as you script it (unfortunately you can’t script what the customer will say). You will find, though, that the process on your end becomes more fluid, more relaxed, more successful, and ultimately, a lot more fun.