Using Scripts – Are You an Automaton or do You Personalize Them?

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

Using Scripts – Are You an Automaton or

do You Personalize Them?

 

 

We hear scripts all the time – from callers promoting their SEO services to trying to sell us leads, to retailers when we walk in the store, to telemarketers requesting us to donate to particular causes, to those offering various home services “because they are in our area and…”

 

 

automatonThere is no lack of scripts available to us in our business to deal with issues like seller objections or getting buyers off the fence.

 

 

Trainers charge boodles to teach us what to say, when, and to whom, and there are numerous articles here on AR about scripts for expireds, for FSBOs, and things to say to just about anyone who may have a buying or selling decision to make or a question.

 

 

But I wonder…do we sound like automatons when we use the scripts we happen to have learned and like? Or do we make them sound more personal so it doesn’t sound so, well, script-like?

 

 

And worse, do we let scripts override our listening skills, and our brain?

 

 

Gaylord's in Lihue, Kaua'iWe had lunch at a wonderful outdoor restaurant, Gaylords, at a beautiful former plantation in Lihue on Kaua’I for lunch before catching our flight back for Carlsbad a couple weeks ago. Part of what prompted my musings here was our waiter.

 

 

Oh, he was actually pretty good - very friendly, with a great smile. He knew the menu backwards and forwards (specials, preparations), was attentive and prompt, and genuinely seemed concerned about our dining experience.

 

 

But, oh my, the scripting. Everything, I mean everything, sounded like a script from the very beginning when he introduced himself until his presentation of the check. This dude had his routine down pat, and he didn’t vary it. We could hear him taking care of two other adjacent tables and the script was the same from start to finish, even the tone of voice, and the friendly “alright!” he uttered when he got answers to queries about what people wanted to eat. It was rather laughable to hear this well-learned series of scripts that he used, repeated over and over.

 

 

Did it detract from the service? Well, not fundamentally. It felt perfunctory, rehearsed, and impersonal, but the service was certainly very adequate. He did seem to listen to us, and he got the job done. And he, thankfully, didn’t blather on with yet another script when we declined dessert due to being full. But I was waiting…

 

 

But I think when using scripts that’s not always the case if you aren’t careful.

 

 

First of all, you may come off sounding like you are reading the words, and in a tone of voice that suggests you’ve said this a million times before and here it is once again, listen up. This is not a way to impress a prospective buyer or seller, nor get them to actually hear what it is you are saying.



We all recognize that boring tone of voice from someone who is scripting us…is that you? And will they believe you really care? Not likely.

 

 

The other danger is being so immersed in that script, or a series of scripts, that you miss what the other person is saying because you aren’t listening, or don’t catch what their body language is suggesting if you are face to face.

 

 

It's even worse is when your script has little to do with what the client or prospect just said. Hmmm, not paying attention? We’ve all been there, haven’t we (“what part of NO do you not understand?!”)?

 

 

There certainly is value in having good responses…a script if you will…to deal with a myriad of situations we find ourselves in with this business. But I have to say I am not a big fan of scripts. Oh, I use some however I tend to be more conversational. It’s just a personal preference, right or wrong.

 

 

Obviously not all circumstances, or questions, will lend themselves to a particular script we might have in our personal databanks. Sometimes you just have to think on your feet, or ask a series of questions and listen to what’s being said before giving a response to the situation.

 

 

Here are my thoughts:

 

Don’t let your script override your brain

 

Don’t forget to really listen to what the prospect or client is saying because you are too focused on your script

 

Don’t let it sound like a script…who needs that? No one wants to be scripted, or sold. Can you make it sound more personal?

 

Don’t rely on your script to avoid dealing with the real issues at hand. You won’t likely fool them!

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Tags:
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jeff dowler crs
using scripts in real estate

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Rainer
476,889
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Scripts are used primarily for being concise, compliant and promote taking action. There are many commenters who say they don't use scripts, detest scripts, yet, most of their conversations are all scripted regardless of who they communicate with, so it depends on what and who you're communicating with, doesn't it, because we all start out with the same introduction, same resume, same fact-finding, etc? That's scripting, isn't it?

Imagine sitting down and waiting for the waiter to take another menu order and instead of a couple of minutes it's 3 times longer because he's personalizing and bloviating. Scripting saves time regardless of how or when it's used. The time to personalize or entertain is toward the end or at the end of the meal. Using a waiter's script to communicate IMO isn't a very good example of why scripting shouldn't be used in other circumstances. 

The OSCARS are awarded to actors who read from scripts, some are great at reading their scripts while many are horrible, yet, it's not the script that's bad, it's simply the person reading the script, isn't it? There;'s a big difference between auditions and showtime script readers. I use scripts every day, yet, for me, every day is showtime. 

Sep 28, 2017 01:46 AM #16
Rainmaker
2,911,498
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Jeff.

Never have used scripts, never will.  Like you I can see it  mile off

Sep 28, 2017 02:00 AM #17
Rainer
99,143
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

Well I don't use a script I did learn a few basic things that I've Incorporated like asking people is Monday good or is Wednesday better rather than simply asking them if Monday works for them. Following that up with is 130 good or is 3:30 better. Then always running through certain questions like asking them if they're working with another realtor. I think for rookies it's good to learn the script so you learn what to ask. I think as a pro you learn how to deviate from the script so you can be personable.

Sep 28, 2017 03:50 AM #18
Rainer
5,343
Carolyn Fenton
Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty - Beachwood, OH
I specialize in first time home buyers.

I admit being brand new scripts have helped me especially when overcoming obstacles. However, the more experience I get the more it has become natural and has flow and I actually want to learn more about the prospect as opposed to selling them.

Sep 28, 2017 04:30 AM #19
Rainer
266,408
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

This is a great post and I never thought of servers in a restaurant being scripted, until now.

Scripts are a great way to get everyone on the same page and if the restaurant is a franchise, I would think the continuity is helpful. However, being able to hear the same schtick at an adjacent table would ruin it for me.

It is certainly an art to be able to deliver a script without sounding "script like". I find that mastering answers to objections is important and especially when you are new, but I always find that being myself is easier, most appreciated(sometimes) and less exhausting.

Sep 28, 2017 05:56 AM #20
Rainer
218,480
Greg Mona
Faira Homes Corp - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate in the 21st Century!

Hi Jeff Dowler. No scripts used here! One thing we do know is this is NOT a "one size fits all" business, thus one script may only work for one individual. Figuring out your prospects wants and needs, then tailoring what you you say next is the way to go.  Thanks you for the great tips and reminders!  

Sep 28, 2017 06:49 AM #21
Rainer
42,754
Chris Kallin
SeattlebyDesign / Realogics - Seattle, WA
Broker

Thanks for the insight, Jeff Dowler. I'm new-ish to the industry, but have 16 years sales experience behind me.  I have considered studying scripts to make sure that I'm hitting the high notes, but I'll always make it personal.  If your own style doesn't shine through, you're likely to be much less effective.

Also, love Gaylords.  I haven't been back to Lihue in 3 years, but I purchased a timeshare this year at Marriot Beach Club.  We'll be going in spring 2018 and I will be on the lookout for scripted waitstaff, LOL!

Sep 28, 2017 09:03 AM #22
Rainer
38,715
Marc St Martin
United Real Estate Infinity - Cape Coral, FL
Your friend in the business!

Love your take on making them personal and conversational.  It boils down to having the knowledge and talking to someone like they are a real person and not just a receptacle for your spiel.  Thanks for sharing!

Sep 28, 2017 12:08 PM #23
Rainmaker
401,223
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

I believe we should be prepared and have a goal in our conversation.

But, we also have to be genuine. People will not trust someone they feel is just "script" reading.

I have encountered sales people who were so into the script they could not hear me ask a question. Not a good practice.

Thanks for a thought provoking post.

Sep 28, 2017 03:09 PM #24
Rainmaker
126,363
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

I've never been big on canned scripts. But those of us that have been around for a while use our own personal scripts. We have learned how to respond to objections in our own way and that's what makes it personal. Time and practice teaches you what to say. Listen first, understand and then respond. I do think that for very new agents, practicing scripts helps. 

Sep 28, 2017 06:43 PM #25
Ambassador
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Sheri Sperry - MCNE®  - excellent points, especially about conversation flowing freely!]

Well said Beth Atalay  I think most people can detect a script, the issue is whether it sounds sincere and applies to them.

Jeff

Sep 28, 2017 09:05 PM #26
Rainer
27,769
Danielle O'Brien
Parkway Real Estate - West Roxbury, MA
Real estate Broker / Owner in Boston

I have never been a fan of scripts! I like to read them and really think about the messages being exchanged betweencustomer and agents but often think the sound like things I would never say! It’s never one size fits all so I guess I have my own fluid scripts I use based on the situation and likely nothing like what you would read or hear in a scripts class!  

Sep 29, 2017 12:26 PM #27
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi William Feela  doing what works for you makes sens!

Hi Grant Schneider  - sage advice - be prepared but be yourself!!

Jeff

Sep 30, 2017 08:27 AM #28
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD   - people are definintely NOT one size fits all and a knowledgeable and experienced agent should be able to handle challenging situations with their buyers and sellers.

Jeff

Sep 30, 2017 11:19 AM #29
Rainmaker
978,522
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post Jeff!  Scripts can be useful and as you point out, best not to sound too canned.  Knowing what to say to respond to any negative response is key to turn the tides!

Oct 12, 2017 09:03 AM #30
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

No scripts, just me...that's all anyone gets from me, Jeff! I've never understood the 'need' for them. Asking questions are my best line of action in conversation - ask and LISTEN! No scripts needed for that!

Hope you have a fabulous Friday, Jeff!

Oct 26, 2017 09:13 PM #31
Rainmaker
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Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker
Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd. - Lehigh Valley, PA
The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around

Hi, Jeff!

I stopped using scripts years ago when a lady I was speaking to flat out stated: "It sounds like you are reading a script.  Therefore, I am not interested."  Instead, I have taken the ideas from the script and use it as a conversation.  Works so much better when people think you are conversing instead of selling.

Brigita

Oct 27, 2017 08:04 AM #32
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Jan Green - thos are excellent points!

Hey Debe Maxwell, CRS  I'm not a script type of person either. I ask lots of questions, too. That often clears up the issues.

Jeff

Oct 27, 2017 08:54 AM #33
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker 

That would certainly take the wind out of your sails, wouldn't it? But we experience that ourselves, too, don't we?

Jeff

Oct 27, 2017 08:55 AM #34
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Danielle O'Brien 

I think that's a great approach to take so what you say sounds honest and from the heart!

Jeff

Oct 27, 2017 09:05 AM #35
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