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…”
There 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?
We 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!