Call Centers – Throw your scripts away, they are costing you sales.

I have been in the sales game for many years, and I have always done fairly well, and I know my way around a call center.  I have been involved in sales in a fortune 500 company where customer service is the priority and I have been involved in small rooms where the most important thing was closing.  In all my years of experience I have come to realize one thing, that scripts suck, and I know your all reading this thinking how the hell can you sell without a script?   Well let me explain why I say they suck; because I have been in many places, where the script was the required read, and I know from my experience with dealing with hundreds of call centers that even today so many call centers require their agents to use a script without deviation; that is a mistake.  I can spot someone reading off a script that is calling me inside of 15 seconds, and I am instantly turned off because that’s not a person calling me,  it’s simply a carbon based android that’s delivering the information that was input into its program.

In my  experience the best sales people don’t use scripts and I can visualize all you sales managers getting red in the face, eyes bulging out screaming at your monitor that if you didn’t use scripts that most of sales agents wouldn’t make any sales.  Well then I have some bad news for you, your sales agents stink or they are sorely in need of better training.  Any sales person worth his or her salt can sell anything to anybody without a script.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to send them in there unprepared or without any documentation whatsoever, but that documentation should be a guide, not a read off for each and every call.  Because let’s face it what it takes to sell a product to a 65 year old black Methodist woman in North  Carolina is not going to be the same strategy that it takes to sell to a 29 year old white woman in the Bronx; different people, same product, different strategies.

There is an old saying in telephone sales that every single call ends in a sale, everyone without exception.  The question is who is doing the selling, the agent on the phone or the prospect on the other end.  If you are allowing the prospect to give you reasons that they cannot buy, then they are the ones selling you, they are selling you on why they are can’t buy, on the other hand if you are an experienced sales agent, you know how to navigate those rebuttals and you know how to control the call.  Now I am not saying that every call is going to end in a sale, but what I am saying is that sales agents need to be able to navigate on their own, give them some guidance, make sure they are comfortable with the product or service that is being sold and let them do their own thing.  I have never seen a super successful sales agent use a script, never.  Again, you can provide a basic script that is meant to guide them, but you need your agents to adapt their own strategy because the same strategy doesn’t work for every agent, and doesn’t work for every customer.  If your agents are not capable of going off script, then honestly they are in the wrong business and you are not getting your money’s worth.   Better to have 10 agents that are skilled and know how to control a call and know how close a deal than 25 agents simply reading off a script.  Those 10 agents will outsell the other 25 every time.

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About Joe Melle

Joe Melle has founded and ran several successful businesses, and has had an interesting career in direct contact media, call center operations, sales operations, customer service operations, customer retention, and quality assurance; he has written over 140 business articles, previously served as a part time adjunct professor for a university teaching business, marketing, and management courses to both graduate and post graduate students.Email Me

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