Scripts : Single controlled vs Variations with must haves

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Sales Trainer

TBI International

Scripts : Single controlled vs Variations with must haves
The team is an Outbound Cold Calling Team

The marketing team has 'negotiated' a word for word script that is heavy on the info and light on the sales flow.

I am loathed to have single scripting strictness but have heard of stories where it has worked.

The product is fairly simple and doesnt require much qualification.

Does anybody have any thoughts on this?

How can I convince the marketing guys to give some flexibility in this?


Contact Centre Consultant

DarrylBeckford Limited

Fixed scripts can work quite well for "basic" products, right up until the point that the customer asks a question.

If the agent attempts to stick to the script after that the customer will lose interest rapidly, or worse will decide to give the agent a run for their money and waste valuable time.




scripting elements are fine but not word for word
I think that the key elements of a cold call are:

1.Get the prospects attention
2.Introduce yourself
3.State your reason for calling
4.Ask a question
5.Get the appointment

Never let a cold call last more than three minutes!

Contact Centre Consultant

DarrylBeckford Limited

I mostly agree, but......(!)
I've seen situation where certain words or phrases hook the customer more frequently than others. In this situation it's can be better to have these elements scripted.

This is also true for objection handling / rebuttals where scripted answers to objections are often more concise than without. There's nothing worse than hearing someone give too many reasons why the customer should be interested. That's something I learned from not doing my homework at school - more than one excuse meant the teacher never believed you!

But on the whole, I believe that a non-scripted call will flow better and be more successful. Often scripts are used as an alternative to decent training.



You're right Darren
but its vital to script in conversational style, you certainly don't want to sound like you are an inexperienced or unconfident sales person if you are in the tough world of cold calling!

Sales Trainer

TBI International

Thanks - guys
I am in basic agreement except to be a bit more specific

I prefer the script / conversation to follow this basic guideline

Attention Phase
Introduction > Company Name > Purpose of the Call (with a major benefit)

response - figure out who the customer is by the way they speak

Interest Phase

Build on the intro purpose by adding in what you have learnt from them and then really nail the top 2 benefits of why they should be listening to you.

Best to have some questions that really lead the conversation to a logical point

Objection Phase
At some point the customer will throw objections to either get a quick blow off or to get information they want.

Decipher their intention and refocus onto the value of the product

Commitment Stage -
Ask for an action usually - the no obligation quote or trial
or get a time from the customer to call back with answers to their questions
or construct a time to call back when the customer is more avialable

Action Stage Close
If all goes well up top an deciding action will evolve out of the conversation

Always go for the positive action and dont be afraid to ask for something even if the customer is hesitant. Self Belief often convinces 50/50 at the end.

If you are going round in circles determine an out for both people with a follow up action or call.

Dont drag as you become the problem not the main issue which you rang for.


Essentially thats what I like to teach - but its not easy as I need to apply supporting documentation

As Darryl said - easier just to have a single script and dont ask why for a trainer. Me - I prefer to open the pandora's box but give them some directions and boundaries.

I just need to find a way to convinve the marketing guys not to restrict us for 'safety reasons'.



I agree
I think that your call structure looks good if you are selling over the phone but if the requirement is for appointment making then something short and sharp fits the bill.

Managing Director

Veritape Ltd

Can you measure it quickly, and prove your approach to the marketing people?

If this script (either the 'hard' marketing approach, or the more 'soft' approach you wish to take) is already being used, is it possible for you to change to the alternate approach for a few days, to test the difference? Depending on the volume of calls being made, using recordings of calls, and also some simple speech recognition you'd be able to quantify the effectiveness of various phrases or keywords being used, and prove which approach is best, one way or the other. (You'd need to have a large enough sample size, though, across many Agents, calls, times of day, etc, to convince both you and the marketeers of the best approach).


Sales Trainer

TBI International

Split Testing would be great
I had this idea as well when I hit the marketing wall.

The problem is twofild

1: we dont have full recording capability. Its a major pain to implement b.c of transition from one manufacturer to another

2: Marketing has 'negotiated' a word by word script with a 3rd party referrer - we are calling their database of clients. This script was promised to be adhered to.

It is not conversational at all - its info overload and light on the qualification phase.

So - I am going to sneakily split test it and hope there is little monitoring from the referrer's end. They wont know customer by customer :-)

Anne Marie - yes you are right - but we dont need appointments - evrything is done on the net :-)

Thanks guys--you have grounded my sanity which was what I was sorely needing.




Scripted vs non-scripted
I find this an interesting topic, having just been working for a highly regulated (financial services) company, where all calls are scripted.

There is a fine balance when ensuring legislation and regulations are adhered to, whilst still being 'human'.

I would be interested to know what the outcome was of Justins, or anyone else's findings on this matter.

Outbound Sales Manager


scripted vs non scripted
Hi Justin,

I've been working in a guilty environment of being heavily scripted, now in a less scripted environment, moving to a very low scripted environemnt. When the FSA produced their guidelines in 2005, my company decided for brand and reputation sake and because we sell insurance, we'd better be safe than sorry and so the scripts came in! Customer feedback is that they hate it. Our experience is that the top advisers make it work and don't sound like a robots, the inexperienced and less performing ones do sound like robots. We tried subtly moving away by introducing a 'call flow' which consisted of only some 'must says' which has worked better, but not well enough and we're now in the middle of a full change programme to take us to an even less scripted environment for the sake of our customers and the morale and motivation of our employees. Time will tell....

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