If you’ve ever been to the theatre to see a play, you probably have a good idea why actors stick to the script.  The story is already laid out, the characters are already developed, and everything is organized in a way that the audience can understand and enjoy.  Sure, unforeseen circumstances happen and sometimes the actors have to ad lib, but for the most part, everyone on stage has a clear plan as to what needs to be done.  The same concept can be applied to direct sales and small businesses.  Here are some ways in which you can use scripts to in a variety of situations and grow your business.

Situations Fit For a Script

  • Informal conversation – How many times have you found yourself talking to a stranger, an acquaintance, or even family member who asks about what you do for a living?  Instead of letting this possibly golden opportunity go to waste, prepare a concise description of your business that is not only brief and informational, but also may prompt further questions and interest from others. 
  • Follow-up calls – When calling customers to follow up on a transaction, you need to be prepared for both positive and negative feedback and questions.  Having a few responses planned that will help solve a problem or lead to a future purchase will solidify your relationships with customers.
  • Collecting money – Possibly one of the most difficult aspects of being a business owner is having to be your own Accounts Receivable Department.  It can be uncomfortable to ask others for money, even when it is rightly owed to you.  Depending on the situation, a script can be extremely helpful for staying professional while getting to the point and being direct.

How to Use a Script

  • Map out your ideal conversation. Whether you’re meeting a potential customer for the first time or introducing a new product to a longtime client, actually write out how you would want the conversation to happen.   Chances are slim that things will play out this way in reality, but having a goal to reach will help you navigate any obstacles that pop up when speaking with clients and colleagues.
  • Identify potential pitfalls.  You know this magical ideal conversation won’t exactly be the one that is actually taking place, so identify where and how it might go astray.  Consider using a flow chart format for anticipating responses from the person to whom you are speaking and how to handle those responses.  Don’t be afraid to get creative and tailor it to fit your situation; for example, color coding a flow chart or using post-it flags to help you find what you’re looking for in a pinch can make a script more efficient.
  • Rehearse!  Of course, you don’t want what you’re saying to sound scripted and/or rehearsed, but you do need to be well-prepared in order to be confident and exude competence to your customers.  Practice what you want to say in front of the mirror, with another person, or even on a voice recorder.  (Listening to yourself will enable you to analyze your tone of voice and how others may perceive you.)  The more prepared you are, the more comfortable you will feel, and the more successful you can become.

Using scripts to help you in networking, customer relations, and other business situations can be a real asset to your business.  How have you incorporated scripts in order to grow your business?  Please share with us in the comments section below!

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