Scripts Evoke Defensiveness While Natural Conversations Build Trust

Written by Suze, November 23rd, 2017

How do you feel when you use a script?

I haven’t used scripts for years but I will never forget the feeling. For me, it’s a deep gnawing inside my chest that makes me feel uncomfortable and anxious. Here are some things I’ve heard from sales people we’ve worked with about how they feel when they use scripts:   A fluttering in their chest, a dark heavy weight on their shoulders, light cramping in their abdomen, a tension headache across their forehead, a deep desire to hide, like they are operating under a dark cloud.

What feeling do you get? Feel free to share in the comments section of this blog.

This is often spoken about as a good thing: You’re pushing outside your comfort zone, right?

It’s definitely important to push outside your comfort zone in this business, but maybe some of the this unsettling feeling comes from your knowing that scripts aren’t about benefiting the person you’re calling. They’re about benefiting you.

Sales is about discovering a person’s needs, challenges and/or interests and then offering up a solution that satisfies and hopefully even delights them.  The only way a potential client will share these intimate details with you is if you earn their trust.

Sales scripts build defensiveness; the opposite of trust.

A script builds defensiveness in a number of ways.

  1. Scripts are pre-written, and are the same for each person you talk to, with subtle options. Therefor, they must make assumptions about the potential client’s situation, what they care about, and what they’re thinking and feeling. If these assumptions are even slightly off, which they will be most of the time, this will trigger defensiveness in the potential client because they will feel that you don’t understand them (which you don’t). What we want to do is to have a natural conversation that allow us to truly uncover what the potential client is actually thinking and feeling.
  2. When we work with scripts, we are not truly listening to the potential client. We are listening for them to speak their part in our script and when they don’t we try to coax them to say what we want them to say.  Most people will feel even the subtlest manipulation of this nature which will break the trust quickly. When we replace this agenda driven listening with truly authentic curiosity, we will hear what they really say, we will catch the nuances of what they communicate and we will sense what they really feel. When a person feels heard at this level it invites trust and openness.
  3. Scripts are designed as a crutch for people who are unable to connect with other people.  We live in a time where technology is eroding our ability for human connection but not our desire for it.  The number one reason a person will work with us instead of working primarily with technology in the purchase and sale of real estate is because of the human connection they feel with us. If we perform like a computer we can be replaced by one. Having the courage and the skills to have natural and deliberate conversations with people is what ethical sales is all about.

So why do scripts work?  Or do they?

I used scripts when I started in real estate and they worked some of the time. They worked a lot better than having no sales conversations and they worked a little bit better than untrained sales conversations. I think that if you use scripts, you leave a lot of potential business on the table.

Scripts do not invite people to share their truth with you.

Scripts are uncomfortable for both the salesperson and the prospective client which leads to poor personal connections and a lack of information sharing.  There is a strong desire to end the conversation quickly.

Scripts are based on what you have to offer and not on what is important to the prospective client because you haven’t found that out yet.

Scripts trigger rejection.

So, why not build the competence and the confidence to have natural conversations that promote a two-way dialogue between you and the people you would like to serve.  It’s a whole lot more fun for you and for your potential client.

2 Responses to “Scripts Evoke Defensiveness While Natural Conversations Build Trust”

  1. Shelagh MacDonald says:

    Thanks for this great post! I have always hated the concept of scripts because to me it is fake and I certainly don’t respond well to that myself, so I can’t do it in my business. I totally agree that being natural and interested in my clients and potential clients is much more meaningful to both of us.

  2. Barbara Long says:

    What do you think about email scripts that we sometimes use through our CRMs to keep in touch with prospective clients?

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