Welcome to KellerINK’s latest column – these monthly articles are aimed at helping you achieve greater success by highlighting the groundbreaking research that informs our award-winning books and drives Keller Williams’ industry-leading coaching and training.
Sometimes we forget that effective communication is equal parts what we’re saying and how we’re saying it. For instance, shouting, “Hey, you!” with a smile and a cheerful wave means one thing and shouting it with a scowl and a tight fist means another. If you want to be an effective sales professional, then the nuance between a script, its delivery, and its context shouldn’t be missed!
A script and its delivery are inseparable. It doesn’t matter how well-crafted a message is if the person who shares it does so poorly. Inversely, a wonderful presentation of a script that is all style and no substance may miss the mark.
For the purposes of this column, we’re going to break down the anatomy of a script so you can leverage them in the right context. Our hope is that this will become a quick guide for you to reference when planning out your scripts. If you stick to these three points, you’ll have no problem delivering clear, memorable lines that will help you convert leads and overcome objections.
Empathy: Understand It’s Not About You
One of the best things that you can do for your scripts (and your business) is think outside of your own perspective.
When you’re creating a script, you need to prioritize the other person’s point of view. In order to want to do business with you, a client has to believe you care about them and their needs. A truly great script is customer oriented and benefits the customer throughout the entire conversation.
Ben Feldman, aka “the greatest life-insurance salesman of all time,” is a master of creating scripts that turn a client’s needs and fears into a sale. Despite never doing business outside a 60-mile radius of his little hometown of East Liverpool, Ohio, Feldman sold more life insurance on his own than 83% of all insurance agencies in the United States. His scripting strategy was simple: have a sense of humor and craft a message that focuses on the living, not the dead.
The problem about selling someone life insurance is that they don’t always feel an immediate need. In his pitches, Feldman focused on the cash value that a policy would accumulate and how it could help surviving relatives. It became a subject of building a financial legacy – not taking care of a grim business.
“‘Wouldn’t you like to save some money? How much have you saved in the last five years? Is there any reason to think that in the next five years you’ll do any better?”
It’s impossible for any salesperson to create a need. You can’t make someone care about a nice school district if they don’t have or plan on having kids, for example. However, a great salesperson is adept at finding existing needs and leveraging them to their client’s benefit.
When you approach your leads and contacts, think about what they’re needing, feeling, or wanting from your interaction. Take a tool from Feldman’s box and look both at the financial needs of your client and their feelings.
For example, if someone says to you:
“I have a friend in the business; they just got their license. I think I should do business with them.”
They’re not just concerned about their house – they’re concerned about their friend! They’re worried that not working with their friend will make them come across as selfish or uncaring.
Here’s the script that agent Anna Kilinski uses to handle this situation:
“What’s more important to you: that you make your friend feel good, or that you make the best financial decision for your well-being? Can you imagine what’s going to happen to your friendship if something goes wrong? It’s going to be really awkward. Imagine if you had to have surgery – would you want your new friend to perform it, or the doctor with the best track record? You see, this is just like that, except this is financial surgery.”
Kilinski’s script is entirely customer focused because it discusses only the client’s concerns. By recognizing both the importance of the client’s friendship and their personal financial situation, it simultaneously illustrates how she can help the client. However, this script doesn’t use the word “I” once – it squarely places its focus on the client’s needs.
The Thing Is: Be Clear and Concise
In Fanatical Prospecting, Jeb Blount explains that whenever you’re dealing with a client or potential client, you need to be able to quickly communicate the reason that you’re speaking with them.
The biggest objections come when it looks like you’re not being respectful of someone’s time and are only trying to get something from them. You should never be in a position where an interaction is one-sided and benefiting only you. Whether you’re following up on a lead from an online campaign or touring a home with a client, you should be able to communicate your point or questions with mindfulness and clarity.
For whatever script you’re writing, be sure to explicitly state what your purpose or proposal is. In the event that you’d like your listener to take an action – such as call or email your office – include that direction and information in the script. If you’d like to help them overcome an objection, be sure that you explain what they might see from a different perspective and why.
The Magic of “Because”: Use Logic
When you’re creating a script, don’t forget to include factual reasons for why you’re giving the advice that you are. Not only will this help demonstrate your expertise and help establish yourself as the local expert of choice, it will help your scripts ultimately be more persuasive.
An experiment from Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer shows that when you give people a reason, they are more likely to listen and respond positively to requests. The study had researchers cut in line in front of people who were waiting to use copiers. When the researcher gave a reason (Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the copier?), the person would say yes about 60% of the time. When the researcher qualified the request with a valid reason (Because I’m in a hurry), the person said yes on average about 94% of the time. Even when they used a nonsensical reason (Excuse me, I have five pages, may I use the copier? Because I have to make copies) the person said yes 93% of the time.
Giving someone a reason will make your script incredibly more persuasive; it also gives you an opportunity to inform your lead or client.
Let’s look at Corey Edwards’ script for interacting with absentee homeowners (owners of investment properties or second homes):
Agent: Hi, __________, how are you? This is __________ with Keller Williams. I sold a property at ________ and I have a lot of buyers eager to move into this area. I’m calling to see if you’re in the market for selling?
Client: *shares objection*
Agent: (Ask questions in order to learn more about their objection. Ask about the time frame when they would consider selling.)
Client: *shares timeline*
Agent: I’m not sure if you know, but interest rates are currently very low. Believe it or not, we closed a mortgage last Friday at 2.5% on a 30-year fixed. What we’re seeing a lot of buyers and sellers do is upgrade their homes, and a lot of the people who are upgrading are keeping their payments almost the same. Not only that, but because the inventory is so tight in your price range, it’s a seller’s market. If you’re going to sell, now is the time to do so.
Client: Let me talk to my partner.
Agent: I would love to help you both out with a free consultation. I will be in your neighborhood around _______. Would you be available for me to pop by and let you know what’s going on in the current market? (If a client is concerned about having people in their home during current circumstances, say, “I fully understand that you do not want people in your home at the moment. Being that inventory is so tight in our market, how about we take 15 to 20 minutes to jump on a Zoom call, and we can discuss how we are getting many homes sold virtually. Will tomorrow at 5 p.m. work for you?”)
Agent: Is this the best number to reach you at, and is there an alternative number I can call you on? What about your email address? I want to fire off a quick email with my contact information so you have it.
Client: *responds with information*
Agent: What I’ll do is I will follow up with you, and if you have 5 to 10 minutes, I will swing by and let you know what’s going on in the market.
In the above exchange, the agent demonstrates their knowledge of the current market and explains how that information could work to the clients’ personal advantage. It has a very clear reason (“because inventory is so tight …”) and shows how that reason creates a positive outcome for the client.
Scripts are a sales professional’s superpower. Agents who masterfully craft their scripts and are able to quickly provide an in-depth response or message to a client that foreground the client’s concerns will greatly increase their possibilities for converting a lead into a transaction.
As you write your scripts and share them with your sphere, remember the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) includes the National Do Not Call Registry and regulates telemarketing calls. Make sure to follow TCPA guidelines at all times – otherwise, you could face severe legal consequences.
Learn From the Pros
Register today for Family Reunion: A Digital Experience and learn how top agents handle objections and prospecting on the spot in the grand finale of “Choose Your Script Champion.”Join Us at Family Reunion
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