Guest writer Isaac Rollor walks us through scripted conversations in this week’s blog post: “Get Scripted.”
Think of the last Hollywood action movie you attended. Have you ever noticed what moviegoers say when they walk out of a movie theatre? Typically, they talk about how the movie made them feel or reenact their favorite scenes Have you ever heard moviegoers say that the movie wasn’t any good because all the actors were “using a script”? Probably not. A great script is a key component of a great movie.
Here is something most people don’t think about, as a consumer you are part of scripted conversations and interactions more often than you may realize. Have you ever dialed 911? I can guarantee the 911 dispatcher was reading questions from a script. Did you order the special from your favorite restaurant based on the waitress’s wonderful description? Your waitress used a script that was powerful enough for you to abandon your usual choice and upgrade your dinner to something that you have never experienced. Here is my point. A script is a tool that once mastered can allow the user to experience powerful and repeatable results. The best part about mastering a script is that if you don’t tell customers that you are using a script they probably will never know.
My first experience with scripting came from my work as a technical training instructor and course developer. I am grateful to have spent a great deal of time with some excellent course creators. I quickly learned that the best course creators were masters of scripting. During my first few years as a mechanic, I never thought about the painstaking work that went into creating the diagnostic and troubleshooting information I was referencing in the OEM’s service manual, and technical training videos. I never realized that technical trainers and course creators spent weeks or even months creating scripts related to print, video and instructor led training content for product launches and other important initiatives. It wasn’t until I was hunched over a keyboard typing the process for reprogramming a controller or replacing a component that I fully realized the power of the words used to guide thousands of service technicians through a complicated process. When service personnel are troubleshooting components or replacing warranty items, they are executing a script. The wrong choice of words can easily create confusion and frustration for service and technical personnel, resulting in inefficiency and additional costs. The best technical trainers and course developers always tested their instructor led commentary, video content and technical writings on a pilot group before publishing. Typically, this pilot group was comprised of master technicians or fellow trainers who could help provide expert consulting on how best to make alterations, edits or improvements. Not only does this pilot process provide mastery of the script but it also confirms that the word choices and patterns achieve the desired result.
If you are in sales your mastery of scripted responses to known objections can provide a noticeable advantage. A clear, concise description of the highly technical product or service you are selling will certainly allow your buyer to better understand the unique advantages of your product. An effective selling script should be delivered in a way that feels organic and natural to both the seller and the buyer. A product demonstration is a perfect example of how a script can be implemented in construction equipment sales. A well-choreographed and scripted product demonstration can provide undeniable evidence of your products superiority in comparison against the competition. Maybe you are reading this blog right now and agree that a script can be implemented in sales and training but you feel that your area of expertise or job function cannot be contained within a script? I would encourage you to think about the high frequency tasks you complete and the conversations that you have in relation to these tasks. Do you provide a monthly presentation on the same topic? Do you type a weekly report? Do you wish your team was all on the same page after your morning meetings? If you answered yes to any of these questions then a script will most likely provide you with an efficiency boost. Here are a few things to keep in mind while creating your script. Think about what you are already saying. Write down verbatim the words that you find to be most effective. When writing the first version of your script don’t worry about spelling, punctuation or capitalization, simply write the words in the best possible order and complete a beta version of your script. Once version 1.0 is complete, read it aloud and see how it sounds. If you are moderately happy with version 1.0 then make any corrections or adjustments needed for punctuation and rename your script version 2.0. Find a peer to review version 2.0 of your script, only allow them to read it or listen to your presentation of the script one time. Once they have consumed the content, ask them for feedback and be specific with your questions. This will allow you learn if the words and word patterns you chose were effective or still need work. Take the feedback you receive and adjust the script then rename it version 3.0. Once you have renamed to version 3.0, its time to master your script. Don’t be alarmed. Mastering your script doesn’t mean you can recite it blindfolded but it does mean that you can recite key sentences of the script within a moment’s notice. The best way I have found to master a script is to record yourself reading the script and then listen to your recorded voice after each reading. When you have mastery over your script you will be amazed at how you can command a room during a sales presentation or quickly get everyone on the same page during a monthly meeting. Your confidence and process will actually help you feel comfortable or maybe even enjoy interactions that were formerly dreaded due to a lack of process and a struggle to communicate effectively.
Here is my challenge for you: pick one interaction in your work life that could be smoother if you created a script. Follow the simple steps provided for creating your script. Once you feel you have mastered your script, execute the script and take notice of the results you achieve. Don’t be afraid to keep editing your script after version 3.0, remember that the words you choose are important to the success of your script.
Need some extra guidance on scripting or want to share a success story involving one of your scripts? Please reach out to me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/isaac-rollor-335b6876/