Selling — The “Anti-Script”

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“I’m Tom Bodett for Motel 6.  We’ll leave the light on for you…”

–   Tom Bodett (b. 1955), for 33-years and counting, the radio voice for one of the most successful campaigns of all time

The line wasn’t even scripted (the link above will tell you that story…), which is probably why it worked, and why it has worked for more than 30 years.  It’s genuine.  It’s conversational.  It’s approachable.  It’s real.

In the world of advertising, that makes it remarkable.  (Click that link for unforgettable advice from Seth Godin!)

How does this unscripted approach apply to our days?  Consider these two calls, imagining that you’re on the receiving end:

“Good morning, Steve.  My name is Pat Protagonist, I’m with ABC Widgets.  I’ve been doing a lot of research on companies like yours.  I think you’d benefit a great deal from the widgets we sell here at ABC Widgets.  ABC Widgets is the fastest-growing widget maker in the world, and our first-of-its-kind service offering is the envy of the industry!  Would you let me meet with you for an hour to discuss how our widgets can address all of your widget needs?”

Or…

“Hi, Steve.  Jerry Smith over at Jerry’s Manufacturing has been a customer of ours for 15 years, and he says his widget cost is down almost 20% since we got together.  If you have ten minutes next Tuesday or Wednesday, I could swing by and tell you about an idea that might take a big hunk of expense out of your operation, too.   Ten minutes, tops.  How does that sound?”

“I’ll take Conversational for $1000, Alex!”

Yet, it happens all the time.  The most conversational, warm, engaging and approachable person at the water cooler tries to be a robot on a client or prospect call.

No.  Just, no!

Tom Bodett ad-libbed the line because the spot ran short, and he needed to fill a few seconds at the end.  He didn’t have a script, so he was just…Tom.

How does that relate to professional, white-collar selling today?

Leave the light on for them.  Invite them to a conversation that they want to have, even if they don’t know they want to have it.  Just.  Be.  You.

It’s not that scripts are bad.  They’re just unnatural.  Of course we need to know the message like the back of our hand.  Then, we just need to deliver it our way, like we would if we met the prospect at a football game, wearing our favorite teams’ colors.

If Steve won’t spend ten minutes (now or next Tuesday or Wednesday) to engage in an idea about how he could save a lot of money for a long time, Steve’s not a prospect.  But, if we approach him the right way, he might be a friend.  And he might know a prospect – to which he’d love to refer his new friend.

Be remarkable.  Be remarkably, unscripted-ly you!

It’s #salesweek in The Daily Difference.  Invite a friend to subscribe!

#salesweek #differencemaking #teachercoach #leadership #justbeyou

 


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