This script will significantly increase conversion rate and average dollar sale for any business that has the courage and discipline to implemented it …
A word about Scripts:
Think of the last movie you saw. Did the actors have a script? (yes) Did they sound like they were reading a script? (no) Only an amateur reads a script. a professional memorizes a script, ensure they have the key phrases word perfect and then often modifies the script in small ways that adds life, humour and effectiveness to their communication. Developing a script is the process of crafting words and ideas in advance so you can skilfully communicate at maximum effectiveness. Any business that invests the time to train and implement an effective incoming phone script will see the result on the bottom line – guaranteed! On average businesses that have implemented this script have increased sales by 16% and the only cost is a little though, a lot of discipline – and getting out of your comfort zone!
You never get a second chance to make a first impression!
A well crafted incoming phone script can differentiate your business from your competitors, frame your prospects expectations and significantly increase your sales conversion.
This phone script is designed to welcome all inquiries and convert price focused shoppers to a sale. It consists of three main parts;
- The Greeting;
- Transfer of control / initiating the sales process;
- Closing the Sale
1. The Greeting
The greeting is divided into three section. So long as you follow the principles you can find words that suit the character and style you want for your business:
The first few words you will say. These words give initial impact and are YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION! Make them have a human connection and ensure they are said with the right emotion. They will create a picture in the mind of your prospect of the experience they will have dealing with you. For example a fun, out on the edge business might say, “Hi there” where a professional office is more likely to say, “Good Morning”
Examples: “Thanks for calling” “Welcome to” “Good morning/afternoon” “Hi”
b) Section 2
Your business name so they know who they have called
c) Section 3
Prepare them to hear your name then make your name the last word they hear.
Examples: “This is Warwick” “You’re speaking with Warwick”
- Logic behind this part of the script
Do not say “Speaking” after your name or “how can I help you?” The idea is to finish with your name and leave it hanging right there. You’ll find that they will 9 times out of 10 give you their name back. Be sure to write it down and use their name back to them as many times as possible and appropriate in the following conversation. You will build rapport and increase your chances of leading them to a sale.
Another reason why this script works so well is something called primacy and recency – in other words the first thing a person hears and the last thing they hear have the most impact and are the easiest to remember – especially the last thing. So the first words you say are a welcome that opens a relationship. The last thing you say is your name – that helps them remember it and connect with you. If you say speaking after your name then why would you want them to remember speaking? Saying speaking after your name also makes it hard for the caller to get your name in the first place – the reason for this is that people generally say their own name quickly and if you saying speaking after your name those two words often sound run together and the caller will generally miss your name.
Saying “this is” before your name also helps the other person get your name as you have prepared them that your name is coming.
Saying “how can I help you” progresses the conversation too quickly to the technical rather than facilitating exchange of names and some quick rapport!
2. Transfer of control / initiating the sales process
This is where you start to convert the price focused shopper. The caller normally asks the first question. The person who is asking questions has control – so you want to take control of the conversation so you can discover their needs and serve them best by making the sale that is good for them and you. If you just launch into asking questions in response to their question then you usually come across pushy and if you then want to avoid sounding pushy you’ll probably not ask as many questions as you should. That’s why the key thing to say is to ask their permission to ask them questions. the act of asking permission is both polite and when granted gives you full reign to ask whatever and however many questions as you need to. If someone is in a hurry or really not serious they may refuse you permission. In that case you can either explain why you want to ask them questions of just give them either the price or a price range and let them know that without determining if that product or service is best for them you may have given them the price for an inappropriate solution.
Example: ‘Thanks for your call Mary, just so I can help you best, would it be OK if I asked a couple of questions?’’
3. Closing the Sale
There are many ways to close the sale. The main point is that you do it. Do not leave the conversation hanging.
“Based on what you’ve told me, it sounds like [repeat their criteria for buying back to them] is important to you. With that in mind, I recommend the……” [best solution, with an explanation of why it is the ideal way to go].’ (This script reinforces that you have listened, feeds back the benefits so they are reinforced and gives your expert recommendation)
Followed by: “How does that fit with what you had in mind?” (a soft close)
The either or close: “Would you prefer that in black or red.” “Would you rather pay for that by credit card or online banking?”
Confirm a detail close: “What date would you like to book that for?” “Would you like your electric blanket turned on before you arrive?”
The search for objection close: “Is there anything that would stop you going ahead with that now?”
The straight out ask: “Can I confirm that for you now?” (Which if they answer no to you can then follow with an objection search and then close on the objection.)
Example of an incoming phone script from a Motel and Restaurant that Warwick owned:
Wait for the phone to ring twice, then answer it. Sooner than two rings makes the caller feel uncomfortable. More than two rings sounds unfriendly.
Ensure that you are smiling and you have cleared your head of what you were doing before you answer the phone. A good technique is to picture the caller sitting on the other end of the line with their wallet open. (If you are feeling stressed, annoyed or any other negative emotion you can be sure that it will transmit through the phone. Ensure you are in the right state, then pick up the money machine!)
Your first line should be “Thanks for calling Your Business Name, this is NAME.” (Use First and Last names if you are in management – otherwise you can just use your first name)
If they give you their name immediately, write it down and be sure to use it back a number of times in the following conversation. (The more the better – even if you feel like you are overdoing it)
They will ask their first question at this point. Some common questions are ‘Do you have any vacancies’ or ‘How much for a room for …?’. Unless the question is something similar to ‘I’d like to book a table for 2 – i.e they have already made up their mind to book into the Restaurant, or it is not a customer inquiring, you MUST say ‘‘Thanks for your call. Just so I can help you best, would it be OK if I asked a couple of questions?’’
Upon receiving their approval, begin asking open-ended questions. Assume that they will be booking over the phone in this conversation – even if they have just rung for a price. These are questions that start with WHAT, HOW, WHEN etc. Questions that lead into a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response will stop the flow of conversation unless they are specific to their needs. Here are some ideas on questions that you could ask …
For Motel enquires:
Where are you coming from? (Could be different to address)
What time are you expecting to arrive?
“How many of you are travelling together?
Do you have children with you?”
Would you prefer a private bedroom for the children?
Would you prefer a room with a spa bath? (If there is one that fits with the configuration they need for their party?)
Are you leaving early? Would you like a Wake up call?
Do you require anything extra in the room?
If children – high chair, cot,
What number would you like your electric blanket turned onto? (If they are arriving in the evening)
Would you like a dinner ready in your room or would you rather eat in the Restaurant?
For Restaurant Enquires:
Have you eaten Stone grill before?
If the answer is no – It really is delicious, I’m sure you’ll love it!
If the answer is yes – Great, can I ask what you enjoy about stone grill?
How many in your party?
What time would you like to dine?
Do you have any special dietary needs or preferences?
Each question builds a relationship with the prospect, and leads to the ultimate outcome – a clear picture of their wants, the impression (rightly so) that they will be very well cared for and the assumption that they will make the booking.
Key questions impress the customer, secure the booking, encourage them to return and increase the average $ sale.
There are three types of questions to be asking:
- Questions that help you ‘get into their shoes’ and identify their needs
- Technical questions that show that you are the expert and they can trust you
- Emotional questions that lead them to the sale – remember sales are 80% emotion & 20% logic
If you haven’t already made the booking for the questions above (probably because you feel like they are still scoping out you can follow the next script that leads the booking:
Offer a solution. Say “Based on what you’ve told me, it sounds like [repeat their criteria for buying back to them] is important to you. With that in mind, I recommend the……” [best solution, with an explanation of why it is the ideal way to go].’
Use a ‘temperature-checking’ line. The ideal phrase is “How does that fit with what you had in mind?”
If the answer is ‘sounds good’ or something similar, move onto the next step. If not, say “OK, which parts are you unsure about?” or “OK, what do we need to change to make it fit with what you had in mind?”.
Then say “OK, supposing I can give you [anything else they want], how does that fit with what you had in mind?”. If they say ‘fine’, then say “Great, because I can give you……..” [explain an alternative solution, that suits better]’.
Make the Booking.
Collect the details needed for Callista being sure to get all contact information.
Restaurant bookings also need to collect name, address, mobile and email
Ask “Where did you hear about us?” and “What is it about the advertisement that made you want to phone”
You can soften these questions by starting with, “By the way…”
“By the way… Where did you hear about us?”
“What is it about the advertisement that made you want to phone”
Note this information in Callista
Confirm and leave a positive expectation in their mind…
Say “Excellent <Customer’s name>, I’m looking forward see you.”
Thank you <Customer’s name>, I’ll be doing my best to be sure you enjoy your stay…
Thank you <Customer’s name>, you have a table for 4 booked at 6.00 pm. Please let me know how you enjoy Stone grill…
This Story comes from Warwick’s Motel and Restaurant business.
The business was run under management and just goes to show both the power of implemented strategy, and how long it can take…
Testimonial from Ngaire who eventually did use the script!
I had been working at the company for about 13 months, during that 13 months I had been given extensive training for prospective customers enquiring about accommodation on the phone. Not only had I had the training but I had also heard both of the Directors using the same phone script with success!
The Manager had taken some time off so one of the Directors came down to run the place while he was away, because it was just him and I, he had the opportunity listen to the way I was feilding phone calls. I answered the phone as I had been doing for the previous 13 months, and had an accommodation enquiry. “How much is a room”? she asked. “$99 for a standard unit, $120 for a spa bath, $140 for a 1 bedroom & $165 for a 2 bedroom unit” I replied. Thanks she said and was gone. My boss had been listening to me and asked how that had gone, knowing what the answer would be.
“Do you know the phone script” he asked, “Yes” I replied, “Well then what should you have said to that customer instead of telling them the cost”? “Is that within your budget”? I said. “Ah you don’t know the script at all do you, if you did you would know that you should have asked “just so I can help you best, can I ask you a couple of questions” Okay I thought, right that’s it! The next person who rings here asking for a price I’m going to use the script on. I printed a copy off for myself, read though it and waited for another accommodation enquiry.
One eventually came…”Thanks for calling Alma Motel & STONZE Restaurant, this is Ngaire” I said after two ring and with a smile on my face. “Hi love, how much for a room” was the answer I got. “Okay just so I can help you best, can I ask you a couple of questions” I read back to her. I sound pathetic I thought, this sounds so fake, she’ll never fall for this!
“Yes” she replied. What! What do you mean YES! I could hear the words screaming aroung in my head! My heart rate rose by by about 100 beats, my temprature started to boil and my hands were starting to shake! Panic stations was all I could think, she said YES! OH NOOOOO! Um…ok….well, I had to find the questions I needed to ask her and I had to fine them quick! I scramble for the phone script and read as fast as is humanly possile. WHERE ARE THOSE QUESTIONS PLEASE LET ME FIND THEM! I found the questions on the script and started firing them at her, I even asked her the questions on the script that had nothing to do with the situation, like…Would you prefer a private bedroom for the children? after being told there were no children coming.
As the conversation went on I relaxed a little and stopped making so many mistakes, I told her what we had that would be suitable for her needs. “I’ll take it” she said. “You will?, Okay then, can I get you details please” I had stumbled though the phone script that I had been taught 13 months ago with major success! I secured the booking, got her credit card details but best of all, this was the first booking I had taken without giving the customer a discount!!! “Thanks so much, and have a nice day” I said. Just as I was about to hang up she said, “By the way love, how much is that going to be”? $99.00 per night I replied with a big grin on my face.
Sales & Marketing
Alma Motel & STONZE Restaurant