Robots Don’t Win Oscars
I recently published an article that stating that “marketing scripts” can be written to answer customer questions in an informative, concise, and friendly manner. I got a number of responses from people telling me they hated the idea of using “scripts” to deliver information.
When I inquired as to why they had a problem with scripts, the universal response was that they “didn’t want to sound like a robotic-sounding telemarketer reading a ‘canned’ spiel.”
We’ve all heard “robots” trying to impress or sell and their stiff, badly practiced (or not practiced) monologues having the opposite effect, which turns off the listener. The people who responded to my article are right.
I offer this counterpoint in response:
When you turn on your television to watch a drama or comedy show, do you feel like those actors are reading from a script? No, they sound like they are talking naturally, yet we all know they are not just making it up or “winging it.” They started with a script. That script was written by a group of writers. Then they memorized their lines, and once they learned the script, they practiced their lines over and over until it sounded like normal speech. Then they practiced it with the other actors in the scene, and then they performed it in front of their director, who probably modified it several times to get it right, to ultimately sound like they were speaking in a manner appropriate to their scene. Those actors certainly are not talking normally, it just sounds like it.
It’s the same way that a customer-friendly company gives information on the phone, in an office or showroom setting, or at a trade show. There is a script created to answer, to inform, to extoll the virtues, and to ultimately to close the sale. That script is honed and practiced until it is delivered naturally. It sounds like natural speech, but it is the practiced answer to an inquiry.
A practiced, scripted answer delivered in a friendly manner will better inform customers and build their knowledge and the relationship. So, start cataloging questions or inquiries and develop short scripts as the basis for standardized responses. Practice them, think “Lights! Camera! Action!” and you will sound natural. Think of making the sale as winning an Oscar (“I’d like to thank my writer, my director, my acting coach, and my supporting actors.”) You’ll look great on the red carpet!