Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series on smart scripts. Five way to create a results oriented smart script, Pt. 1
A smart script has a clear agenda
Many advisers think they have to recite the agenda to the client. You know the old high school format: Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them. A smart script does not describe the agenda, rather it lets you do the agenda.
When you make an initial contact, you should have obtained meaningful information about the prospect from the person who referred them. You can incorporate that information into your smart script.
For example, if you know the prospect has four children, you might say something like, “Stan, your friend suggested we get together because there are some concepts in Values-Based Financial Planning™ that could help you provide a better future for your children, Mary, Jenny, Peter and David. Did I catch you at an okay time?” Notice that I called the prospect by name, made sure it was an okay time, and stated my purpose clearly.
A dumb script often has a very different purpose and agenda: It’s designed to scare people into buying products designed to overcome their fears.
For instance, a dumb script might be used to sell life insurance to address the fear of dying prematurely. Or it might be used to sell long term care insurance to address the fear of not dying prematurely.
I was trained by people who perfected those kinds of scripts. They taught mantras like: Dig ’em a hole and throw ’em a rope. Find a need and fill it. Paint them out of the corner you’ve backed them into with your product or service. Break their leg by asking questions that make them feel stupid, and then they’ll know they need you. One system calls it tunneling for pain. Another one of my mentors used to call it being a scab picker: Pick their scab, make it bleed, and offer your product or service as a Band-Aid.
I wouldn’t want to imply that dumb scripts don’t work. A dumb but well-executed script will make sales — but how does that bode for the long-term relationship? How do you think clients feel about having a regular meeting with someone who inflicts pain and makes them feel stupid? How do you think they feel about providing referrals to that person? Even if they’re happy with the products, they typically tend to buy what they need and then run.
At the end of the day, you can motivate people by fear, but most people would prefer to be inspired. A smart script talks about values, goals, and what’s important to the client. It offers to build a bridge to a positive future. A smart script is positive and inspirational, not fear mongering.