Every time I conduct a phone training class, I ask the advisors “Why do you hate scripts?”  I inevitably get the same answers:

  • They sound canned
  • They don’t sound like me
  • They sound robotic
  • It sounds like I’m reading
  • You can’t personalize it to the client
  • If you get off track, you’re in trouble

I agree wholeheartedly with all of these comments.  But I still spend a good portion of my seminars teaching professionals how to scripts for themselves.  Having a script that sounds like you is very, very important. In my opinion, the main reason for “call reluctance” is that talented, talkative people (like you) do not want to sound like a first grader reading their first book.

The challenge we have in scripting is that most of us were trained to speak, write and read English in a formal manner. We all learned the English of the great writer Ernest Hemingway.  Ernest was a novelist and the English that we are taught is that which is required to write a meaningful paragraph that is read by other people.  The last part of that sentence “read by other people” is the secret to good Hemingway writing.

When you are on the phone, however, you need to master the English of Neil Simon, who is was of our great playwrights.  Mr. Simon, as opposed to Mr. Hemingway, writes the conversational English of actors and actresses.  His English is more relaxed, with less punctuation.  A child that is learning to talk may use run-on sentences frequently.  That’s because they are learning to talk, not read.  Once you send that same child to school, they learn about periods and commas and they shorten their sentences.

If you impose Mr. Hemingway’s writing style on the script that you use on the phone, it will sound stilted.  It will have too many periods and not enough “ands” in it.  When I sent my book, “Modern Appointment Setting” to my editor, he started “fixing” all my scripts.  He was doing an Ernest Hemingway on my Neil Simon writing!

In order to not sound canned you need to “Simonize” your scripts.  The best way to do this is by lifting out the key words in the script and listing them in bulleted form. Then use your natural talking ability to remind you of the whole script.  This will help you to talk it and not read it.

The Hemingway version of a script in my script book looks like this.

Hi, this is _______ and I’m sure that you’ve heard about my new career with (name of your company).  I’m really excited about it and the reason I’ve called is that I would like to position myself as a financial resource to you.  I would like to set up a time when we can get together so that I can share with you the scope of the work that I do.  That way, you can use me, my expertise and the resources of my company any way that makes you feel the most comfortable.

With that in mind, what is less hectic – days or evenings? 

But when you are actually on the phone, you should have the following document in front of you:

  • heard about my new career
  • excited about it
  • reason I’ve called
  • position myself
  • financial resource
  • get together
  • share with you
  • scope of the work that I do
  • me, expertise, resources
  • any way that makes you feel the most comfortable
  • less hectic

Read the script over and over and then talk it out loud, over and over. If you do that a couple dozen times, then the bulleted format will help you sound like you are talking to the prospect. Not reading.

Remember, Words Matter!


 “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” Jim Rohn –