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December 16, 2019

Do You Think Helen Mirren Ever Just “Wings It”?

Welcome to another blog.

As subscribers to my Saturday Sales email will know, last weekend I practised what I preach about giving yourself proper downtime and I parked all things work for a solid 48 hours and spent some quality time with my lovely, long-suffering wife. I’m almost sure that she was as happy about this as I was…

Now I’m not a great film buff, but my wife loves going to the “big screen”, and so we went to watch The Good Liar, starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellan. I didn’t really know what to expect as I hadn’t read up on the film, but I found myself enthralled by these world-class actors at the peak of their game.

I was in London several times again this week, working with a client who is taking their startup business to the next level. It was on one of those long journeys that I started thinking about how great actors pull off these amazing performances. There are many parallels between how great actors work (be they “national treasures” like Mirren or McKellan, established stars like Clooney or Jolie, or a younger generation of talents like Emma Watson or Olivia Cooke) and being more successful with sales.

So, do great films just happen? Do these remarkable actors just rock up at the start of the shoot and ad-lib, winging it through their performance?

YOU MAKE IT LOOK SO EASY

The answer is of course not! But despite this, does everything come off as effortless and polished? Yes, it does, and you can’t see all of that behind-the-scenes effort as you sit watching them while you munch your popcorn.

Despite their natural talent and charm, great actors give their best work when what they are saying carries great weight, and they believe in their character. Great performances start with a great script.

And that’s the key message I want to get across to you – do you have a great sales script?

MORE THAN WORDS

Woah there, I can here a good percentage of you thinking. Sales scripts? Aren’t those really old-fashioned? Don’t they make you sound like a robot? Don’t they stop you being able to think on your feet?

No.

These acting greats can deliver knockout role after knockout role because they learn their scripts, practice, rehearse, revisit, rehearse again… Over and over and over. They don’t just turn up on set having had a quick read through and delivered a performance that leaves us spellbound.

I do find a lot of new clients have an aversion to sales scripts. They often tell me that they don’t work. That they sound awful. That they don’t have a place in modern sales.

I tell them that they are wrong.

DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN

It’s true that scripts on their own are next to useless. Even the best ones ever written don’t deliver themselves. But I defy to find a highly successful salesperson who doesn’t use a sales script or framework that they have practised and honed over a period of time.

And this is another reason why scripts get an unfounded bad reputation – people assume they are static objects.

No!

Your sales script should be a living thing – it gets reviewed and adjusted on a regular basis, sometimes even weekly.

Great salespeople will not only learn and practice their script, but they will also assess how certain words or phrases are working and change them if necessary to get even better results.

And you never stop practising it.

I really encourage you to do some planning around this. I created a video recently you can watch here on how to build a successful sales campaign. And here is an outline script that you can use as a starting point for building your own engaging sales script.

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

Above all else, please don’t forget to practice. It really is the key to success – whether you are selling a service to a business or delivering an Oscar-worthy performance like Helen Mirren! Don’t sell yourself short by failing to put in the behind-the-scenes work that will enable you to give a flawless performance every time.

If you’d like tailored help with this or any other area of prospecting, sales, or business management then feel free to contact me via [email protected] I really enjoy hearing from you about your own personal successes and learning points. I’m also always happy to receive suggestions for ideas for these blogs, the Saturday Sales emails and for videos on the YouTube channel. You can find me on the social networks – Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn – just search for ‘jameswhitesales’.

James White

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