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Telemarketing: Script or No Script? Which is better?

Updated: Jun 6, 2022

Man speaking on the phone while holding his microphone

It’s a debate that been going on for years across the industry – with massively opposing views on the subject.

There are so many differing opinions involving telemarketing scripts that it’s not always clear which approach is best to use.

In this article, we’ll be delving into the arguments for and against scripted or unscripted telemarketing and trying to identify the approach that is best to use.

Scripted Telemarketing

Using a script is often the less popular approach when it comes to telemarketing, yet it can provide some value especially for telemarketers new to the industry.

Scripts are often used to help with the training of many telemarketers, who might not have the knowledge or experience to sell the offering that is being pitched over the phone. They can sometimes be helpful for companies selling multiple products/services with telemarketers who are not as familiar with each offering they need to promote.

Having a script over the phone gives these telemarketers a useful tool that can be used to guide a conversation down a certain path leading to a potential sale. It can help you to structure your conversations, so they can work to your advantage and result in the desired outcome.

Although scripts do have their many limitations and when used by a more experienced telemarketer it can often get in the way and hinder their natural charisma. You can run the risk of sounding robotic and it can significantly impact the smoothness in the delivery of the pitch.

When using a script, the telemarketer may not want to deviate from the set conversation, which means it can harder for the prospect to get answers to their questions or find out more if it’s not a part of their script.

The person on the other end of the phone will tend to notice when a script is being used as conversations can feel forced and the telemarketer sounds less natural on the phone. From a customer’s point of view, they won’t always want to be read a generic sales script and will much prefer simply having a conversation.

Writing a telemarketing script on paper

Unscripted Telemarketing

Ditching the script is often the choice of most experienced telemarketers, with the use of a script often being seen as an obstacle that interrupts the flow of a call.

When a script isn’t being used it allows the telemarketer more freedom to connect with the person on the other end of the phone. Unscripted telemarketing enables more personalised and unique conversations to take place, with calls sounding less generic and salesy, which helps to make the prospect feel more relaxed and makes building rapport far easier.

Scripts can fall into the one-size-fits-all approach, which just doesn’t work for telemarketing. Having one script that is used to sell to all your prospects, limits your pitch and doesn’t appeal to each prospect that you call.

Not using a script gives the telemarketer the ability to tailor their pitch to each individual prospect they speak with based on their responses. On a call, you have the freedom to change your approach if it's not working with a particular prospect so you can appeal more to each individual you speak with.

Although without a script, telemarketers don’t have a safety net to fall back on. If the telemarketer stumbles and fails to remember the main selling points of the product/service they are selling, they don’t have anything to refer back to and help them get back on track.

When a less experienced telemarketer isn’t using a script, it can be very easy for them to lose their path and begin to trail off the pitch, making is harder to capture and retain the prospect’s interest, and ultimately losing a potential opportunity. A telemarketer new to the industry is more likely to slip up and fail to capture the attention of a prospect when a script isn’t being used.

​The Alternative

Both scripted and unscripted telemarketing have their benefits and downfalls, and both work better than the other depending on the individual using each approach.

Although there is another method that could be the best of both worlds for your business.

Campaign guides are the alternative approach to scripted or unscripted telemarketing. A campaign guide should involve all the important details of the telemarketing campaign including the main selling points of your offering, answers to common questions, responses to possible objections and lots of information that can help to guide you on a call.

Using a campaigns guide allows you to take your own approach and not be bound to following a script, whilst still having all the important details to fall back on if you’re not sure where to take the conversation.

Having this campaign guide should help to support your telemarketing activities while being able to adapt to changes in conversations as the call progresses.

Man using a campaign guide to speak with people over the phone

In Conclusion

Overall, there are many different approaches to your telemarketing activities that you could take and each one may work differently depending on the telemarketer using the method.

Scripts are often good for training purposes and new starters into the telemarketing world but can hinder the ability to have a natural conversation. Although without a script, telemarketers don’t have anything to fall back on which is why campaign guides are often used as an alternative.

At River, we use campaign guides to help support our telemarketing activities as we have found the most success when this approach is utilised. To learn more about the approach we take in our telemarketing activities, visit our ‘About Us’ page today!


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