What makes great actors like De Niro and Hanks great?
I’m sure you could list many reasons, but the main one is that they are able to take a script, able to take someone else’s words, and make them their own. They are so good at making them their own that, even though you know they’re acting, when you watch them, you believe they are the person they are pretending to be. If you didn’t, they’d be out of a job.
You may not know this, but your ability to take a script and make it your own could mean the difference between a $4,000 a month Taekwon-Do school and a $20,000 a month school!
Using scripts in my business was literally a turning point for the success of my Taekwon-Do school and my bank account. Now I use scripts for almost everything.
You, like most people, may have an aversion to using scripts in your business because you don’t want to sound canned or you’re afraid of what others will think of you if they know you are using a script.
That’s only a problem if you don’t memorize the script and make it your own. Yes this takes work, but as Dan Kennedy said,
“Selling is too important and too formulaic to be left to improv.”
What ever hang-ups or negative opinions you have about scripts, I’d like you to consider that those are a huge barrier to you success as a Taekwon-Do instructor. You may think you have proof they don’t work, because you’ve tried using them before. I promise you that you either had an ineffective script or you didn’t do the work required to make the script truly your own.
At a minimum you must use scripts for how you introduce yourself, answer the phone, how you greet walk-ins and how you enroll new members.
And these can’t just be any scripts. They have to be intentionally written to develop rapport, make the customer comfortable with you and your Taekwon-Do school, to get the customer’s contact information, and to make the buying decision for them as easy as possible.
With these are in place you can easily measure your performance. If appointments aren’t being scheduled then you can tweak the phone script. If new members are not enrolling after the intro lesson then you can tweak that presentation. As you can see, having these scripts becomes the foundation of the performance of your business activities and you have absolute control over them.
Another extraordinary benefit to using scripts is that when it comes time to hire employees, other instructors or if you wish to replace yourself, you have the ability to train others to do exactly what you did, and to say exactly what you said, giving them the best possible chance for success. And just as you used the scripts to assess your performance, you can use it to assess your employee’s performance as well.
By using these scripts I know exactly what my instructors are saying and when they are saying it.
And MOST IMPORTANTLY to me… I’m able to make sure that everything our students hear from us is consistent with our message of developing Smarter, Stronger, Safer Kids and Leaders in the community.
Now let’s address the three most common complaints I get from employees, instructors and other Taekwon-Do school owners about scripts.
1. It’s not MY words!
You didn’t hear De Niro complaining to Francis Ford Coppola because he was given a script that wasn’t his words. He transformed himself into Vito Corleone and the rest is history. The good news for you is that you’ll never have to transform yourself into someone you are not. What you will need to do is learn the most effective ways to successfully sell you and your school. You are already doing that everyday by saying something, but you have the opportunity to refine that, make it consistent and make it profitable!
2. Do I have to REALLY memorize all this?
Yes, you do.
The first step you need to take to make the scrips your own is memorizing them. Once you have the words, you can now begin to add a level of depth and understanding to those words. You must know what you are saying and why you are saying it for it to be effective. Otherwise it will sound like someone else’s words or some canned pitch.
3. But actors improv!
Yes they do. But only after tremendous amounts of preparation including memorizing scripts and gaining a great understanding of the role they are playing. Only after all that can they effectively improv with the character they are playing. And in time, you will be able to do the same. You may find things that work better than others and produce better results, but you can only do that effectively if you know exactly what you are saying and why you are saying it.
You can only accomplish all this with the use of scripts.
As an example my phone script for Karstadt Taekwon-Do let’s people know that we are a referral based school, that we focus on leadership, how they can get started, has an offer and always ends with scheduling an appointment and asking for a referral.
It allows for the conversation to flow and guides the prospect in the direction I want them to take.
If you have scripts and are not using them, START!
If you don’t, keep your eyes on your email. I am creating a training program that will allow you to develop effective sales scripts customized specifically for you and your school. Stay tuned!
About the Author:
Senior Instructor – Karstadt Taekwon-Do
Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt. He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline, leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world. He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do. He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy. Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children. Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org