Salespeople memorize and deliver sales pitches verbatim when they utilize a script-based selling strategy. Script-based selling is also called canned selling. The term “canned” comes from the fact that the sales pitch is standardized, or “straight out of a can.” Back in the late 1880s, companies began to use professional salespeople to distribute their products. Companies like National Cash Register (NCR) realized that some salespeople were far more effective than others, so they brought those salespeople into the head office and had them give their sales pitches. A stenographer wrote each pitch down, and then NCR’s sales executives combined the pitches into one effective script. In 1894, the company started one of the world’s first sales schools, which taught people to sell using the types of scripts developed by NCR.
Script-based selling works well when the needs of customers don’t vary much. Even if they do, a script can provide a salesperson with a polished and professional description of how an offering meets each of their needs. The salesperson will ask the customer a few questions to uncover his or her need, and then provides the details that meet it as spelled out in the script. Scripts also ensure that the salesperson includes all the important details about a product.