If sales scripts feel old-school or phony to you, maybe you’re thinking about them wrong. A script is just a way to prepare for conversations you frequently have—or want to have—with prospects and clients.

You don’t have to use a script verbatim. Instead, modify sales scripts with words and speech patterns that feel natural to you. Give yourself the leeway to go “off script” while staying on message. You can memorize main ideas and base a comfortable, organic conversation on them.

The point is to know how you want to respond to questions, objections, and opportunities without getting caught flat-footed.

Once you find an approach you like, try it on colleagues or family members … or practice in the mirror or while taking video of yourself. And when you engage in conversations with actual prospects and clients, pay attention to how they react, so you can refine your message and use what works best for you.