All sales people hate the following words: "Let's do some role playing." But we all know it is a key component to improving our sales skills.
Why is it so important to act out our sales calls in advance?
It’s simple. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. You get better at anything when you practice.
Through role playing with your colleagues, you're able to get everything clear in your mind in advance so you don't end up turning your customer into some kind of sales pitch lab rat.
Instead, you walk into that customer's office or pick up that phone knowing you're ready to flawlessly execute the call, completely prepared to meet any objections he or she might throw your way.
You're armed and ready!
Practicing your sales calls through role play also gives you the opportunity to observe your colleagues in action and learn their best practices.
How do they articulate the product information?
You may just pick up that one special gem that will completely transform your performance in the field.
So face it. You're going to have to role play.
The moment you became a sales rep, role playing became a part of your life. But it doesn't have to be dreaded. There are ways to make it fun and more enjoyable.
The first idea is to create scenarios. These scenarios should be from real life and include some of the challenges and objections you face in the field.
If you write the scenarios on index cards, they will provide a clear structure for role play and help keep you and your colleagues focused and on task.
The second idea is to record yourself—either with video or audio. Nobody likes to see or hear himself on tape, but if you can get past those issues, being recorded can be an invaluable part of role playing.
Watch the tape or listen to yourself, and evaluate from there. You may be surprised at what you discover! The camera never lies. You're going to see what you're doing wrong and what you're doing right.
The third idea is to fly solo. Practice in front of the mirror or in your car, and role play both roles—yours and your customer’s. This is a great way to practice your opening and closing statements and be more comfortable working on overcoming common objections you hear.
So take heart.
Embrace role playing.
These little suggestions will make role play more bearable, and who knows, you may even end up liking it!