Do athletic teams show up on Game Day and shoot from the hip? No way. They spend all week practicing, watching films and studying plays before the big game – why? – because, on Game Day they know what to expect and how to respond because they have practiced.
Prospective clients like Confident suppliers. Your confidence shows when you know your business and present yourself knowledgeably and professionally. This instills their confidence in you. Learn to manage your stress and be confident by role-playing scenarios before Game Day with your team or with your manager. Having a sales process is a good thing and learning a method of asking questions so the client self discovers their business “pain” is essential. Sometimes they take us off track and we need to ready for it…Role-Play!
Role-Playing Tips to Increase Your Success
Create a list of the top objections and use these during the role-playing sessions
Focus on the value your product or service will bring when answering these objections. You want to ease the client’s business pain and communicate how you will be able to do this. Practice so the answers come naturally and conversationally.
Don’t make it an easy Role-Play
Being realistic makes salespeople ready for just about any objection they will receive. Handling the stress during role-playing will make it less stressful in real life. Include the tough questions usually heard from prospects concerning pricing and what makes your offering different from the competition. Ensure the roleplaying includes an understanding of the value your offering brings.
Role-Playing should be done with a variety of potential “clients.”
Customers will respond differently so use people with varying positions to represent a true audience. Sales personnel should Role-Play with both their peers and Management because in the real world they will have the opportunity to call on all levels of potential decision makers. Practice questions and answers an upper level executive would give as well as middle level management. Let teams Role-Play together as peers and with Management – the more variety the better they are prepared and confident.
Steer Role-Playing conversations away from your sales process
This goes back to not making it too easy for them. A sales process and a method of asking questions gives sales a solid foundation and is a great way to get their Role-Playing feet wet. The truth is, our clients don’t always follow our process and take the discussion in different directions so now we need sea legs when tossed about by the whims of our clients. Role-Play “off the wall” responses and practice getting back on target with the goal of the appointment and relevant business issues.
Video tape Role-Play sessions
This is great reusable learning tool. If videotaping is not possible, then audio tape record the Role-Plays. It can be a little nerve wracking but survival of this will make the real thing feel like a cake walk! Show great objection handling at a sales meeting or document great answers and compile a list of answers to the most common objections heard. Keep this going and add to it as a training tool.
Make Role-Playing an expectation in your on-going training process. Make it fun!
When everyone understand how much better and confident it will make then it becomes part of your culture. Celebrate the successes and everyone will want to join in. If they do not crumble under this pressure, they will not do it when with clients. No one will lose any money practicing but they will lose if they don’t.