If Role Plays Suck – Why Do They Work?

Okay, I know I was over the top with the title, however the statement is true.

The only time I can put the fear of God into a group of sales professionals is to tell them it is time for some serious role playing. It is a scene out of a horror movie. Moans and Groans are everywhere and these brave sales professionals are making excuses as to why they suddenly need to leave the session.

So what’s the deal with role plays? Why does every sales person fear or hate this exercise so much?

As best I can tell – it is due to having others see them fail or being less than perfect.

Well, that is the reason you actually do the role plays. A true professional will practice new things until they have it down pat, can execute without gaps, and are fluid in their delivery.

The truth is I have never seen a b2b sales person learn new techniques – like the questioning model – and implement all the new information perfectly the first time. There is a lot of false starts, jumbled words or word combinations, and the entire process is pretty rough – the first time.

Thus, the reason for role playing. It is a non-fatal method of practicing new techniques and strategies in real time – with others – without worrying about losing the account or the sale. Role playing is the best thing since sliced bread for learning how to become a polished b2b sales professional.

Rather than hate it, embrace it. Practice your questioning skills and interview methods with someone who can give you accurate feedback on what is working and what can be improved. I know from first hand experience – using new tactics in my selling process would be sloppy, loosely put together and was anything but professional. We all have difficulty using a new method of selling the first time. So use to role play time to get it down right.

Oh, yes, and if you really want to speed up the implementation of new methods and processes – use a video camera to record your role play. This method is proven to be the most effective way to change and improve at the same time.

Approximately 70% of people are visual. Therefore, it only makes senses to use video and watch the results. Since many people are into self denial regarding their abilities or even how the actually do things. The video recording can offset this denial and the individual can see themselves – good and bad all at once.

I have seen the most dramatic changes take place after an individual sees their performance on video. It is like they knew what to do, they just were doing something else and were totally blind to their actions.

Video allows for instant correction and a more professional approach in the future. Use role plays and video in combination and you will become a true b2b sales superstar.

If you need professional coaching with the video feedback session and you’re not certain how to do it yourself. Call our offices – 901-757-4434 and we can talk about it.

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Voss Graham

Sr Business Advisor / CEO at InnerActive Consulting Group Inc
Your Knowledgeable Partner for Business Success and Achievement. Dedicated to helping others get to their next level of success. Award winning business advisor; coach to executives and business owners; Business Growth Strategist; and experienced using assessments for hiring & selection, evaluation of teams and improving communication. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.

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