The average sales trainer does not devote sufficient time to sales role play. This is a mistake which causes about 90 percent of the information taught in seminars to fly out the window within about three months’ time.
It is as foolish as taking a team of football players, showing them all the plays on a white board without practicing the moves, and then expecting them to perform on game day.
Just like athletes do, sales people need to rehearse the actions of their jobs in order to perform optimally. The best sales training seminars incorporate role playing sessions in order to force application and aid in retention. Generally, the role play should follow each section of information learned, in order to best aid retention.
How to Create Your Own Role Play for your Next In-House Sales Meeting
The best sales training seminars provide everything needed for a successful role playing session. If you are a few months away from attending one, here is a simple format to use to get the ball rolling at your next in-house training session.
Determine the customer profile: Who are you selling to for this role play? You can pick personality traits such as dominant/empathetic, or by role, such as a CIO at a Fortune 500 company. You can also pick a pain point, such as “buyer expresses frustrations with current service provider.”
Which product or service will you be selling? Narrow down the offering to the one which will best serve the customer’s situation.
Which specific barrier will you overcome? In other words, what is the weakness that the role play will improve? Is it a poor presentation? A specific objection that keeps coming up, such as “your price is too high?” Weak closing skills?
Which sales technique will you use? If there are issues with presentations, you might role play using a smartphone to show off your service. A specific objection can be handled by role playing a specific script to address it. Closes can also be practiced from a script.
For five role play examples you can use in your next meeting, check out this post on LeadFuze. A few interesting games are provided by Business Training Works as well. For even more tips, and an anecdote on how one company went from $600,000 in sales to $6 million using role play, read this piece in the Harvard Business Review.
If an entire sales department role played ways to handle the top three objections it faces until everyone knew them cold, its members would make one heck of a killer sales team. Imagine doing that with all aspects of selling, from presenting to closing to asking for referrals!