Effective Role Playing in Sales Training
Posted on September 25, 2012 by John Asher
Top salespeople approach their careers in a similar fashion as professional athletes. They practice, drill and rehearse all of their skills so that they can execute them without even thinking about it, and do not ignore any area of the sales process. It is useless for a salesperson to make a great presentation if she does not know how to close. And closing and getting the money will not lead to referrals unless proper account management is performed. Each one of the top salesperson’s skills can be broken down into individual, trainable components, such as the greeting, matching body language, handling specific objections, elevator pitches and more. The most effective sales training method for teaching these skills is role playing. Here are a few pointers to develop great role playing sessions. Look, don’t listen
While salespeople can be asked what their biggest weaknesses are, sale trainers might not get honest answers. Also, if someone “knows” what is wrong with them, it usually isn’t what is truly wrong with them, or else it wouldn’t be a problem. This might seem unreal, until you observe salespeople going around in circles trying to fix what isn’t broken, such as their “poorly -designed website,” while completely ignoring obvious issues, such as the fact that they constantly interrupt prospects when they speak. The philosophy to apply here is “look, don’t listen.” Sales managers and trainers should observe salespeople, listen on their calls when possible, and simply LOOK at what they are doing. If the sales manager or trainer is on the ball, glaring errors will come to light, and these are the things that should be role played in order to have effective sales training sessions. Train with reality
Role play tends to degenerate into silliness when unreal situations are presented. Salespeople might also do a poor job due to competitiveness (why help a competing salesperson in...
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