Why Sales Role Play is a Must Do
Ask most sales people to do any form of Sales Role Play and the majority by far will avoid this like the plague, indeed some sales managers are equally uncomfortable when the subject of Sales Role Play arises. This all round discomfort results in the majority of sales people never doing any Sales Role Play. Why, when Sales People spend the majority of their time trying to get into the boardroom, are they so reluctant to prepare and practice for the most important meetings they have? Sales Role Plays will never be a substitute for the real life experiences of the boardroom, but they are the next best thing. Furthermore if we are not fully prepared when we get into the boardroom we might not get invited back, or even worse we could concede in the sales negotiations and end up agreeing to something long term that isn’t in our best interests, such as deeper discounts, or increased terms to name but a few.
So what are the basics of Sales Role Play, that we suggest you work on with your sales teams to ensure they are prepared; they are ready, and they have practised before going into the boardroom?
Sales Role Play
1. Advanced Questioning Techniques. The value in a great Sales Person is in the information they gather, not just the information they give. As a minimum great questions will help build rapport, position the Sales Person as an expert and help uncover the prospects objectives, goals and problems.
2. Stalls & Objections. It is highly unlikely that any sales person will not be confronted at some stage by stalls and objections so let’s prepare in advance. Stalls & Objections are not a request for the Sales Person to give up or leave the room. They should be welcomed as most often they are simply requests for more details or clarification of some points.
3. Competitive Advantages. Your competitive advantages are all the reasons the prospect should buy from you, and not your competition. They do not include quality, price or service as every sales person says this and buyers never believe them and they have become “me too” statements. These are clear, objective differentiators that are important to your prospect.
Sales Role Play is not popular amongst sales people as they either lack the confidence to take part, or don’t believe they need to prepare. Sales People with a 100% conversion ratio may not need to prepare; unfortunately the rest of us do. If Sales People do not have the confidence to participate in a Sales Role Play in the safe environment of their own office, how much confidence will they have in the boardroom when being grilled by a group of senior executives? It is also important that every Sales Manager and Leader knows how to conduct an effective Sales Role Play and use them as a support tool, not a mechanism for embarrassing or beating up Sales People. The author Robert Allen stated “everything you want is outside your comfort zone” – Sales Role Plays may be outside the comfort zone of most sales people but if it remains the case record breaking sales will also be outside their reach. Sales Role Play is an essential tool for building Sales Skills and Sales Confidence.
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