Tag Archives: role-play

Traditional Sales Role-play is Dead (Meet its Replacement)


Sales role-play

Two words that can send the most confident sales rep racing for the door:  Role-play. While as children most of us happily engaged in some form of role-play, sales has turned this once valuable learning experience into an awkward, high-pressured test of a rep’s ability to correctly articulate product knowledge or follow a particular sales methodology. Traditional sales role-play embodies every actor’s nightmare of stepping into the spotlight without knowing their lines or even what the play is about.  High expectations and vague circumstances (Ok, Alice you’re the salesperson, Ken, you’re the customer…Go!) set reps up for failure – and it all takes place in front of the chief critic (manager) and their peers. Reps go into survival mode under these nerve-racking conditions, regurgitating back information that is expected of them. The result is a performance that rarely resembles the salesperson on an actual sales call. So what are reps Read More

5 Sales Role-Play Tips for Success from the Theater


Sales Role-play

Sales Reps hate to role-play. But you knew that, right?  Done well, role-play can be an exceptionally powerful tool in helping sales reps master communication skills and navigate many  changes in products, customers, and competition they continually face.  Unfortunately, approaching it with a gallows-like resolve as most sales reps do, limits the opportunity to get the real transformative benefits that role-play can produce.  What Sales Role-play Tips can help? Look no farther than your local theater.  Stages across the world consistently churn out winning performances using role-play as their primary tool.  Applying a few fundamentals from the theater to your sales role-play will greatly increase your sales reps’ understanding and confidence in the process and provide them with valuable insights they can apply immediately in the field. 5 Sales Role-play Tips for Success from the Theater: Clarify expectations.  Making sure everyone is clear about the goal of the role-play is key.  Keep Read More

Get Real Results from Sales Role Play (psst..the secret is in the casting)


Want Better Results from Sales Role Play? Part 2: The Secret is in the Casting!

Actors love to work with director Clint Eastwood for good reason:  “He expects you to know what you’re doing. And he’s going to take two giant steps back and let you do it,” says Morgan Freeman.  But some Hollywood directors are notoriously difficult to work with.  Kate Winslet said that working with James Cameron on Titanic was “an ordeal” after nearly drowning and chipping a bone in her elbow. As the director of your sales role-play, you control the experience and ultimately the results for your team. In Part 1  of this series on sales role-play, we laid out how to Set the Stage for success by setting clear expectations and selecting a specific customer and opportunity.  Now you’re ready to cast your sales role-play. Sales role-play: the secret is in the casting Take a lesson from acting and don’t thrust salespeople into the spotlight without giving them some tips Read More

Better Results from Sales Role-Play Part 1: Setting the Stage


Better results from Sales Role Play

I received a panicked call from a salesperson last week.  Carol’s annual sales meeting was fast approaching and she and her fellow sellers were asked to participate in a day of sales role-play with management.  While promoted as a “learning experience,” Carol knew better; this was a test.  Carol and her team would be judged on their ability to successfully articulate the company’s value proposition, highlight benefits, handle objections and ask for the business—all within an artificial, high-pressure scenario. A learning experience?  Yes.  Learning to hate role-playing! Under these circumstances, Carol will likely summon up all of her acting experience (dating back to the 3rd grade class play), and put on a role that she thinks is expected of her.  A role of what she thinks the perfect salesperson might look and act like.  A role that has little or no resemblance to Carol on an actual sales call. Don’t Read More

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