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I am a massive believer in having all of my sales people do regular “role play”.

And don’t worry. We’re not about to get weird up in here.

Role play on our Sales teams simply means that two sales reps get on a call together and recreate a sales call – where one of them acts as the rep, one of them acts as the prospect.

In all of my years hitting the phones, training other sales pros to close deals, and staffing companies with top sales talent, I have never found a more beneficial exercise for building your skill set.

One good role play call can give you a wealth of insights into handling objections, refining your energy and approach, building empathy for your prospects, and gaining confidence.

I want to break down exactly how role plays help you build up your skills in these areas – and then, at the end, I want to give you a free live role play training that a member of my team did recently. That way you can get a feel for how to best utilize them.

Sound good? Let’s dive in.

A few rules to start with

When you set out to do a role play, there are a few things you should always keep in mind in order to maximize their effectiveness.

  1. Always record your role play calls when possible – Listening back to these later, or sharing them with other members of your team for feedback will never NOT be beneficial.
  2. Commit to staying “in character” throughout the entire call – If you hit a roadblock in the call, or make a mistake, do not stop and start analyzing it in the moment. Instead, finish out the call to completion before you start breaking it down.
  3. Take it seriously – Act as though there is real money on the line. Don’t slip into a comfortable state just because the “buying pressure” is off. Treat this like a legitimate sales call where there are actual stakes.
  4. If you are playing the part of the prospect, DO NOT PULL PUNCHES. Your real life prospects’ money is hanging in the balance, so they will not pull their punches on a sales call. Neither should you. There’s a temptation to dial back objections, or not hit certain details as hard as you could when you know the person on the other end of the line personally. You must act as though this is a real call and it is your money the rep is asking for.

Now that we’ve gotten the housekeeping out of the way, let’s dig into the real talk here.

Why are role play calls valuable, and how can you use them to increase your skills?

Want to see a live role play in action (and have the chance to participate in a weekly role play session)?

Join our free group – Sales Tools for Sales Pros – and enjoy the hours of free trainings, published weekly!

Join Our Free GroupJoin Our Free Group

#1 – Allows you to get reps with specific objections

If you’ve been in sales for more than a day, then you know that there are at least a thousand reasons prospects will come up with in their brains to not hand over their credit card.

The most common of these are purely mental blocks or defensive mechanisms that they’ve set up for themselves. We call these “objections”.

Objection handling is a learned and developed skill for any high ticket closer. This goes back to the three rules of sales that we teach at The Sales Mentor:

  1. As a salesperson, you have one job – to help the prospect do what is in their best interest. PERIOD. End of story.
  2. What is in the prospects best interest is almost always outside of their comfort zone.
  3. The prospect will fight like hell to stay inside of their comfort zone.

In order to fulfill your responsibility to your prospect and take them from “stuck” to “unstuck” you have to be able to handle their objections.

Roleplay calls are the #1 way to build experience with handling specific objections.

For instance, if you’ve been getting a lot of prospects asking, “Can I take 24/48/72 hours and think about it?” on your calls this week, you might ask the rep doing the roleplay with you to use that objection specifically on your call so that you can try out some different approaches to address that road block.

There’s a great example of this particular objection in a roleplay that I did with our team recently. Take a few minutes and check it out if you’re curious how I tackle this one.

At the end of your mock call, ask the rep who played the prospect to give you pointers or feedback on how your responses made them feel, and whether or not it would have been enough to get them past that objection.

Rinse. Repeat with whatever is tripping you up.

#2 – Gives you an opportunity to refine your energy & approach

There are 4 things that most sales professionals struggle with, and which keep them from achieving that next level of income.

  • Energy
  • Discipline
  • Identity
  • Belief

But I will tell you, right here and right now…

99% of the slumps I see sales people fall into stem from the first thing on that list.

Their energy.

What do I mean when I say “energy”?

Your energy is the presence you bring with you on a call. Your tone, your demeanor, your aggressiveness (or lack thereof), and even your level of empathy.

The tricky thing about energy is that so many factors, both internal and external, can effect it.

The family dog that has been part of your life since you were in middle school had to be put down over the weekend, and now it’s Monday morning and you’re on your first sales call of the week.

Think that might effect your tone, demeanor, aggressiveness, and empathy levels?

Or how about this – you slept like garbage the last couple of nights in a row because your neighbors have been throwing insane backyard parties.

Think your energy might be a little compromised?

Or how about this – you absolutely bombed your last 4 calls because you didn’t handle objections properly, get the right tie-downs, or spend enough time actively listening. Now you’re on your last call of the day.

Think you might be “in your own head” a little getting onto that call?

Again, this is where a roleplay call can work wonders. Another sales rep getting onto a call with you should instantly be able to pick up if your energy is waning. If they really are interested in helping you grow, they will CALL THAT OUT, and encourage you to do whatever it takes to refocus your energy and get it back to where it needs to be.

It also gives you a chance to “test drive” different approaches with your energy on calls.

If you’ve been losing deals because you keep showing up amped out of your mind, with your energy dialed all the way up to 11, you might test out a calm, more measured approach. Not lackadaisical, but quiet and confident. And vice versa.

You can use your energy level as a tool in your arsenal with enough practice. The best way to practice? Jump on a roleplay call.

Want to see a live role play in action (and have the chance to participate in a weekly role play session)?

Join our free group – Sales Tools for Sales Pros – and enjoy the hours of free trainings, published weekly!

Join Our Free GroupJoin Our Free Group

#3 – You get to gain confidence in areas where you might feel weak

It’s not unusual for pro athletes to study game tape in order to improve their technique. Hell, sometimes they’ll even watch footage of scrimmages they’ve played.

Consider roleplay calls your scrimmages, and, when you review those calls after the fact, you are watching game tape.

This is a surefire recipe to boost your confidence level in any areas where you currently feel you are dropping the ball on sales calls.

Walking through the entire process with another peer, then talking about it at the end of the call should drive your self-assuredness through the roof! Whether by affirming the things you’re doing right, or giving you a few areas that you can improve upon.

These should never feel defeating. They are meant to strengthen and encourage you. Without fail, you will start to pick up on patterns (both good and bad) in your communication style that you can start to form and refine.

This is one of the most important aspects of a good roleplay. You should walk away ready to punch your way through a mountain.

Whether it went well, or whether you stumbled your way through, you now have data to go back to the lab with and start re-configuring your process.

And now – as promised – a free training!

The people on my Sales teams are some of the best in the world at what they do.

So, any time they are dropping knowledge, you’d better jump all over the opportunity.

There is no better example of this than inside of our private Facebook group, Sales Tools for Sales Pros. Just a few weeks ago, one of my salesmen, Zach Ott, dropped a FIRE training in which he performed a live roleplay with our Content & Community Specialist, Chris Creed.

The results are amazing. And you can check them out right now by jumping into our group. It’s absolutely free of charge, and you can consider this your personal invitation from me.

Join now and check out this roleplay, along with tons of other free training and guides that we drop into that group weekly!

See you inside, my friend!

Taylor Welch

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