Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Role Play as the Ultimate Sales Training Tool

In any business organization, sales is the department that generates revenue. No matter how good your operation is, how cutting-edge your technology is or how forward-thinking your management techniques are, you must still have a sales mechanism in place, or everything else is useless.

Therefor one of the biggest challenges for organizations is helping their sales staff execute in the field what they've learned in theory in the training room. 

I learned this the hard way myself. 

When I was 22 years old I just started my first sales job as a Recruitment Consultant. A week earlier I finished up a 3 day in-house sales training course and that day I found myself across the table from the CEO of a Transport & Storage business. 

The conversation went like this:

Me: Thank you for the appointment. 

Client: Well, I'm not too happy with my current temp agency so I'm interested to learn how you can help me.

Me: Ok. Uhhm.. I guess I can start with telling you about our fees. We are known to have very competitive prices. (nervous laugh)  

Client: That won't be necessary. I don't care about the fees. I want to know how your service is better then your competitors.

Me: Our service? Well...It's really good... 

Client: (Sitting back and crossing his arms. Looking at me intensely.) Is it? And what exactly is really good about it? 

Me: I don't know exactly to be honest. You see...I just started this job two weeks ago... But all our clients seem very happy. (award silence) 

Needless to say this man didn't become a client. And I was absolutely gutted. What went wrong? I had just had a sales training 5 days ago!!

It wasn't until years later that I realized that it is easy to discuss sales techniques in a training workshop. But it is in the field, when the lights are the brightest and the pressure is on, that critical sales capabilities like asking the right questions, listening to the answer closely and being able to project confidence, conviction and interest must be demonstrated. 

Today I dare say that role play with professional actors is the ultimate sales training tool. Research shows that people learn up to 60% more (!) in a training workshop that simulates these real experiences. And Sales teams that continually engage in role playing are more likely to outperform their non-role-playing competitors. 

At InterACT WA, it is therefor our goal to make sure all our training participants receive a proper role play based sales training so they will almost never be presented with a question, concern or objection from a client that they haven't already received in their training. 

In other words: they will start the race running. 

They will come out of their training making more money for themselves and their company and they'll likely enjoy their job a lot more.

Is this difficult to achieve? 

Yes. Off course it is. 

Which is why people in the sales industry bemoan the idea of role play based sales training. But the challenge is worth it. And the results speak for themselves. And in a time of economic struggle and hardship businesses and sales professionals need every possible advantage. 

Role play, without a doubt, is that advantage. 

If only I had known at 22...

Want to know more about our corporate role players or simulation based sales training? 
Contact us here.

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