Sales Training- Not just the dreaded Role Play
Often at the end of a Sales Training meeting there would be time allocated for Role Plays with fellow colleagues. I always dreaded these as I always saw it as a test in artificial conditions to try and test what I was supposed to have learned. I can see folks now breaking off into pairs, spreading out across a conference room in some hotel somewhere. When we started to video tape these and play them back, I would always cringe. The seller would be so staccato in their delivery and the buyer would be unrealistically easy or hard depending on their rank in the organization. If you are in sales no doubt this has a familiar ring to it. In the back of my mind I always felt that this time was more of a time filler for the Sales Trainer and quite frankly a waste of time for the salespeople. I know there are some who might disagree with this, but nothing substitutes for the live environment, there is nothing like a real sales call to practice and learn.
I have always maintained that Sales is an Art, not a Science. It is more of a personality than anything else. The art of the sale needs to be practiced and the live environment is a fantastic tool for achieving that. If you sell the type of product that is somewhat repetitive, in a short space of time you can hone your skills buy making mistakes and learning from them. The repetitive nature of sales and sales calls serves to build confidence, the key ingredient of successful sellers. It stands to reason that the more you do something the better you should get at it. In sales this is particularly true and a watch out for Sales Leaders, for those that do not.