I believe in role play. We learn best by doing. I have seen the results many times and it is incredible. The largest gain in sales performance is achieved through effective role play.
Sales professionals typically hate role play, the reasons vary, however the ones who hate it the most are usually the ones who need it the most.
Why role play works
The following are several reasons role play works.
Sales Skills Mastery. Most sales professionals are deficient in one or several areas of the sales process. Role play uncovers weak areas quickly and strengthens these areas when coached successfully.
The top producers teach the rest of the sales team. Many times in sales training a sales person has a Aha! a moment when a senior sales professional shares what works for them in the field.
Role play leads to greater retention in learning. The role play process requires individuals to engage several areas of the brain. Participants can't phone it in and are actively engaged. The learning centers in the brain activated include problem solving, creativity, reasoning, influence, non-verbal, verbal and active listening. This is also the reason many sales professionals dislike role play. It takes a lot of cognitive resources in our brains to employ all of these learning centers. This is why there is such a big payoff in the learning process and skills improvement.
When we are uncomfortable, we are learning.
Examples of Role play in Life
Professional athletes perform role play. They call it "practice." Football players go through each of the plays on the field, rehearse them and look at what could be done better. You will not see a professional Football player sitting on the couch eating donuts all week, then going into the game on Saturday and "winging it."
Leaders and other Successful Individuals perform role play
Presidents, CEO 's , Actors, Entertainers, and Musicians all practice.
Presidents rehearse their speech content, body language and vocal tone before meeting and speaking.
CEO's rehearse mentally and prepare what they will say before going into a meeting with their teams, colleagues, and business associates.
Actors practice their lines. Entertainers rehearse their gigs, and musicians perform sets all before performing in front of a real audience.
Doesn't it make sense to be the best at any skill it will require practice?
If you are interested in being a top performer engage in role play and increase your knowledge, skills, and aptitude to prepare you for the "real world."