My post today was inspired by this WSJ article by Doug Lemov, Practice Makes Perfect – And Not Just for Jocks and Musicians.
As Lemov states: what drives mastery is encoding success – performing an action the right way over and over.
The Sales Team
Role playing is key to perfecting your scripts, mastering your conversational style. Ironically practice doesn’t make you sound rehearsed and robotic. The opposite in fact. You learn your lines so well that you get great at pivoting to a good place based on the answer you just received. A few tips that might help.
- Deploy the same sales process across you whole team, my preferred process is Prime.
- Gather the sales team and take turns at playing the prospect and the sales professional.
- Rehearse all phases of your sales process – especially those early conversations. Mix it up with the prospect trying every push back line in the book –
- Now is not a good time to call me
- I have no budgets
- I don’t have that problem here
- Never heard of you, where did you get my name?
- I’m all set with my current supplier
- We use the cheapest supplier in town
- I could never get authorization to change suppliers
- That is not an area I deal with
- There is a great conversation to be developed around all of these responses. Practice them, remembering if you can’t see a way of improving that prospect in that prospect company get the hell out of there, whether on the phone or face to face.
- Develop more advanced scripts by rehearsing how you design the most appropriate solution. Taking the prospect through a detailed solution that meets their success criteria is never easy. Develop the fluency of delivering insightful questions by practicing regularly.
The ability to connect with people and having empathy for their problems earns you trust. Having experience and expertise in the area in which prospective clients have problems earns you credibility.
Scripts and contrived playbooks are not what customers are looking for. In Mike Bosworth’s new book, “What Great Sales People Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotion”, he writes personal connection is what matters most and logic is no longer the center of the sales universe.
There is no one logical choice for clients, if there were they’d all choose to work with our company – I wish that were true. As explained in the book, “everyday we make subjective decisions based on intuition and emotion. People buy from people the and one key factor in this process is the emotional weight of our experiences not just the right scripted answer.
When I teach the Prime process (tweaked) and rehearse scripts I teach people to be better conversationalists, better people. Prospects buy for their own reasons. What my process tries to ensure is that people understand the consequences of a set of decisions including doing nothing. World class negotiation never sounds scripted but you point out well the dangers of amateurs trying this out.