When you think sales, does this guy pop in your head? Salespeople tend to get a bad rap because we’ve all experienced THAT guy. I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to be “that guy”.
So, don’t start your day by putting on your “sales hat” - you know the one - loud, over-the-top, and pushy. If you’re normally soft-spoken and sincere, embrace it! Don’t replace it by a two-dimensional sales stereotype.
Think about your own sales role for a moment. Does it fit? Are you trying to be someone you’re not? Being someone that you’re not will only lead to an occasional success, you will feel like a phony, and even your potential customers will sense a lack of a real connection and a disengagement between you and your message.
Odds are that, like most sellers, you’ve fallen into rut at some point. You just forge ahead putting out more calls, making more presentations, doing more, more, more - with the hope that the odds will eventually be in your favor. Or, maybe you’re playing the “Sales Guy” part unconsciously and are therefore experiencing inconsistent and unreliable results.
It’s time to fine-tune the process, to understand precisely why something worked and recreate it. A great way to hone those skills and feel comfortable is role-playing. Now before you start shaking your head or clicking for the nearest exit – hear me out.
I’m not talking about being in the hot seat as your manager waits for you to demonstrate “how we tow the company line” or playing the part that you think is expected of you – some super-salesperson with alien abilities.
I’m talking about role-playing to bring out the best possible YOU to any selling situation. We put ourselves into a dozen different roles each day. Perhaps you are in your salesperson role as you read this, but later you may be a husband, a mommy, a coach, or a yoga master.
You don’t turn into an entirely different person, but you bring different qualities of your personality to that role. You don’t talk to your CFO the way you do your cat, and you don’t talk to your customers the way you do your best friend. All of the personality traits within these roles make up the unique and complex individual that is you.
So, role-play with someone who knows the real you, someone you trust – maybe a work bestie. Work to create specific scenarios that you will or have encountered. Clearly outline how YOU would respond. Practice out loud how right sounds for you.
Role-playing allows you to practice, gain confidence and feel comfortable responding in ways that sound like you. Little is left to chance. When actors give truly great performances, we are apt to say, “Wow! They didn’t even look like they were acting!” The same can be said for great salespeople. They don’t even look like they’re selling and that’s what you’re after – a genuine relationship between the potential customer and YOU!