Sales Skills

Role playing: The Secret to Success

Why is Beyond Insurance often such a proponent of role plays as a learning activity?  They work!  You cannot hone a skill, particularly one as difficult as building rapport with a prospect, without practicing – any more than an athlete is going to learn a sport without practice and preparation, or an actor is going to perform well without rehearsing.

Beyond Insurance has worked with more than 8,000 agents and brokers and has found that role plays are absolutely essential to ensure client interactions work successfully.  By practicing your value proposition and prospecting call in a safe environment, you can enhance your ability to engage the prospect, drive emotions, and handle objections.  Role playing lets you try different approaches, rehearse, and train for a prospect meeting rather than jumping in, ad libbing, and hoping for the best.  Role plays are experiential situations that act as a catalyst for active feedback and collaboration.

Research by Beyond Insurance confirms that role plays boost self-confidence as well as the producers’ ability to be effective conversationalists and communicators.  Why?  Because role plays help us develop stronger interpersonal and listening skills.  They feed the imagination, encourage empathy, and develop skills.

A recent study by Dr. Charles Limb validates Beyond Insurance’s observations:  role playing increases people’s creativity and activates the part of your brain that collaborates, builds relational capital, and leads to teamwork.  Specifically, during a role play, the self-monitoring part of your brain (the fearful part that holds you back from achieving your potential) is deactivated, while the self-expression (creative, expansive) part of the brain is stimulated.

When should you use role plays, practice, and rehearsal to improve your skills?

  • Prior to any meeting with a new prospect
  • When you have tough news to deliver to a client
  • When you are introducing a new product
  • When you are cross-selling or upselling an existing client
  • When you realize you need to fine-tune or update your value proposition
  • When you need to deepen relationships by finding your clients’ goals, passions, and struggles

With whom should you role play?  Your friendly supporters at home and in the workplace.  People like your spouse or significant other, close friends, colleagues at work, even your dog!  You can also role play on your web cam, video camera, cell phone, or in the mirror.  After you role play with someone, always ask for positive feedback.  Find out what you did well, what you could do better, and what simply did not work.

Role playing is your secret weapon for greater customer acquisition, intimacy and success.  Happy rehearsing!

If you’re looking for a more profitable book of business and a way to enhance your skills through purposeful role plays, register for the Purple Cow Leadership workshop!