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Sales Tip - ‘What Do You Have for Role Plays?’

That was the question a sales manager at an RAB member station asked.

Here's what we suggested:

Look at the process we teach in our Professional Development online classes and in our in-person workshops called "Seven Steps to Selling Success." The steps are Prospect, Appointment, Research, CNA, Proposal, Presentation, and Close.

Prospecting, Research, and Proposal writing don't lend themselves to role plays, but the other steps do.

Role play getting appointments on the telephone. You be the client and let each AE try to get an appointment with you. After you do that, show them the best way from a script we developed after interviewing dozens of radio's top billers from around the country. If you haven't seen it, download the Cold Call Script (meant to be used as a concept, not read verbatim) from RAB.com under the Appointments link (deep link: http://www.rab.com/public/apptScript.pdf). Review the script and have each AE try it again. Almost always they will do a better job after using the script or something close to it.

Role play the CNA. First, as a homework assignment before your meeting, have them develop questions for a first-call appointment coming up in the next week. Then have them role play with you as that client. They'll need to prep you a little on who you are to play. Then review the Sample CNA Questions on RAB.com under the CNA link (deep link: http://www.rab.com/public/reports/cr.pdf). Have your sales team prepare their questions again and role play with you. Again, almost always they will do a better job after preparing with the sample CNA.

Role play the Presentation. Tell them to bring a proposal they intend to present and role play with you. Assign homework to review the sample proposal on RAB.com under the Presentations link and re-write the proposal if it doesn't include all 8 elements of a good proposal. Then in the next training session, have them present the re-written proposal. Again, almost always it will be a better presentation. Watch for how well they engage you during the presentation and how well they achieve agreement on each page before moving forward.

Role play the Close. Use the Objections Process we use in RAB Professional Development under the Presentations link on RAB.com (deep link: http://www.rab.com/secure/Sample_Closing_Script.pdf). Again, this is meant to be a concept, not to be read or delivered verbatim. Have them role play trying to close you on the presentation they previously made. Then review the script and have them do the same role play again. You should see marked improvement.

Source: John Potter, SVP/Professional Development, RAB