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I am often asked what I think of role play as a method to teach salespeople (and others) how to handle their jobs. We have to remember that it can be really stressful to “perform” in front of our peers because no one wants to be self-conscious and uncomfortable. My answer is usually “Great tool but too often handled incorrectly.”
In my opinion, role play can be the most powerful teaching method in the manager’s arsenal.
Unfortunately, many of them treat role play as a game of “gotcha,” where they try to catch salespeople off-guard and embarrass them. This reminds me of Zig Ziglar’s statement, “Too many managers try to catch salespeople doing something wrong instead of trying to catch them doing something right.”
When managers handle role play incorrectly, it becomes counter-productive and damages morale and productivity.
The purpose of role play is to have people practice certain situations with others in the dealership so they become relaxed and comfortable with those circumstances.
The alternative is for them to continue practicing on your customers and you know how expensive that can be. Dealers spend far too much money to generate prospects, only to have them meet an unprepared salesperson.
We have all heard the saying “Repetition is the key to learning.”
That is actually the psychology behind role play that makes it such an effective learning tool. When an individual has said or done something enough times, it becomes instinctive and natural. That will always be better than “winging it.” There are certain areas of the sales process that require role play:
There are also ideal days of the week to role play. For instance, it is counter-productive to walk into a sales meeting and announce “We are doing role play today.” It causes most to freak out, especially your weaker salespeople who need it the most. Instead, on Monday morning announce that in Friday’s sales meeting that everyone will be role playing – no exceptions. You pick the subject and give guidance in how the situation should be handled. It may be a good idea to get them to pair up with another salesperson so they will have a “role play partner.”
Over the next several days most of them (at least the smart ones) will spend their free time practicing. When Friday comes they are pumped and ready to perform! This goes a long way to reducing the natural resistance we normally get from salespeople.
Marine dealers who are interested in more ideas on incorporating role play and creating a powerful sales team — please consider attending my workshop at MDCE.
It will culminate with having the entire audience actively involved in role playing with each other to illustrate how fun, easy and productive it can be. You will never view role play the same again.
Join us at Marine Dealers Conference & Expo in Orlando, FL
Workshop - “Role Play: The Ultimate Sales Coaching Tool”
Monday, 12/11 at 8:15 am (pre-conference)
More information on the conference: https://www.marinedealerconference.com/preconference
Not Going to MDCE?
Request your FREE workshop handouts.
David Martin, President
The Mar-Kee Group
The Mar-Kee Group is proud to celebrate 21 years of outstanding Sales, Service, and Management Training for Automotive, Boat & RV Dealers.
However, this is still a people-to-people business and customers must be closed. If you have customers, you will have resistance to buying. The only question is when. Today’s internet junkie “researchaholics” represent a new challenge to dealerships and many are unprepared to successfully deal with them.
Too many salespeople are unprepared when it comes to objections. Consequently they react to what the customer says, rather than calmly and professionally responding. Despite what some salespeople think, there are only six primary objections that they deal with on a daily basis.
Successfully dealing with objections requires three things:
Sales managers should pick out one commonly heard objection each week and role play it, with every salesperson participating.
Give them a week to prepare and on Friday morning put them through their paces. Most will practice all week to avoid embarrassment.
Their confidence will soar and so will their sales.
Need help with your role-playing sales training efforts? Call The Mar-Kee Group at 888-300-4629 and we can walk you and your team through each step.
The Mar-Kee Group
The Mar-Kee Group is proud to celebrate 20 years of outstanding Sales, Service, and Management Training.
The world of sales training has a significant amount of information on dealing with objections. In fact, I would be shocked if anyone with more than 90 days in the business has not received training on handling them from someone. However, we too often hear salespeople say “But I’ve done that training,” as if training is something you do once and you’re set for life. That’s just silly.
No one can MASTER a subject just by hearing it once or twice. As Dave Anderson says, “Until you’re perfect, it’s not redundant.” Salespeople and managers should never be complacent about their ability to successfully handle such an important part of their job.
In dealing with objections, we need to examine what they are and what they aren’t. We need to be clear on why we hear them and what they really mean, to both the customer and to us. We need to diligently try to minimize or even eliminate objections before they come up.
If we aren’t able to do that, it becomes imperative that we know the 12 psychological keys to handle almost any objection. And we need to be very comfortable with professional, non-confrontational responses to the specific objections we hear on a regular basis.
The key is to follow the old Boy Scouts motto - Be prepared! Seems basic, but this actually holds true for about anything worth doing.
In training workshops, I often ask salespeople how many different objections they have heard in their careers. The answers usually range from dozens to hundreds. However, when you break it down, there are only 6 primary objections:
1. "Your price is too high"
2. "That is not enough for my trade"
3. "I have a better deal elsewhere"
4. "I have additional shopping or research to do"
5. "I need to speak to my spouse"
6. "I want to think about it"
Some variations of these 6 objections make up over 90% of the ones we hear. My point about being prepared is that if there are only 6, you know what is coming. To not be ready to give a thoughtful, non-confrontational response instead of a knee-jerk reaction is just plain silly.
TIP: Pick out one objection per week that you want to tackle, choose the professional response that sounds best coming from you, learn it and rehearse it 20 or 30 times, and you’re set to go. Then the next week, choose another objection and follow the same steps. Six weeks later you’re ready to respond to over 90% of the objections you are going to hear. Give it a try!
For example: If you and/or your dealership have positive online reviews, customers may already have a favorable impression of what they can expect from doing business with you before you are even contacted. That alone can reduce the number of objections you will receive, or in some cases even eliminate them.
Why? Everything affects everything! All that you say and do, your communications skills, your attitude, your product knowledge, your powers of observation and insight – it all matters. Maybe the best way to illustrate the importance of this process is to use a football analogy:
Let’s assume your favorite football team is on the opponent’s one yard line. On the next play, they punch it in for a touchdown. In the world of football, that is certainly closing the deal, right? But wouldn’t you agree that the 9-play, 79-yard drive that put them on the one yard line is what created the chance to score?
If you are going to close a sale, you will have to deal with objections. The one thing we know is that if you have customers, you will have resistance. The only question is how much, in what form, and when.
Most of us have read articles with catchy titles like “Objections Are Your Friends” or “You Should Welcome Objections.” REALLY? Try convincing salespeople of that. Most salespeople I know are looking for that perfect customer. You know, the one who comes in and says “You have the exact vehicle I want. Money is no object because I just won the PowerBall. I’m in a big hurry, so let’s get this done quickly. And please just take my current vehicle off my hands. I don’t really care what you do with it.” Never happens, does it?
For FREE Objections Handling role-plays, click here or call The Mar-Kee Group at 888-300-4629.
David Martin, President
The Mar-Kee Group
The Mar-Kee Group is proud to celebrate 21 years of outstanding Sales, Service, and Management Training.
January 1, 2017 — The Mar-Kee Group announced that 10-time National Automotive Dealers Association speaker and President of the Mar-Kee Group, David Martin, will present a sales training workshop, “Marketing Opens the Door: Closing Seals the Deal” at the
“The focus of the automotive industry is currently on creating customers through digital marketing. However, as important as that is, dealerships are discovering that is only half the battle. Ultimately, the sales must still be closed,” said Martin.
Co-Founder Richard Keeney feels that “today’s internet-savvy consumers represent a new challenge to dealerships and many are unprepared to successfully deal with them.”
This highly interactive workshop will examine and discuss common objections heard from customers and share multiple ways to professionally address each one. At the conclusion of the workshop attendees can be confident that they will return to their dealership with the missing piece of the closing puzzle.
The Mar-Kee Group is excited to be a part of this year’s NADA centennial celebration.
• 9 keys to handle objections from today’s tech-savvy buyers
• 6 ways to eliminate objections before they surface
• Professional responses to objections that are routinely heard from customers
Thursday, 1/26 - 2:30pm in Room 211-213
Saturday, 1/28 - 10:30am in Room 278-280
Sunday, 1/29 - 10:45am in Room 203-205
Click the link below to view our impression sales training course offerings for eAutotraining: http://www.markeegroup.com/eAutoTraining/Course-Catalog
About The Mar-Kee Group:
David Martin and Richard Keeney of The Mar-Kee Group are honored to celebrate 20 years as one of the nation’s leading automotive sales training companies. They have over 70 years of combined sales, management, and training experience, with over 4,700 dealerships served in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. The Mar-Kee Group provides multiple online training options as well as customized in-dealership training. For more information, visit our website at markeegroup.com or call 888-300-4629.
I would like to recommend a very important philosophy that you should incorporate into your daily sales regiment. The concept is called “One More”. At its heart, it simply means that when you think you are done, do one more. One more what, you ask? One more phone call, one more email, one more text, one more social engagement, one more prospecting attempt, give out one more business card, send out one more video, make one more attempt to close. One More!
For instance, if you make 10 rushed, poorly thought-out phone calls just to get through your task list, adding one more probably won’t do any good. What I’m saying is that when you follow-up with prospects, and you simply ask “have you decided yet?” or “do you have any questions?” it’s probably not very effective. However, if you review your CRM first to see what was previously discussed, or whether you made any notes that would enable you to connect on a more personal level, it can become a quality phone call.
For example, let’s say that you made a note that your customers originally left you to go see their son play pee-wee football. Start off the conversation by saying “By the way, how did Johnny do in his football game?” The proud father says “Wow, I can’t believe you remembered that. He did great! He scored a touchdown and made 5 tackles. Thanks for asking.”
Now you’ve started a quality phone call. The same preparation goes for emails, texts and social engagements. Make one more, but make them quality.
You will never know how close you were to closing a great deal of additional sales simply because you threw in the towel too soon. If you want to take your unit sales, gross profit and your commissions to another level, remember the concept of “One More.”
The “Sold” Customer Follow-Up Blueprint by Richard Keeney
David Martin, President
The Mar-Kee Group
If you confuse them, their answer will always be NO.
To better serve the female buyer we must treat her with respect and listen to what she has to say. She will tell you what she wants if you ask the right questions and listen – really listen.
After all, she would not be there if she were not interested in buying a vehicle.
Are we missing anything? Share your experience or insights relating to women buyers in the comments below.
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