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Improving Sales Skills Long Term

Has “No Thanks”, “Not Interested” and “We’re All Set (Click)” responses turned your once stellar phone sales confidence into “rejection anxiety”?

If it has, I’m willing to bet it’s more than pride that has taken a hit. The negative effects of “sales phobia” are also felt in the wallet on paydays.

Simple “Cause and Effect”

Getting “kicked in the teeth” (rejected when selling by phone) over and over again will break a person down no matter who they are or how successful they once were.

But like it or not, we are responsible in large part for how our prospects react to us.

If you aren’t getting the results you want, you don’t need a Major in Critical Thinking Skills to realize that its time for a new game plan. And once you have that new game plan you’ll want to make sure you don’t slip back into old habits.

How to Improve Sales Skills Long Term

Enter: Role-playing

The Key to Long Term Success

Once you’ve learned what’s causing the rejection (and the fear that comes along with it) and have a new and improved, up-to-date sales plan of action that carries a proven track record, the next step is to role-play on a consistent basis until you have these new sales skills/techniques down pat.

This is the glue that makes everything stick together.

Role-Playing: Why, When and How Often

If you were taught the right sales strategy and your execution was on point, you should see positive results right away. But I’m also assuming you wouldn’t just take a few guitar lessons and then expect to be ready to play with Metallica either. So the point is don’t just do it a couple of times. The measuring stick used to determine if one is an expert is 10,000 hours of practice.

Role-playing can be done anytime however I’ve found it to be most helpful early in the morning before getting on the phones. Think of it as batting practice before each game.

Role-playing each day before the “first pitch” (sorry, couldn’t help myself) is a great way to improve results all though I do understand that may be a big commitment for some so there’s nothing wrong with starting out slow with only a “one day a week” role-playing session. The only thing NOT acceptable in today’s competitive world is to do nothing at all.

Find what works for you and your team and make it a habit. Only 20-minutes per session is just fine. You may even want to record the 20-minute session and then have an additional 40-minutes set aside to allow for peers to critique the performance.

Just be sure that everyone understands that when it comes time for critiquing, we attack the behavior, not the sales rep. And don’t forget to be honest in your praise.

End Result

Role-playing allows us to get comfortable with our new found sales skills/techniques and helps us correct any misuse or misunderstandings of them. Doing this will build up confidence and help to eliminate fear, not to mention increase our paychecks.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.

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