If your wondering what it means to L.A.R.P. you’re not alone. I’ve only heard about it in passing myself.
And although I’ve never seen or participated in it myself, I actually think that it can be used as an analogy for one of the best forms of sales training around.
L.A.R.P. stands for Live Action Role Play and it is an event where people dress up and act out their role in an epic battle, usually in a fantasy world.
You’re unlikely to find a more passionate group of people than those willing to dress up as elves, trolls, wizards, and knights.
So consider this for a moment…what would your life would be like if you had the same level of passion about being a sales pro?
As you read on you’ll find that the last stop in our series covering the various types of sales training is easily the most valuable.
Because there’s no better way to learn something than to do it yourself. There are certain things in life that you simply can’t be told how to do. You need to actively experience them yourself.
And with sales this is best done either by being out in the field testing it out or as we’ll cover today, role playing.
If you’re familiar at all with the Sandler Selling System you may have read David H. Sandler’s book, You Can’t Teach A Kid To Ride A Bike At A Seminar (affiliate link).
As simple of a statement as the book title is, it’s 100% true. It is rare to learn anything of real value simply by attending a sales training seminar or lecture.
You can’t teach someone to ride a bike let alone sell by simply reading a book. It takes practice and persistence to get good at something.
And don’t get me wrong, I believe you can learn a great deal from books. I love books. I highly encourage you read books. But books are not an ultimate resource on their own. Role playing can help.
That is the only way to get good at the delivery, work out the kinks, and be confident in the message you are delivering. This holds true for everything, especially sales training.
And role playing is easily the best way to go about it.
Why Role Playing?
By role playing you are able to develop your own style for delivering the message.
And through trial and error you are able to make that message your own. This in turn builds confidence in yourself, your product, and your message.
In addition you’ll be able to work out the kinks in the message. You’ll be able to eliminate spotty, non-committal language.
Nothing will reduce trust in a sales person if they are tripping over their own words. Especially if it is describing or trying to sell their product.
Lastly, role playing will get your mind active and will help you think outside the box about how to delivery the message.
Even better if you are role playing with someone outside your department who will have a different point of view than your own.
How To Get The Most Out Of Role Playing
As I touched on briefly, role playing is best utilized after you’ve drilled into an idea and decided on the best way to implement it. That way your sales team has buy in on the problem, the situation, and the best way to handle it.
And it’s important to understand that role playing has a role to play in every department, not just sales. Customer service, marketing, legal, finance, facilities, etc can all use role playing to make themselves, their department, and their company better as a whole.
A lot of sales people hate role playing. I don’t know why. I think it’s fun.
Often times it”s because they are embarrassed of being put on the spot. But the more you do this the more acclimated they’ll become to being put in the “hot seat”.
And think about it. If they are uneasy and flustered by role playing with a group of their peers, how will they handle being berated by a client who is extremely unhappy and does not have the sales person’s best interest in mind?
Role playing will do one thing very well. It will make your sales team better.
Let me know in the comments below how your organization has used role playing and what your biggest take aways have been. I’d love to hear them.
~ Johnny Bravo
Items Mentioned In This Post:
– You Can’t Teach A Kid To Ride A Bike At A Seminar by David H. Sandler
Photo Credit: massdistraction