Recently, the question of how sales can use role playing to prepare for executive meetings has come up more often than usual. When you finally score a meeting with that executive you’ve been targeting for weeks or months, how do you prepare? Do you simply rehearse what you’ll say in your head, or do you actually do some role playing? There’s a huge difference between these two approaches to preparation. A musician wouldn’t rehearse her next concert in her head, so why would you prepare for your executive meeting the same way?
You’ve probably done this thousands of times. You take the time to prepare. You think about how you’ll open the conversation, provocative ways to engage the executive, what value you can offer, what you want to get out of the meeting, any objections, and your responses. In essence, you do all the right things. But, when you go over all these details, you do it in our head rather than saying it out loud. It always sounds really good in our own head. Is this the best way to truly prepare and uncover any necessary improvements? Probably not.
Now, try saying it all out loud. You’ll likely find that the words coming out of your mouth sound a bit more stilted and not flowing as well as it did in your head. You find flaws in your content, persuasion and style. Your insights may not sound as provocative because you may not be speaking in the language of the executive. Or, you find that your responses to objections need to be adjusted for maximum impact.
Rehearsing in your head always sounds great. But you will definitely see a huge difference when you say it out loud. Take that one step further and do some role playing with your manager or a peer, and they will provide the feedback you need to ensure a better outcome.
Remember, you only get one chance to make an impact at these types of meetings. Have you been talking in your head and then not understanding why the meeting doesn’t go as well as you’d anticipated? Or are you actually role playing and seeing the difference in the outcome from your meetings with executives? Share your sales tale!