Recently I went to an NFL scrimmage game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers. It was fascinating to me that the scrimmage was not a game against each other. So for instance, they had guys on the 15 yard line offense against the defense and they were getting ready to score, they ran this specific play over, and over and over again. And this got me thinking about how professional athletes spend about 98% of their time practicing drills before games.
As a professional salesperson when do you practice? Are you actually practicing your presentation before you present? Are you practicing your closing techniques? Are you practicing how you follow up? What typically happens is sales professionals, most of them end up practicing in the game. Think about it, if a professional athlete started practicing in the game they would not be a professional very long, they’d be replaced, very quickly. The ones that make a difference, are the ones that are practicing and putting the work in. I know that sounds simple, but what it really boils down to is practicing the basics. Are you as a professional salesperson practicing the basics? Are you putting the time in outside of the game? The key is you want to practice before you get in front of a client to make sure that what you say and how you say it is received correctly and that you’re closing correctly. By practicing and by doing the drills you will close more business. If you’re a sales manager, or an individual sales professional you have probably heard that role playing is old school, but is it really? I think by role playing you will have a huge advantage and become better at what you do when you’re in a real sales environment. Practice before the game and watch your closing ratio go up!