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It is NOT Role-Playing, It's Role-Practice

Why? Because we're not "playing," we're practicing!

It has been said, "Practice makes perfect."

It has also been said, "Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."

Technically, both are true.

It is one thing to show up for work every day and do your job. But it is another thing to show up for practice. To role practice. To drill. To put yourself in situation scrimmage. To run through your value statements and objection handling time after time so that they NEVER sound like scripts.

How much practice did you do this week? Last week? The week before?

So, let’s practice. The customer tells you your price is too high. Is it?

Some salespeople will come back with “Compared to what?” or “Where do I have to be?” In both cases, there are much better ways to handle the objection around price. The first thing you need to understand is that “Your price is too high” qualifies as a “mystery statement”.

Here’s why:

  1. You don’t know if your price is actually too high—it could merely be a purchasing tactic to influence your thinking

  2. You don’t know what components were included in the price it’s being compared with

  3. You don’t know if the buyer understands fully-loaded costs

What is painfully clear though, is that you have not sold the value of your solution relative to the competition or you would not be having this exchange (unless of course the buyer is just trying to squeeze you).

Practice enables you to work on your performance, without having to worry about results.

You practice, you make mistakes. You mess up. You learn. You adjust and you try again.

Practice gives you the opportunity to make corrections without the associated negative consequences.

In the aforementioned scenario, we would leverage the concept of “verbal judo” and rather than come back with a quick, defensive response, we align with the customer/prospect.

We might say something along the lines of…

“Well, I can certainly appreciate you wanting to secure the lowest price possible.”

Next, we need take the mystery, out of the mystery statement:

“Out of curiosity, are we comparing price or fully-loaded cost?”

Now the customer/prospect has two choices, they can tell you it is fully-loaded costs or they can ask a question, “What do you mean by fully-loaded costs?” We’ll practice that question.

Here is the biggest mistake most salespeople make without practice. They will come back with:

Does your fully loaded cost include X, Y and Z?”

The easiest thing for the customer/prospect to do is to say “Yes.” Now where do you go? You are now fighting off your back.

Through practice, you would have anticipated both responses and asked,“In the spirit of transparency and so that I may respond accurately, what are the detailed components of your fully-loaded cost comparison?”

This puts the onus on the customer/prospect and you can quickly determine:

  1. If the pricing objection was merely a tactic

  2. Exactly what the customer/prospects knows about fully-loaded cost

  3. Where there may be opportunities to sell the value of your offering

  4. If your fully-loaded cost is truly too high

This takes the mystery out of that mystery statement and now you can effectively respond.

There is just no two ways about it. It takes practice to reach an individual or team’s full potential. The problem is, that practice never has to be done by Friday at 5 PM, so it isn’t done. Practice needs to become part of your culture. Heavyweight champion Smokin’ Joe Frazier said it best:

My high school coach said something along the same lines, “What you do in practice, you will do in a match.” If you quit halfway through the drills or simply don’t do them, you will not perform at your optimum level. That is fact in any customer facing position.

At Butler Street, we are big believers in the power of practice. That is why we incorporate a twelve week continuous improvement series into all of our leader-led training programs complete with significant role-practice. We help make practice part of your culture. To learn more, Contact us and let’s talk.

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