I know you’re busy.
I know you have a million things on your plate.
I also know you want to be the best salesperson you can be.
That’s why, no matter how busy you are, it’s so critical to schedule practice time into your calendar. Role playing should be part of your morning routine, day in and day out.
And it’s also why, when my team wanted me to create a big list of “Role Play Rules” when we recently launched our first-of-its-kind Video Role Play feature in illūm, I boiled it down to just three essentials.
When you’re role playing, the fewer distractions you have, the better.
My fellow golfers out there know if you try to think about a million swing tips while you’re playing, you get overwhelmed and nothing works. But if you focus on just a few key fundamentals, your results can improve dramatically.
That’s what I want to provide for you today… 3 essential rules to always keep in mind whether you’re role playing face-to-face, on the phone, in illūm or elsewhere.
Let’s go!

Role Play Rule No. 1: We Perform at the Level We Practice

Just because it’s not the “real thing” doesn’t mean you can slack off. You still need to give it your all.
I’m a firm believer that the harder we practice, the more intensely we practice, the more situations we prepare ourselves for…
…The BETTER we perform in the real moment.
Subject yourself to those “pressure cooker” moments. Ask your partner to present you with some unrealistic or outrageous situations so you’re prepared when those “out of left field” questions come from an actual client or prospect.
Finally, because we perform at the level we practice, it’s mandatory that you bring energy and enthusiasm to the process and follow the scripts!

Role Play Rule No. 2: It’s More Than the Words You Use

One of the misconceptions about role playing is that it’s just a matter of memorizing scripts. In reality, that’s just one small part of the process.
Remember, 55 percent of communication is expressed through your body language. So while role playing, keep in mind how you’re moving your body and how those movements are perceived by others.
Also remember, 38 percent of communication is expressed through your tonality. So while role playing, keep in mind how you’re actually delivering the words and how that delivery is perceived by others.
That means just seven percent(!) of your message is the actual words you use. So to me, role playing is all about getting the words out of the way, doing it over and over and over again to internalize the script and allowing your own unique personality to shine through while delivering a convincing message.
Only when you’ve reached that point will you be able to focus on your customer and make the necessary connection to help them make the best decisions for their future.

Role Play Rule No. 3: Be a Great Role Play Partner

Successful role plays are a two-way street with engaged participants on both ends of the conversation.
When you’re not the one presenting, it’s important to be authentic, give good feedback, note what worked well and what didn’t work as well, and provide suggestions on what could be done better next time. Be honest. Be direct. Be helpful.
Never forget the reason you’re doing this is to improve your skills, not to just go through the motions.