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Practice Makes Perfect

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If you have read any of my previous articles or one of my blogs you probably know I like to compare running a business to coaching baseball. There is one exception that I regularly see when I try to compare a business to baseball and that is the lack of practicing regularly. In baseball even the professionals take the time to practice almost daily. In business, it hardly ever happens.

A few months ago I presented a private workshop at an HVAC residential contracting business. There were about 30 people in attendance. One of the objectives of the workshop was to improve sales. After I covered a few topics, I showed the class, one slide at a time, a list of possible objections by customers and asked them to respond to them. The experience of the group was six to 24 years so these were seasoned people who shouldn’t have any issues responding to customer comments. Unfortunately, no one could respond to the objectives in a way that sounded like they knew what they were talking about. I looked over at the president of the business and his mouth was wide open and he looked pretty upset.

Every one of them lacked confidence and/or said something ridiculous. For example, one of the objectives was “I can get the exact same thing from the guy down the street for a lot less than that” Some of the guys actually answered “Go ahead!” Others said things like “Why did you call us?” or “Yeah I see that a bunch.” Obviously none of these answers were good.

The point I was making to this group is that in order to be successful and have the ability to handle various situations, complaints, and objectives, you must practice. Practicing helps improve confidence and allows you to perform better in anything you do. Some of the best consultant “Sales Training Boot Camps” or “Sales Improvement Courses” are successful, because they force the attendees to practice.

The most successful businesses regularly take the time to role play allowing the employees the opportunity to practice their presentation and customer experiences. No one is born with great communications skills. These are learned and tried and practiced until the person feels comfortable, sounds and looks confident and believes in the product and service themselves.

Take the time to practice various scenarios and force your team to answer objections and complaints. It’s much better to have them do it wrong in front of you, rather than the customer.

Believe me it is true … “Practice Does Make Perfect.

Frank Besednjak

Posted In: ACCA Now, Management

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