Who Did You Pretend to Be When You Were A Kid?
One of the most popular ice breaker questions from my participants when doing a workshop is “who did you pretend to be when you were a kid?”
It’s amazing the responses you get: Spider Man! Batman! The Incredible Hulk! James Bond!
I remember at primary school I used to spend my break times with my friends playing Star Wars. Luke Skywalker was my favourite character so we’d have imaginary light sabre battles complete with sound effects. We believed we were those characters, we’d see the film’s scenes in our mind’s eye. Sometimes with more elaborate sequences we’d rehearse and do repeated cuts till we felt like we’d done the scene justice!
Role play was part of our lives back then and as kids we love it. Fast forward to today and mention the words “role play” in a workshop and it strikes terror in even the most rejection hardened salesperson. So why is this?
I’m genuinely curious to find out! Where does the fear lie? When did our ability to try new things and not worry about the odd mistake creep in?
I did a workshop recently and we constructed some opening statements at first in written form. They were great- they were focussed on the Prospect, on outcomes, on stuff they’d potentially be interested in. Not the “here’s what we do” show up and throw up approach!
When role playing this bit of the call it was evident they needed some work to get them to flow and sound natural. There were bits that already sounded great- excellent! We knew what would work. There were some unnecessary words that got tossed out. We fed back as a group with some really helpful tips coming from different team members. By the end of it we had some really effective curiosity driven statements to try out in a live setting.
Doing this with every bit of any scenario is massively helpful- the acid test being “how does it sound being delivered out loud?” And: “What’s the response likely to be when the customer/ Prospect hears it?”
The result is something people feel confident to use and keen to start their conversations. Growing confidence, that’s what it’s all about!
So maybe we need to talk ourselves into doing the role play, the awkwardness soon goes when everyone gets involved.
If it’s good enough for professional actors and bands to rehearse, it’s definitely what we need to do as business professionals to develop and improve. Imagine Dave Grohl and his band the Foo Fighters rocking up without doing a sound check! Every song is performed again and again to within an inch of its life before it’s worthy of a live airing!
We expect a good performance so let’s use the most effective way to improve our performance too.