Do You Have a Sales Simulator?
by Shawn Karol Sandy, on May 9, 2021 3:50:00 PM
That was a special Mother’s Day! Unique, for sure. Remembering this special experience from a few years ago:
No sleeping in, breakfast in bed, or brunch this year.
This year we were out the door before school bus time and on our way to a special experience at FedEx.
One of my husband’s patients (he’s the GREATEST optometrist) is a flight instructor and invited us to experience one of the flight simulators. With my husband and two children, I spent 3 hours taking turns flying an Airbus A300—taking off, landing, banking as hard as possible, seeing what alarms and warnings we can set off and my husband topped it off by flying us UNDER the Golden Gate Bridge.
It was absolutely an incredible experience taking off and landing from LAX, Memphis, JFK, Salt Lake City, Hong Kong, and San Francisco. We experienced turbulence, flying with zero visibility, thunderstorms, snow, and even another plane flying directly at us. We even bounced hard off the water on Mike’s first attempt to fly under the Golden Gate Bridge.
The simulators are amazing. The visuals and motions and technology behind replicating real-life scenarios are phenomenal. Every conceivable scenario can be programmed and is programmed to respond to the pilot and first officer’s actions, reactions, and or lack of action.
The rigorous training and skills investments that commercial pilots participate in demonstrates the commitment to keeping us safe in the skies. General Aviation pilots don’t get nearly as much time or experience handling potentially tragic scenarios or even going through preflight and pre-landing checklists. General Aviation incidents and deaths are enormous in scale to commercial incidents (ex: 2013 General Aviation deaths: 387 compared to 2 in Commercial Aviation). There is a constant emphasis on skills, training, and improvement in resources in Commercial Aviation as well as a tremendous focus on learning after incidents.
Where I’m going with this:
Where Do You Practice Your Sales Skills?
Where are the “Sales Simulators” that take us through our skills checks and test our skills when situations go sideways?
Pilots, Doctors, Paramedics, Soldiers, Police, Firemen and women—when in stressful situations, they rely on their training and practice of difficult situations to remain calm, cool, collected and make the right decisions.
Sales is stressful. Every phone call, meeting, or opportunity has the potential to go smoothly, go sideways, or somewhere in between.
How are you preparing for those situations before you're in those situations?
That’s not exactly a rhetorical question–truly think about your sales simulator options:
- Ask for feedback from mentors
- Role play with coaches (insert eye roll here...and DO IT ANYWAY)
- Role play with colleagues and go on client meetings together
- Invest in skills building to improve your communication, messaging, mindset, and productivity
- Conduct Post Mortems and learn from things gone wrong
- Outlearn your competition
There’s no substitute for experience—except practice. Practice can get you damned close.