The Importance of Rehearsing What Could Go Wrong

My instructor gave me very clear directions. He said, “Pull the accelerator towards you.” I barely moved it and the plane started to nudge forward. He said, “No. Pull it all the way out.” I was trying to follow his instructions and managed to pull it half way out, the plane gaining speed down the runway.” My instructor, tired of me hesitating, grabbed my hand and pulled it back and the plane leaped forward, gaining speed. I pulled back on the yoke, as he directed, and we were flying.

Ten minutes later, my instructor explained what we were going to do next. He said, “Now we are going to stall the plane.” That didn’t sound very positive to me, being that we were a few thousand feet above the surface of the Earth. I asked, “Why would do that? Why would stall the plane.” His answer didn’t make me feel any better. He replied, “Sometimes planes stall, and if you don’t know what to do, you can flip the plane, and spiral upside down into the ground.”

To stall a plane, you need only climb at a rate that exceeds the planes ability. The plane gets loose and wobbly, and alarms start screaming. Your instinct is to pull back, which is exactly the wrong thing to do. The right thing to do is to push the yoke forward, and doing so makes everything better very quickly. We did this a few times, and the instructor told me we would practice it at ever lesson. Should something happen, you want to reflexively do the right thing.

Salespeople (and their leaders, managers, and companies) complain about scripts and role plays. They also continually go over the same ground, talking about this objection or that unreasonable client challenge. They recount their continued struggle with commitments that aren’t kept and clients that go dark, as if there is no way to improve their results.

Why wouldn’t one work through the common conversations they have with their clients to ensure they create the most value possible for their client while also creating a preference to work with them?

How could one be harmed by rehearsing their responses to the most common concerns their dream client’s are going to struggle with to ensure they can resolve them effectively, if it is possible to do so?

Why wing it and see for the first time the words that come out of your mouth when your client challenges you? Why repeat what hasn’t worked for you before, when you could gain new language choices that improve your performance in front of your dream client, that same performance in which they are trying to determine whether they should work with you over your competition?

If you are continuously challenged by the same scenario, it is not the challenging scenario that is to blame. It’s your lack of improving your ability to effectively handle it.

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