There’s an old joke about a tourist in New York who asks a musician carrying a violin getting out of a cab “How do I get to Carnegie Hall”; to which the musician replies “Practice, Practice, Practice.”

Musicians, airline pilots, world class actors, and champion athletes have one thing in common: thousands of hours of practice. Yet, according to Vistage Speaker and Sales Trainer Colleen Stanleymany of the salespeople our companies rely upon to provide the lifeblood called revenue often resist what other great performers do as a matter of course: Practice.

How would you answer Ms. Stanley’s challenge “ Do you have a practice averse sales culture?” She explores the reasons for this in a recent 2-minute video and urges executives to move their salespeople from “flabby to fabulous” by demanding a regimen of practice before inflicting themselves on your customers. 

Note: If you want to greatly multiply the effectiveness of your salespeople’s practice time, conduct role plays where you play the customer, the salespeople play themselves and…this is really important…you make a video recording of the session. When the roleplay is over, ask the salesperson to self-assess, give you own feedback, then watch it together. The camera doesn’t lie, and it helps eliminate arguments about what the salesperson, did or didn’t do, in the roleplay. I’ve seen C-Level executives turn white, and sometimes red, when they see how unpracticed many on their team are. Few things will improve a salesperson more than seeing themselves perform less than well in a role that they think they’ve already mastered…..but according to the camera have not.