Why do people fear sales role plays?

Good sales professionals have been developed through time and experience, and sales role play is an effective training method to help improve sales.

Sales role plays are a crucial aspect of sales coaching and training, involving proper delivery and approach of a product’s features and benefits to encourage customers from buying.

sales role plays

However, sales role plays is one activity that sales people love to hate. What’s the reason behind it? Learn more why people fear sales role plays by continue reading below.

Salespeople feel awkward doing role plays

Sales role-plays a cross between acting and public speaking, the soft skills that many salespeople fear the most. A sales role-play is a public test of sales knowledge, skills, and career competence.

Here are some tips to help overcome the fear and awkwardness in preparation for a sales role play and an actual sales situation:

  • Practice with the help of a few friends or family members. Start to speak to a smaller group and build your confidence.
  • Prepare thoroughly by rehearsing several times and connect with your audience with eye contact and confidence.
  • Don’t memorize your entire sales pitch but remember the prompts and key points.
  • Reduce your stress and build confidence by deep breathing a few minutes before the sales role play.
  • It’s a good idea to read expert sales roleplay tips.

Salespeople feel uncomfortable doing role plays

Many people have a comfort zone. Distractions such as a new and challenging activity make a person uncomfortable or uneasy as evidenced by an increase in breathing or respiratory rate, heart rate, sweating, and stuttering.

In order for sales people to be comfortable in stepping out from their comfort zone, they’re trained to talk and deal with different types of customers through role-playing.

Here are some tips to ease the discomfort before role-playing or talking to a potential client:

  • Take ten deep breaths before the role-playing activity.
  • Go to the restroom or any private area to shout, do jumping jacks, or perform stretching or a warm-up exercise to release nervousness and stress.
  • Condition your mind and accept the fact that you need to pass the activity to be successful with your sales career.
  • Ask questions to the trainer, so you can develop a connection and practice talking confidently even before the activity.

Salespeople fear role play because of lack of practice

In sales, you have to do deliberate practice, which involves stepping beyond your comfort zone. You have to try activities outside your current abilities. While having a strong desire to improve is good, you should have a well-defined sales plan and goals.

Here are the benefits of deliberate practice:

  • Routinely practicing sales role plays produces a maximum impact on your communication skills.
  • Practicing develops into a habit, so you eliminate awkwardness over time and become more comfortable delivering your sales pitch.
  • Record your role-plays and solicit honest feedback through peer-to-peer coaching to improve your sales skills.

Salespeople fear role play because of self-doubt

If you’re an aspiring sales professional, you should accept that you have a set of good qualities, strengths, and opportunities. While you can’t help comparing yourself to other people, it’s best to focus on improving yourself and filling any knowledge or skill gaps.

Here are some of the basic sales pitch techniques you can try at home:

  • Gain more in-depth knowledge and understanding of your product or service.
  • Avoid a canned sales pitch.
  • Narrate a story with your sales pitch.
  • Keep it short. Use clear and simple language.
  • Talk to your customer as if you’re talking to someone close to you, or like a friend. Treat your sales pitch as a conversation.
  • Differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Salespeople fear role play because of fear of rejection

One of the most powerful fears is the fear of rejection, significantly impacting many people’s lives. Sales professionals are not exempted from feeling this type of fear. Fear of rejection becomes crippling, which results in a lot of consequences, such as losing a potential client or ending up in a heated argument.

Here are some tips to overcome the fear of rejection in a sales role play:

  • Determine the fearful stimulus. You should become aware of the person or situation that you’re actively avoiding. Am I uncomfortable dealing with my colleagues or with my trainer?
  • Take steps to achieve your goal. First, deliver your sales pitch confidently and successfully. Second, gradually accept and deal with the fearful stimulus.
  • Remind yourself that fear of rejection is a normal feeling and everyone experiences it. It will eventually pass, like other feeling or painful stimuli. 

Salespeople fear sales role play because of perceived competition

The sales world is very competitive, and many people want to step up and become the best. However, there are also some who try to avoid competition because of a lack of self-confidence and preparation. While sales role-playing is not a contest or an activity that involves monetary compensation, unless otherwise agreed upon, it’s still considered as an indirect form of competition.

The trainer and the participants provide relevant feedback or comment about a particular act or sale pitch for learning purposes. Sales role-playing can be an evaluation tool to know who are the potential top sales agents in the future.

Here are some tips to sales supervisors and managers to help promote healthy competition in the workplace through sales role-playing:

  • Group the team into three or four members.
  • Encourage collaboration among team members in formulating a good sales pitch.
  • Be a good role model to your team by telling how much you appreciate your boss or an upper management officer’s achievements and success.


One way to become a successful sales professional is to overcome the fear of rejection, discomfort, or awkwardness of a sales role play. You’ll be dealing with people that have different types of personality, preferences, and buying principles in life.

While there are customers who can easily give-in to an appealing or a sound sales pitch, you’ll also deal with customers who ask a lot of questions and are very demanding. A sales role-playing activity will help you deal with demanding customers and challenging situations.