At my school in Orlando we emphasize the importance of daily role-playing with managers. In my office in Los Angeles I have my sales team make sure they tell clients to role-play the entire sales process.
Role-playing is great practice. When I started selling I would role-play with fellow sales people all the time. We would go over everything from the greeting, to the demonstration and even get into the closing material. We would then make sure to point out things that the other person was doing well and where they could improve.
Role-playing allows you to practice your material, get the bugs out, and also allows you to see the customer’s point of view. It’s like what Thomas Edison said when he was asked about all the times he failed to invent the light bulb. He said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” That’s what you’re doing (hopefully not 10,000 times). You’re trying to find what doesn’t work in your presentation and get those out of the way. Once you have fixed those mistakes your presentation will become better and easier and you start becoming more relaxed and confident around customers. Besides, if you’re going to fail in your presentation why not fail when it’s just your fellow sales people and not an actual buyer?
So grab a fellow sales person and start role-playing. You may be embarrassed the first few times you do it, but that embarrassment will quickly disappear when those paychecks start going up and you feel more confident about your job.