Do you Roleplay with your sales team?

Many people have an aversion to any type of roleplay. The discomfort usually comes from a feeling of not knowing what to say or being embarrassed that a dumb mistake will make you look like a fool in front of your peers and manager.

Some roleplayers will struggle to pretend that the scenario that they are experiencing is anything more than an off-putting game of the imagination.

It really doesn’t matter why some folks hate it. It’s just important to be aware that some will push back. That is almost the only negative that you will come up against. EVERYTHING else your team experiences is positive. That’s right…EVERYTHING!

Roleplaying is one of the most underrated tools for increasing sales. If someone told you that playing pretend would lead to more success in your life, you would no-doubt be insisting to be called Captian Referral and have a towel tied around your neck like a cape.

Here’s the thing: The BENEFIT of Roleplay is REAL!

So today, I’d like to talk about how to roleplay your sales calls in order to best prepare for success. The focus will be mostly geared toward leaders, owners, and sales managers, but all are welcome to read. If you are motivated to see your sales go up, this message is for you.

Step #1: Know what you’re going to roleplay.

For those using the High Performance Sales Academy or the Roadmap to Referrals, this will most likely feel like second nature. We roleplay all the time during calls related to these programs.

I would suggest looking into those programs for guidance, but what you should know first is that you need to have a specific type of visit to roleplay. For us, we follow these simple ground rules:

  1. Determine the location and setting of your call (example: Busy Doctor’s Office. One person is the rep and one is the Referral Coordinator)
  2. Determine the goal of the call other than just getting a referral. (examples include: Follow a sales process, ask discovery questions, overcome a specific objection you’ve been facing, or discuss a program)
  3. Don’t be TOO hard on the salesperson, unless it’s was decided in the beginning (our participants ALWAYS get the referral)
  4. Give positive feedback
  5. Don’t share negative feedback. To quote Cheryl Peltekis, “Provide an opportunity to UPGRADE the call”

It seems easy enough, right? Good. The next step is critical to success.

Step #2: Include the whole team.

Some people really freak about having to roleplay, but if you want the best results, everyone should be involved. This doesn’t mean calling them up on stage or managing independent roleplay with 30 different reps. This means having your team break off into small pairs to roleplay may be critical. You want them to be able to know certain scenarios with perfect mastery.

Speaking of Mastery…

Step #3: Help them find and share differentiators.

The most obvious scenario to master is to know is your differentiators. What makes your agency different? Great nurses = NOPE! Who is going to broadcast that they have terrible nurses (even if they do)? The best service = LAME! You can do better. Perhaps how you onboard new clients or patients is different or your care plan for a specific diagnosis offers a certain level of care that is uncommon in our industry. Even knowing the reason your agency was founded can make a great differentiator.

Regardless of what makes your agency stand out, your team should be able to share those reasons like it is second nature. Roleplaying can play a critical role in their ability to verbalize and educate in the field.

Step #4: Without a Safe Environment, it will fail.

You know that roleplaying requires a person to step out of their comfort zone. If they feel that giving a poor roleplay will ultimately make them look un-promotable or have an impact on the way they are perceived by their manager, they will begin to participate as little as possible. This can suddenly have the reverse effect of making them feel like a failure, instead of preparing them for success.

You will need to give them an opportunity to fail, without judgment or condemnation. Then they can grow and turn into an even better version of themselves. This can be hard for some managers, but it is critical to the growth of your team through roleplay.

Look – Many people struggle with roleplay. With the complex selling cycle of home care, home health, and hospice, preparation for your team can not be understated. Become a team that roleplays and you will become a team that succeeds!


– Jason

About the Author:

Jason Lewallen is Vice President of Marketing

for Home Care Sales

He can be reached at:


Phone: 615.815.7907


PS: Might want to consider…

If you are a home health, hospice, or private duty agency who struggles with:

  • educating your referral sources
  • not having professional handouts with the correct clinical/treatment info
  • not knowing what to say to drive referrals
  • not having time to train your sales team about diagnosis specific info

…then the Roadmap to Referrals program is the answer you have been looking for. Agencies are using this methodology to gain more referrals and position their entire sales team as experts.

It’s a plan for every week of the year and can lead to double and triple the referrals you are currently getting. The investment is a mere $500 per month. That’s less than a fraction of a referral!