The Three Most Important Things to Role Play

Practice makes perfect. When it comes to athletics, everyone agrees with that statement. Well, everyone except Allen Iverson. But the same principle applies to all professions, not just sports. You need to practice your job.

Golfers hit dimpled balls until their hands bleed. Basketball players shoot free throws until they drop from exhaustion. Baseball players have batting practice before every game.

Do you practice your job? In the fitness industry, every job is either a sales job or a position that supports sales. The best practice is role play.

Telephone inquiries. You have a script, and you use it every day. But you still need to practice. So, role play with your sales staff during three calls per week. This is about 15 minutes of total practice, but will keep your staff sharp and uncover any areas that need improvement. Email me with “script” in the subject line for a script that I’m fond of using.

Tours. Role play one tour per week. Do this start to finish with no interruptions and no breaking of character. This includes front desk greetings, any forms to fill out (guest profile) and contracts to sign.

Stay in character to ensure that your salespeople complete all steps, including scheduling you for an appointment to meet with a coach or trainer. And don’t always be the prospect. Be a salesperson to their prospect about 25 percent of the time as well.

Asking for referrals. This is part of the tour process but is only done when a prospect joins. So, train on this separately. This, like phone calls, only takes a few minutes, so role playing three times per week is sufficient and only takes 15 minutes.

Total time: About 90 minutes per week, per salesperson.

“Jason, what if I train them and they quit?”

My answer would be: “What if you don’t train them and they stay?”

Keep changing lives.


Jason Linse is president and founder of The Business of Fitness, a consulting company. He also owns a personality assessment company called People Plus+ Fitness. For questions on sales he can be reached at


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