Sales Training Tip – Roll an 11


For many years, I’ve been using a very simple technique to train new sales personnel about the necessity of perseverance and positivity in the sales process. I’ve been told that it is original and worth passing along so here it is.

I hand the trainee a pair of dice and tell them to roll an 11. I tell them  each 11 they roll represents closing a sale. Sometimes they roll an 11 on the first or second roll. Sometimes it takes more than 30 rolls and quite a bit of time. Regardless, they are all happy to have rolled the 11.

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Then I have them do it again… and again. Of course, I always point out the simple fact that for a salesperson to continue to make sales he or she has to keep rolling the dice. In fact, the only way a salesperson can be a total failure at sales is to stop rolling the dice. If a salesperson gets to work every morning and starts rolling the dice, sales will be made, at least eventually. If you stop rolling the dice, you will never roll the 11. Pretty simple, eh?

I’ve found that those who get frustrated by this process tend to get frustrated with the sales process and eventually drop out. Those who can keep rolling the dice until the next “sale” is made and maintain their positive, smiling attitude often have what it takes to be successful at sales. (This is NOT a validated method of selecting personnel, just a subjective observation.)

If you don’t have any dice handy you can go to where you will find a virtual dice roller that works well. But I prefer to have a nice pair of dice to give the trainee something to hold and remember.

After every sales call, via phone or in person, you need to roll the dice, again and again. You will eventually roll an eleven. I promise.

MORE: Go Hire Some Lazy People

Peter Brown

Peter Brown
Peter Brown is a co-founder and president of Presenting Solutions Inc., a maker of Prevaluate Online. He can be reached at pjb (at) prevaluate (dot) com.

Peter Brown

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