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New Perspective

Role-playing can help you see the future through someone else's eyes.

This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Michelle Bruce wanted her sales team to know how prospects would respond to sales pitches, she set up a role-playing exercise. The co-founder of 75-person OutStart, a Boston training-software firm, cast herself and other executives as prospective clients. Salespeople played themselves, fielding questions and objections from the pseudo-prospects while trying to keep sales presentations on track.

Everybody learned, says Bruce, 34. Salespeople got an idea of how prospects would respond, while Bruce gained insight into how her salespeople looked to clients. "We'll be doing this again," she says.

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