letting go

Welcome to the world of 2017. Season tickets aren’t the impact they used to be. Long term suites are not top of mind. Groups want more of an event than just buying tickets and showing up. Social media has an impact. Year after year, leadership teams get together and create packages they feel should be sold and give them to their sales teams to sell. Many are told not to have a their personal team twitter account. It’s like going into a boiler room and being given a sheet with what you are ‘pitching’ that night and not being given the opportunity to use your brain.

Executive teams: think about the days when you were a sales rep. How many times did you have an idea, only never shared it because you were told what you would sell. How frustrated did you feel? How often do you wonder…if only I could have done xxx, the outcome may have been so different. Yet here we are still putting together tired packages and expecting our sales staff to have the enthusiasm to sell them. If only you could wander the sales floors and hear the reps sometimes with some excellent comments of how much more successful the sales process could be if only we could….

News flash to leaders: a rep sells so much better when selling that which he/she had the opportunity to help create and believe in. You are not going to let an idea that you were part of fail. You will jump through hoops to make it successful. Using social media methods to sell can double their sales numbers. So why do we as executives insist on putting it together and having them sell it the way we say?

Leadership needs to realize it’s ok to let go. You are only as good as the people around you. If you believe in the people you have hired, then empower them to be part of the process. Those in the trenches hearing clients day in and day out can often be counted on to come up with some great ideas for alternative and more ‘trendy’ membership packages, changes to groups, suite usage and rental packages, etc. Collaborating with you on this, presenting ideas, and seeing their efforts be part of the new packages you put out there, will motivate the rep to feel a more valued part of the team and also give them the opportunity to sell something they had a say in. The effort goes up, the positive attitude goes up, and ultimately, sales go up.

A great seller will find needs and offer solutions, based on parameters they are given . Instead of ‘pitching’, they use their brain, are empowered to create packages and truly build solutions for their client…an amazing way to sell.

What if we empowered our staff to create a revenue agreement with a client then create their own package with them around it? A package may include 5 sets of tickets to games, a 100 person group outing and 2 rental suites, one large and one small. It doesn’t fit any of the ‘molds’ that we sell from, but it does offer flexibility to the client, and a great chance for a rep to find needs, fill them and work collectively with the client. They may even find that creating a ‘revenue bank’ for the client to use throughout the year works best…a $10K investment to be used as needed, when needed, during the course of the season…can be tickets to games, a group, suite rental, any type of mixture.

If you truly trust the people you have hired, as you should, then give them the leeway to create best sales for you. Start simple if you feel comfortable and initially let them be part of the process, contributing ideas. As you become more comfortable, little by little empower your reps to create sales for the 2017’s and 2018’s by creating for the client. Not everyone wants 81 or 41 games…but many are willing to spend the $5K, $10K in different ways.

Letting go just may enable your staff to sell more.

Kathy Burrows, Sold Out Seating

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