As we redefine the season sale, group tickets are becoming more and more crucial as to one of the streams of revenue health of sports.  ‘Numbers’ become very important, and in that focus we lose site of some very important points that can grow our business.  What should the focus be?  An understanding of what the group ticket sale should be.  Clarification on the team side needs to start with the ‘why’ we are selling groups.  It’s more than group numbers.  A group sale:

  • should be about the experience and engagement of the group itself.  For many, this is the first or maybe only game they come to…what can we do to make it so engaging for them that they would want to come back on their own or with another group?
  • should be a starting point to something more.  It should never be a one and done.  As a sales rep, you should be asking yourself “how can I grow this group / create break off groups / bring people back?”
  • should be an opportunity for engagement…What IS your engagement with them? How can I find a way to engage with all members of the group and see them as not a single group, but also a lead list of 20/200/2000, depending on the group size?
  • should be an inspiration/motivating factor for other fans.  How can you encourage your group to stand out? Work with them to order special t shirts they wear (can be added to the cost of the ticket)? Pregame event? Use a space in a more unique way? What can we create that make other fans stand up and take notice and want to do something also?
  • am I selling them the ‘cheapest ticket’ just to make sure they will come? And is it totally working? Or am I offering them 5 different price points, thoroughly confusing them? Experience of selling many thousands of groups has taught us something:  when putting together a group, people assume everyone will come if the ticket is cheap, when in reality, it turns many people off that would have come.  Why? Because they automatically assume (and usually rightfully so) that the ticket is in the ‘nosebleeds’ or ‘far removed from the action.’  I encouraged one sales rep to put an excellent higher end seat on the opportunity along with the cheap ticket.  What happened? The high end seat outsold the cheaper ticket 10 to 1.  Why? The group member felt it was probably the only game they would go to so they opted for the better seat. With that, they got the better experience.  In subsequent phone calls, they were more open to bringing a group down of their own. Who needs lead lists when you can creae your own from smarter selling?
  • do I sell and then not engage until renewal time? If so, you have just lost your own lead list, your opportunity for more sales, your opportunity to grow your business.  You are working harder and definitely not smarter!
  • are you unsure of how to capture info of your group members?  There’s a number of ways (please feel free to add on in the comments how you do it), such as: the old  filling out a group info sheet for a raffle prize; encouraging group members to take a pic on their phone during the game experience and posting on your twitter / instagram / facebook personal team account (yes you should have a personal team account) or  with a prize being given for the best or have other followers vote on the best; encourage group members to create a poster prior to the game and add a pic on your account  for prizes; etc. Or simply encourage the group leader to tell all their members as they get their tickets or sell their tickets to join  your account and THAT’S when perks start coming into play:  a certain number will get a unique experience, someone will get an upgrade, etc. Manage your group rewards through them engaging with you.

The point is, while teams are looking to increase ‘numbers’ with groups, we should also be seeing this as increasing revenue (better/smarter seating options and also hitting your revenue goals smarter), a continual lead list being created, seeing it through the eyes of an event planner (how can I make this an event they will want to come back to again and again), and most of all, an extremely vital part of your own personal business.  What you do with your group of 20/200 today will depend on your group of 200/2000 and many more 50’s, 100’s, 1000’s tomorrow.

When I work with teams, I help them understand we are not selling tickets. We are running our own small business, and in doing so we need to provide the best service, the best experience, the best opportunities and the best marketing strategies for the long term.  The group sale provides the biggest potential to future successes…but only if WE see it that way.


Kathy Burrows, SOS Sold Out Seating.

For more info on the upcoming 6 Month Web Sales Training for your team or In Person Trainings, contact:  kathy@soldoutseating.com

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