Jan. 10: Kathy’s Mailbag….”HEY KATHY!”


Welcome ! This week’s mailbag brings us questions from ‘ideas that just don’t work’ to staff consistently not hitting goals.  Read on!

“Hey Kathy…

Our staff consistently comes up with ideas but they just don’t seem to pan out.  They spend a lot of time planning for it, and then they get 20 or 30 tickets for their effort.  How do you know which is going to work and which isn’t so we can streamline?” JS, Midwest sports team

Hi JS…I am willing to bet it’s not the idea that’s wrong.  I am more willing to bet it’s the execution and the #1 reason for failure in sports sales…follow up.  Are they creating an event and ‘sending a link out?’  That’s only the start of the process.  Had they met with members from varying groups before hand to get their input?  Do they have their buy in? Did they state the numer expected?  Did they phrase it that ‘for every 100 you will xxx?” Did they follow up with them monthly to see how sales were going? Did they have a one month push where it was the focus, with different, creative messaging coming out weekly?  Way too often in sports we have the idea, we don’t even meet with the varying groups, and we just try to sell it outright via a link.  Who is the cheerleader for the event?  Who are the grassroots members making sure sales happen?

We have to educate our clients that the link is just the method to purchase…it won’t entice.  We need the grass roots rah rah,, the continual follow up, the strong incentive and the one big focus push to get it done.  Will that always work?  Nothing is guaranteed; however, simply sending the link and expecting people to come often puts us in sales numbers hell.

I would recommend we start discussing execution more closely with the staff and see how some of these great ideas can finally come to fruition!  Keep me posted!

“Hey Kathy…

I work with a team and work very hard to make sure I hit my goal.  The rest of the staff has been here a few years and they never hit their goal.  My reward is my own satisfaction and of course my paycheck, but there are no consequences for not hitting.  I’m starting to develop a why bother attitude, especially when I’m seeing great opportunities missed.  Can you advise on helping me get back in the right frame of mind?”   RS, eastern team

First of all, RS, kudos to you for taking an opportunity and working so hard at it.  You were given a chance and you are proving yourself.  I know how discouraging it must be…I see it happen a lot.  There’s a number of teams out there where they don’t want to shake up staff, or ‘waste time’ training, etc so they keep people on, not hitting goals, without consequences, which ultimately tells them:  it’s ok to not hit. No big deal.

Most businesses in life don’t keep people around for years if they are not producing.  I mean, the purpose for the sales staff of a team is to make money.  Not producing and no consequences would tell me it’s no big deal.

Most staff wants to be held accountable.  If we are not doing that as leaders, shame on us. If you are not doing that as a sales rep, given an opportunity, shame on you.

To answer your question, I would talk to my supervisor and ask he or she “what is my incentive this year for hitting my goals?”  If they ask why there should be an incentive, simply state that as there are no consequences for not hitting, then there should be an incentive for hitting.

I would also say there seems to be a lack of solid leadership there, and so my question to you is:  are you truly passionate about the organization?  If you love it and want to stay, then how about being the leader you don’t have?  Challenge your staff to a daily or weekly contest. Tell them if they hit the sales goal for the week you will bring in lunch for everybody or an ice cream sundae day or some such thing.  This is also your chance to lead.  I know it doesn’t seem fair, but if you’re truly passionate about staying there, and leadership is not doing anything about it (that you know of), then start some fun challenges and instead of building resentment, build sales growth.

I’m sorry this is happening.  Please let me know what you choose to do and how it turns out.

Send YOUR sports sales questions to: kathy@soldoutseating.com by Tuesday evenings.  

Don’t miss a sales blog post or mailbag!  Go to soldoutseating.wordpress.com and sign up for my blog! 

Kathy Burrows, SOS…Sold Out Seating 


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