I had a very interesting conversation this week with a sales director who has been charged with increasing season sales by 50% prior to the start of play this fall. His question to me was, “Who should we be going after? We’ve exhausted just about every category and that’s how we got to where we are. Barring a failed renewal plan, 50% is a massive amount to increase and I’m not sure who else we should be going after.”
My question to all of our teams out there…why are we so concerned with ‘who’ we should be going after without first looking at the ‘what’ it is we are offering? Why is it that losing teams can have tremendous season ticket sales? Why are there waiting lists for teams that never made it to playoffs? Why do we focus on who we are selling to instead of creating something that people want?
Think back to a Christmas or two when you were a kid, and you wanted that toy that everyone else wanted. What made that toy special? What created the group think that everyone had to have it? Did your mom or dad not stand in line or get to a store early to be the first in line to try to get it? They spent the entire holiday season calling, begging, doing whatever it took to get that item for you. It was a coveted item, whether you played with it longer than 2 weeks or not. Everyone wanted it; therefore, so did you.
Is your season ticket coveted? Is it something that everyone else wants? What makes it special? What creates the group think that everyone has to have it? How many of you, when asked what value your season ticket has, rattles off benefits that mean absolutely nothing in reality? “Same great seats, playoff priority, a gift, meet and greet with the team.” Does this make it a coveted item? Is this worth being excited about? Is this worth me joining the organization for? What makes me want to belong?
Prior to approaching your off season, everyone needs to huddle together and review their season ticket. Instead of worrying about the who, start asking about the what. What would make this opportunity one that everyone would want? Win or lose, what would make people want to be a part of this organization? (Note: not ‘what would make people want a season ticket’, but rather ‘what would make people want to be a part of this organization’). In terms of ‘wanting’, what would make people ‘want’ to rush to be in line to purchase? A gift is nice, but it’s not what creates groupthink that your season ticket is a coveted item. What is it that you can create that everyone must have?
Think Christmas. Think about the ‘hot idea’ that year. Think about how everyone wanted it. Think about your own season opportunity. How can you create a ‘hot idea’ for that season ticket? Once you can define that and create that desire, then you can decide the ‘who’. And once the ‘who’ starts buying your marketing can help promote that urgency, that desire to have what everyone would want. There’s a reason why teams have waiting lists…and it’s not just because they went to the playoffs. Look at those who have not. Why can’t this be yours?
Kathy Burrows, Owner, Sold Out Seating
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