Sold out games/events don’t just happen. They have to have a strategy. A wildly winning team or amazing rock band will enable that to happen. More often than not, we have to create a plan. At the start of each new season, we should look at the games/events that need to be sold out…maybe there are 4 during the whole season and the rest have a Mendoza Line of a number you will not dip under. But how do you plan for those 4?
Often I go to teams who are in panic mode. The game they want sold out is 3 weeks away and everyone’s attention is focused on that game. That’s great, and the sellout may happen, but what happens to the other games? With everyone’s focus on that, you have successfully eliminated Mendoza Line numbers for the 7 or 10 games around it. Consequently, there is one big game and another 10 that are very poor. What is the message we are sending to the public and to our staff?
How do we manage to hit those 4 sellouts as well as hit the Mendoza Line for all the other games? It takes strategy…and it starts the minute you have your schedule. What are the steps?
The sales and executive team need to sit down and collectively determine which 4 games (or the number they choose) are to be sold out. Is there a special significance to those games? What is it? Opening night? Empowering women night or hall of fame night? Camp days or school day? Etc. Attach the significance to the game. All sales staff needs to be part of this: season, group, premium and corporate.
The sales and executive team need to create the Mendoza Line for the remaining games. What is the number per game that you will not fall below? Is it 2K in groups for each remaining game? If based on revenue, is it $40K in group sales per game? What are the numbers?
Create the white board. Can’t stress this enough. Putting it on a chart on everyone’s computer won’t get it. This has to be big, huge, and visual in front of everyone so as they are selling they can recommend game dates. A smaller white board has to have the 4 sellout games. The larger white board has all the remaining games with the Mendoza Line. Everyone adds to the sales in red until they hit the goal and the numbers then become green.
The strategy. If you have a large enough sales team, you can break the team down into groups to create the strategy for their sold out game date. If you do not, then the sales team as a whole needs to sit and brainstorm. A strategy needs to be created. HOW will we sell out opening day? What type of theme or idea should we create to make it happen? Who can we sell this to? How many are each of us responsible for? What are the benchmark dates and goals? What kind of unique idea can we present to a potentially large number of specific people to sell to? For the remaining 3 games, it’s the same process. Is there a marketing theme with it? WHO are the groups we should be selling this to? Who will be responsible for each of the group categories to sell to? What are the benchmark dates and goals? How many are each of us responsible for?
Next, the Mendoza Line. What is our number we won’t fall below? What is our personal strategy for making sure that we hit our portion of that number? What are the benchmark dates and goals? What is a better focus during the week? Weekend? Night game? Day game?
The key is strategy and accountability. Once you work together to create the strategy, you are working together as a team to accomplish a goal. From there, it goes to accountability. The team depends on you to hit your number that you are responsible for. So your job is to focus. Stay focused on what you can control, which are your personal numbers. Hit the benchmark dates and goals. Be a person the team can count on. If each of us is accountable, as a team we will hit our goals. If any one of us does not take the accountability seriously, the whole team loses.
Why start early and have benchmarks? You need to know asap if something isn’t working and then brainstorm to either change the process or find other categories. Hitting the benchmarks ensures the opportunity to hit the sellout.
This is the area of sales that should be fun and team building. This is the area that enables us to use our minds and build strategies together. It enables us to brainstorm and think differently than every other team. It enables us to look at our market and what would work best. It helps us become strong salespeople and future leaders.
If your season is winding down, now is the time to plan for a next level training as well as decide the dates and create the strategies for sellouts and Mendoza Line numbers. It’s time to create groups for brainstorming or brainstorm as a whole. It’s time to set benchmark dates and goals. It’s time…..
Kathy Burrows, CEO…Sold Out Seating (SOS)
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