June 13 Kathy’s Mailbag…”Hey Kathy!”


Welcome to this week’s edition of Kathy’s Mailbag.  Interesting questions this week…so happy you do not hesitate to send me your needs! Remember, if I don’t answer it here I answer it personally, so either way you will get an answer!

“Hey Kathy,

I’ve been in this role for 3 years and definitely feel I am ready for a next step, title change, etc.  What is your opinion on growth time till someone becomes a manager, director, etc.?     B, Midwest”

Hi B,

I’ve never been a fan of titles…some teams hand them out like candy and suddenly you end up with all titles and no one wanting to do the work.  Everyone suddenly feels power.  With that being said, of course we need titles…some titles.  What to do?

I’m more about the development.  How can you best grow? Title or no title, what can be done, if you like your job, to grow in another way? A title gives you a sense of power and accomplishment for a resume, but does it give you a new experience?  I, personally, would much rather see us give someone a new opportunity to grow. For instance, so few people get into corporate sales, yet if the rep is stellar, why not let them start selling small-scale sponsorships and grow in that area?  That makes you far more well-rounded than a Sr. Acct. Exec. or Manager title.

As for growth time…teams may not be happy with me saying this, but if you haven’t grown in 3 years, it’s time to move on. Your career is all about growth. Are they stimulating you? Giving you a different focus? A project of your own? An opportunity to sell something different? An opportunity to oversee interns or assist with inside sales?

Point is…a title gives you a sense of importance. An opportunity to grow in another area shows a belief and an investment in you.  If you feel you are ready for something new, create what you want and ask about it. How can you best grow your career?

Let me know what you decide!


“Hey Kathy,

Your article on Retention a week ago really hit home.  It seems like so many teams want a Retention department, yet don’t hire true service people and instead it ends up being departments that handle ticket problems for season ticket holders and call for renewals.  What should a good Department look like?   R, southeast”

Hi R,

Retention/service is a HUGE role with a team and should be taken very seriously and have the right people hired in.  What is it not? It’s not a department brought in to fix problems and get renewals. What is it? It’s a department that is true service and relationship building, a trusted friend who can make recommendations and create wow moments as well as help create the value and the feeling of being appreciated by the organization.

I think I’ve seen just about all…from strong service teams that are so strong that a client feels guilty if they drop their season tickets because they know they have been so very valued, to the teams who mix up their patrons they service yearly or are allowed to drop the top 20 they ‘don’t like.’  Consistency is not a factor. Just get the % of renewals in and all will be OK.

So what would a great Retention team look like to me? People who care:

  • they answer my question or call with 24 hours instead of days later…if ever…I am valued
  • they get to know me as a person and know that I have a family, what my likes are, what makes me happy…I am valued
  • they care about me as a person…they bring me a small gift once in a while, send me a written note once in a while, take me to coffee even if once a year, know when something happens and send a card or a note….I’m more than $$$ for my tickets…I’m  a real person to them…I am valued
  • they care enough to make recommendations for events I mention, which shows they really listen and want to me to have a great experience…I am valued
  • they care enough to see me both in season and out of season…I am valued
  • they care enough to create a wow moment for me…I am valued

We talk about creating value for our clients and try the perks programs (which most are a nightmare for the consumer as now not only do they spend money with us but now they have to work to get a reward), special offers, a ‘dedicated sales rep’, etc….when all we have to do is think:  how can I show them they are valued?  In answering this question, you have created a stellar Retention department.

Hope this helps!


Send YOUR questions by Tuesday afternoons to:  kathy@soldoutseating.com

Kathy Burrows, CEO…Sold Out Seating

Sales/Retention/Leadership Training as well as Strategic Planning and Team Assessment: kathy@soldoutseating.com

See YOU in about 10 days at ALSD in Atlanta!!!!


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