July 25…Kathy’s Sports Sales Mailbag… “Hey Kathy!”


With 6 more months till Christmas, my mailbag has sports sales questions instead of holiday gift idea questions (thank goodness!).  The  selected questions for today include a question on supersizing, training,  and also off season suggestions. Read on….

“Hey Kathy,

I have watched a few of  your posts talk about supersize groups and I wonder…how do you convince leadership to move forward with some of these ideas? I thought some of these groups were great and mentioned it to my supervisor and they said ‘too much of a risk.’  How can I get something going other than the same old groups?”    F, southwest

Hi F,

As John Shedd said:  A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not where it’s meant to be. We can do the typical groups day in and day out, and yet we miraculously expect them to quadruple our attendance. It takes getting out of our comfort zone.

I can’t convince your leaders to do something different, but I will suggest you do this:  There is a lot to supersizing groups that I cover in training.  One of the things I provide is  a discussion sheet. This sheet goes through all the areas of a supersize group and it makes you totally think through the process, including what departments are included and involved and what might go wrong and how you would manage it. It shows that it’s not just a dream, but rather a plan with a foundation. That is what you present.  Most often, leadership will approve something that you feel passionate enough about but also have thoroughly thought through.

I encourage you to create your ideas with a solid process/challenges/solutions in mind and present in that manner.  Go for it! Let me know the outcome!


“Hey Kathy,

We like to do our trainings just before the season starts, but it’s getting harder to find time with everything going on.  It’s easier to just do something in house with our reps.  Do most teams really find time to do them? ”  A, southeast

Hi A,

There is no ‘good’ time to get a toothache and go to the dentist. But it happens. And we are grateful after.  There is no ‘good’ time to get a cold. But it happens.  And we make it through it.  There is never a perfect time for anything.

Is it hard to invest in your people? Then the question is, why do you want the training? If it’s to check a box, then any kind will do. If it’s to truly invest in your team and get them to a new level, then as a leader we need to make the time.  When is your team most apt to focus and get the most out of training? Generally the off season…not just before the season starts, but earlier on. This is when we can also make the most happen.

Most of our sales reps don’t want to be in that role forever. They want to grow. They want to try that which hasn’t been tried before.  They want to prove they can do great things.  We can help give them wings or actually hold them back. So when it comes to finding time to give them this growth opportunity, we can either make excuses or make things happen.

By the way, interview your prospective trainer and make sure they are the right fit at the right time.  Just like in selling, no ‘one size fits all!’


“Hey Kathy,

What would you suggest to maximize sales in the off season? It’s so hard getting people excited 5 months before a season starts.  You almost call them once then don’t do anything again until a month before. We all hit our call volumes, but not much happens with the calls. Suggestions?”  R, east coast 

Hi R,

Making calls to get in call volume without any solid results isn’t going to get you where you need to go. Your off season should be your busiest time.  So what can you fill it with? Own a city. Walk a city. Create fun videos from the park/rink/arena.  Use snail mail. Create ‘Did You Know’s’.  Share the passion in ways other than phone.  Of course you will be making some calls. But being out of the office  building those relationships and sharing that passion will do far more than making a lot of calls. Who are you setting meetings with? What about your alumni in the area? Are you having coffee with them asking for intros? Are you attending events that you can build relationships with? Are you having coffee with different season ticket holders asking them for suggestions?

The point is, ask yourself: what ways can I meet people and build relationships? THIS is the time to do it. As it gets closer to the season, we have the people come to us. But in the off season, it’s our time to go to the people. Have a presence. In person. In video. In snail mail. This is how we make things happen.


Kathy Burrows, Sold Out Seating

Send YOUR mailbag questions by Tuesdays at 5 p.m. to: kathy@soldoutseating.com  All questions will be answered: 2 in the mailbag and the rest via email. 

See YOU at the SEA Sports Marketing and Career Fair Conference Oct. 15 and 16.  A nominal fee to attend a star studded speaker group for those in the business, career fair sessions for those breaking into the business  AND for those interested, for a small additional fee a one day workshop by yours truly that will include Supersizing Groups and Leadership training for existing and aspiring leaders.  Hurry to register before prices increase! There is something here for all levels! 




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s