You put out a group sales link. Everyone seemed excited. You were sure you would sell at least 500 or more tickets. Here it is, the week before your event, and 23 tickets are sold. What happened?
So many times we rely on setting up a link, sending it out, and just wait for the sales to pour in only to find it just doesn’t happen. Is it the link? Our wording? The platform we chose? How do we fix it?
Let’s start by saying this: sales is a relationship. Group sales involves a passionate cheerleader to get the sales going. It involves meeting with leaders and seeing what their needs, wants and expectations are. Where does the link fit in? The link is a tool – one of various tools you have – to process the close of the sale. It is not the seller. If it were, we wouldn’t need group sales reps. Interns and admins could send out links all day long and we wouldn’t need you or your sales expertise. But we DO need you, because the tool can’t work without someone who knows how to use it.
So how DO we use it?
Be selective. In reality, few groups really need the link. Yes, it gives us data. But at what cost? Is it more important to get 23 listings or 250 excited group members? A link should be used at select times: when all other possibilities are exhausted, when coordinating members by a leader can be impossible (ex: many scout groups), when an organization has too vast a network to try to make sales and handle the process themselves. Know when and when not to use a link. Our goal should always be to meet with leaders, find expectations and wish lists, and create the group around it as they buy in bulk.
If you’re going to use a link, educate your client on the best ways to make it work. Let them know you will be with them every step of the way. Set expectations by week. Reward the leader as they get to milestones. Make them a part of the process.
The link, on its own, in an email, will do little. There is a reason you are a group sales rep. It’s your personality, your passion, your creativity, your support. That’s not a link. Remember, the link is a tool. How do we make the tool work? That’s where we come in. How often have you received an email about an event and then the email keeps returning? You read it the first time, and after that glossed over or just deleted it every other time. What makes you think everyone will be excited each week when it keeps coming out? How can you do it differently? Week one should be a video with the link. Whether it’s a player talking about seeing you there or a fun video you take in the facility calling them to action or have a video with the group leader at your location talking about coming out. A 30 second video can make a huge difference, be it in an email or on their social media pages. As the survey I posted a few weeks ago said, around 26% of emails get opened but around 84% of videos get opened. That’s a huge difference. The next week, have a fun picture with it. Give prizes. The first 100 that purchase are in a drawing for xxx. Make it want to be opened. We need to know HOW to use the tool.
Don’t attach it to a flyer and consider your job done. How many times have you had a sales table with a bunch of different flyers and links on them? Exactly what is that expected to do? You can keep sending that flyer out week after week to the group and they will totally block it out after week one. It’s all the other things you do that will make that link come alive.
Have a specified start/stop time. How many times have you seen a link go on forever? This simply says: we can’t sell our tickets. When meeting with the leader, plan a hard focus start/stop date. You can still sell after, but all the focus goes into that one month or 3 week time period. That’s when you know the group is either going to work or not. That’s the time you put the effort into prizes, a video, pictures, fun emails, etc. Every week for 4 weeks you roll out something fresh and exciting with the link. Focusing on that one month time frame gets everyone energized.
Be selective with your price points. All price points says “we don’t sell out. We have a lot of tickets so there’s no hurry.” Create some urgency. Have 2 price points maximum, a high-end and a middle of the road. Why? First of all, don’t migrate to the lowest price point you have. The group fans will not have the best experience and your numbers may never increase, IF they even come back. Why a high end? Think about it. Most people will look at the two, assume one is the nosebleed and the other is a great seat. They are planning on coming to that one game this year, so they may as well purchase the better seat. Don’t shortchange yourself by migrating to the cheapest or putting all price points and a seating chart with it…they don’t need a PhD to come to our events. Just make sure they have a great experience by offering seating that will give them that.
Be a part of the solution, not the problem. If you send it out, expecting it to work and it doesn’t, you’re part of the problem. If you create energy around each time it comes out, working with the group leader(s), finding creative ways to get it out each week so that it’s fresh and fun, you are part of the solution.
This is just a sampling of the ways we can get links to be more than something stuffed in someone’s email or thrown up on social media. No one knows our business better than those who are selling it. So if using a link, add your passion, your creativity, your insight and recommendations and make the difference between a great experience and another poorly used link. YOU are the energy that gets the link going.
Kathy Burrows, Sold Out Seating
Workshops: The Ticket Sales Process, Leadership, and/or Retention. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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