Kathy’s Mailbag…”Hey Kathy!” August 8

mailbag

As playoff spots are starting to be achieved, the sales keep on going! Read on to find this week’s questions…

“Hey Kathy!

I’m in the process of putting together a renewal program for suite leases that will be due up next year.  Do you find that specialty events in the last year and special events with the players help most? What would you recommend?”  A, west coast

Hi A,

Most of us go in full giveaway mode when renewal time comes up.  We offer up all sorts of experiences, meet and greets and special opportunities in the hopes that the suite holders will renew.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  What would be a better solution?

It’s what we do during the times of their lease, not what we do at the last-minute that matters.  Every year there should be a plan in place for an experience, a meet and greet or unique meeting, and most of all – a plan to see if their suite lease is bringing them the reward they expected. How many times have you heard ‘we’re really not getting a return on the investment?”  That simply means we haven’t done our job and educated them on the usage to begin with, and we haven’t followed up to make sure that it is being used successfully.

Yes, some live for the perks and prestige. But most have to justify it.  And justifying means we have to do our work year round.

My suggestion:  put a timeline together starting the day they sign on.  Make sure they are appreciated, given unique experiences, and above all, getting a return on their investment. Educate them on usage as well as how to track  If you do this, your opportunity for renewals will increase considerably.

Keep me posted! Kathy

“Hey Kathy,

I usually close by asking for a credit card, but it doesn’t always work.  What do you suggest for closing?”   K, midwest

Hi K,

First of all, it depends on how you are selling.  If it’s fast paced, and “here’s what we have, how does this sound, let’s wrap it up now, which credit card do you want to use,”  then yes, that’s about it.

More importantly, how do you sell? Do you find needs? Do you have a conversation? Do you evoke the emotions? Do you make a case for the ‘why’ they are a good fit? If so, then closing is merely an extension of the conversation.  “Here is how I can help fill your needs. I recommend …..” Then silence.  Or, ‘we are a perfect fit.  You are looking for xxx and I recommend xxx to fill that.”  Then silence.  Or, “I can help create those same memories that you just shared.  I recommend xxx.”  Then silence.

Recommend and silence.  Now THAT’S a solid closing.

Kathy

“Hey Kathy,

I can get sales done by texting because that’s what people want nowadays , but my boss won’t let me only text. I think making me call people or set meetings is ruining how I sell. Shouldn’t everyone sell the way they do it best?”  R, midwest

Hi R,

I’m curious…did you survey people to find that’s what they want? Did you ask them their preferred communication and that’s why you are texting? Are you starting the process with texting?  Are you more comfortable this way?

The beauty of sales:  there is no ‘just one way.’  Selling is a mix of all of our abilities; our ability to connect, our ability to share, our ability to relate, our ability to adapt to clients needs, etc.  So what you are saying is that clients only want it one way.

Instead of assuming what people want, we need to be able to ask.  Often, in a first conversation, I discuss the follow-up and the ‘how.’  What is the best way to communicate with you…in person, phone, text, email?  It’s not surprising to have the most tell me to feel free to call back.  A handful will tell me text. Why?

Our life is spent in texting now.  And it takes time. Time to text. Time to wait for the response. Time. So our assuming is actually adding more time onto a sale.

Let’s recognize that there are differences to selling, and the initial should always be done with voice, either in person or on the phone. From there, we can ask. That shows respect to our prospect and then gives us THEIR preferred communication…not ours.

Let me know what happens when you ask…I’d be curious to see the responses.

K

 

Kathy Burrows, Sold Out Seating

Send YOUR sports sales questions by Tuesdays at 5 est to:  Kathy@soldoutseating.com  All questions answered, either by email or in the column.  Your real initials will not be used. 

Sales/Leadership/Retention Training:  kathy@soldoutseating.com

Follow my blog at:  soldoutseating.wordpress.com 

See YOU in October…at the Seattle Sports Marketing and Career Fair…workshops, connections, growth opportunities and a one day yours truly workshop. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-seattle-sports-marketing-conference-career-fair-registration-42387083909

 

 

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