The off-season. The time of year when our customers and fans have visions of us sitting on the beach, eating bon bons, devouring tasty beverages and getting great suntans . The infamous question: what do you guys do in the off season?
There are some who treat the off-season as down time. Fewer calls, going to events, making a presence, more casual in our approach. But the successful reps know that there are some major keys to being successful, and some of them need to be done in the offseason. If you want to hit your goal, your offseason should be busier than your in season. If done correctly, the in season should be a time of introducing new people to our product, already selling for the upcoming year as well as visiting those who we already have.
What is it that sets us up for success? What things help us in our quest to hit goals and maximize our time?
- Make sure you see your current season ticket holders and group leaders in the off-season at least twice in order to maintain the touch points needed to get to 90-95% renewal. How to do that? The easiest way is to give added value to sponsors that are north, south, east and west of our facility. Host after hour events with them and let them offer unique perks. Have tasty beverages and apps, a fun environment, prize wheels, a coach or player, music and special offers from the sponsor. Take the party to them. More importantly, get those renewals in the 90’s percent range. The higher the renewals, the less you have to add on to the upcoming goal.
- Write your business strategy and get it approved prior to the end of the season. Include the new ideas for events that you can host and bring people together to influence for sales. This enables you to hit the ground running immediately after the season without wandering around the office for a week or two thinking ‘hmmm…what should I do first?’ The key is: follow your strategy! Follow your game plan. Maximize your day.
- Host your brainstorming for large groups by the end of the season and set up your large group meetings starting the week after the last game. Try to host a supersize or large group meeting weekly to lay the groundwork for success. Get on their calendar early. You don’t need a schedule. You just need to create the idea, the month they would want and weekend or weekday. Once the schedule is out, a date can be plugged in. To get the numbers you want you have to start the discussion process early.
- Start hosting after hours or breakfast meetings or some type of influencer events monthly. Get in front of people. Nothing is to be gained by sitting at your desk; getting in front of people provides that group think spark and also enables you to have a current sth or group leader discuss with the group why they feel their investment in us was a good decision. You don’t need brochures. You don’t need videos. You need yourself, your passion, and be genuine.
- Set daily revenue goals in your morning huddle. Huddles shouldn’t end in season or offseason. They are year round. So is revenue. Nothing says “the goals will never get hit” like not bringing in revenue in the offseason. We still sell. We still get deposits. We still should have daily/weekly/monthly revenue goals. This is the time for contests! Want to increase club seating by 200 seats? Set a goal and have a contest for a month or two. Want to increase courtside seats or premium seats by 100? Set a goal and have a contest for a month or two. Have team prizes. The point is, revenue is a year round word.
- Brainstorm quarterly and come up with timelines of what to sell, how to sell it, and what each person’s role is. Then go after it. The off-season quarter should be hit every bit as hard as any other quarter…actually harder as you have more time. Empower the team to create the strategy, process, and timeline. Let them be vested in the organization.
- Set meetings. This is the time to introduce people to our product, to understand their budget cycle, to understand their needs. You’re not rushed like you are in season so the relationships can be strongly built.
- Keep the passion alive…both in yourself and in the community. Nothing is worse than hearing crickets until a month before the team starts up again. Do library sales/image events. Schedule to speak at meetings. Keep the organization in the forefront.
- Set the bar daily. Set a goal for yourself each day. Make that one more call. Work on that sale a day. Just because the team isn’t playing, don’t stop playing yourself. Just as an athlete keeps fit year round to be successful, we need to do the same.
- Be an energy supplier, not an energy vampire in your department. Make it fun in the off-season. Challenge each other. Inspire others to want to get there each day and make an impact. If each of us is a motivating factor, can you imagine how focused we will be to hit goals? Enthusiasm and energy are contagious.
I’m sure a lot of this sounds simple and some wonder why I’m mentioning it. The fact is, it’s really easy to fall into complacency in the off-season…to talk about other sports going on, games you watched, places you’re going, etc. Each day we tend to lose another minute or two in lost time and suddenly it’s 2 months before the season and we are looking at this massive goal we need to hit. This goal starts in season when you could be presenting the games to new prospects and closing them…because you did your job in the off-season and brought in monthly revenue goals and focused on the job at hand.
When this happens, you deserve that vacation time sitting on the beach eating bonbons…along with that tasty beverage!
Kathy Burrows, Chief Energy Officer, Sold Out Seating
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