Kathy’s Sports Sales Mailbag…”Hey Kathy!” Sept. 26


With seasons starting up and others winding down, the questions vary but as salespeople, we always have them!  Let’s see what’s in this week’s mailbag!

“Hey Kathy!

Our organization just dropped lead lists.  I’m in a panic.  Although we haven’t hit the team goal the past couple of years, we were told we need to hit goals this year.  I don’t know where to start. Help?”  O, southwest 

Hi O,

Why are you panicking?  If you couldn’t hit the goals with a lead list, then this is an opportunity to truly run your own business.  Now you can truly be a salesperson.  This is a tremendous opportunity.

I go back to basic questions…sit back for a day and evaluate.  Look through who your existing customers are.  WHO are your people? WHERE are your people? WHAT do your people do? WHERE do these types of people hangout and you are most apt to find/market to them?  Build off existing customers.  We spend so much time worrying about finding someone, and often we just need to look at existing and see how we can build on that.  Re-energize instead of renew.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Set meetings. Get out of the office. Walk the pavement. Introduce yourself.  Bring like people to your facility and host an event.  Have a current client talk about why they do business with you.

There’s a lot, lot, lot of ways to prospect which I cover in workshops, but the key is simple: build upon the types of clients who already do business with you.  Grow outward from there.

I am confident I will hear exciting news from you as you truly start to grow your business!


“Hey Kathy,

How do you sell season memberships out of season? ”  J, midwest

Hi J,

How can you not?  Season memberships should begin before the season even ends.  If you do your job and hit your goal a month before the season ends, you can use that last month to prospect all the new business for the upcoming year you want.  You’re getting them engaged and there is no better time.

What to do once the season ends? Then it’s time to do a little inventory of our people and create events for people like them. Get in front of groups of people. Don’t let the team die in the off-season…keep the energy going weekly.  Out of site, out of mind.  Keep it going and you will always have prospects.  Library events, county fairs, hosted events at your location, mascot events, speaking to organizations and groups during the week…just get in front of people who are like our people.  This is the time to be creative.  Video messages by you.  Creating a fun ‘bring a friend’.  Getting in front of businesses.

If you’ll notice a lot of what we are talking about is ‘in front of.’  Sitting in your office calling cold leads may give you some results, but nothing sells like passion and energy…and when it’s in front of you it’s so hard to say no.

Can you sell memberships/groups/premium/corporate in the off season? Well, it’s our job. Otherwise, we would be considered seasonal help!  Which tells us it CAN and IS being done.  So challenge yourself with a goal weekly and go get ’em!


“Hey Kathy,

I am President of a team, and my VP and I differ on our expectations of a Sales Director or a Manager.  I feel they need to have a substantial sales goal, as we are looking for great salespeople to lead our team.  The VP feels the goals are too steep.  What are your thoughts? If the VP is right, I will wash their car.   If I’m right, they have to wash mine.  Who is doing the washing as you are the tiebreaker?”  xxxx Southwest 

Wow xxx,

This is scary!  My vote here carries a lot of suds and scrubbing!  Wait..I will get my car in line!

Seriously, this is a really good question and one I hear from candidates as well as leadership.  What to do?

In teams, everyone sells…but in different ways.  Should every single person in an organization sell? Why do we put people into positions to do things that aren’t their strengths? Can they lead us to sales? Absolutely.  For instance, merchandising.  They can create special offers to those who purchase merch online.  These are great leads.  They can also create a special ‘merch day group pricing as well as a special shirt offer or team discount shop. We can challenge our ticket ops people to come up with ways to engage people online or in line in which to upsell for packages, find leads for groups, etc.  What can they create when someone orders online that will engage that person and create a potential group/premium/season sale from them? How often do you see a VP or President sell? Very good ones will. They may not close the deal and write it up, but they are constantly talking the talk and turning over the sale to close by the reps.  As a face of the organization we are always selling…sharing passion, inviting people to experience us, etc.

Now what about hiring?  The kiss of death for a potential leader is to automatically take the best seller and make them a manager or director.  Generally, they get no leadership training, and are now expected to do something they have no clue what they are doing AND we give them a massive goal because we know they can sell.  What generally happens? They either fail at both or burnout shortly after taking the position.

Be transparent as to what you really want.  You have to ask yourself:  do I want a stellar seller? Then hire one. Give them a stellar commission.  Let them be valued for what they do best.  If you hope others will learn from how they do it, it may/not happen.  But you will have the sales numbers from the individual you want.

Do you want a leader so that the staff starts hitting their goals? Then hire a director.  Their job isn’t to hit personal large sales goals. It’s to coach the sales staff. Train them. Structure their setting for success.  Make sure each and every one hits their goal. It takes time, energy, planning and coaching.  If half of their day is spent on trying to hit their personal number, they aren’t going to be doing the job they need to do.  They should be going on meetings with staff, finding additional opportunities in meetings for hospitality or corporate.  Coaching the member before and after the meeting as to how to get better.  Sitting in on calls to make sure the rep is not missing an opportunity by how they communicate.

If you do want them to sell, don’t make the goal high.  Make it nominal.  Let them do the most important job they have…developing your people.

As President, I am willing to bet you don’t go out, sell, then come back, write-up the order, input it into CRM, follow-up and make sure their experiences are great, contact them monthly, etc.  You sell by your presence in the community and most likely turn it over to a rep to finish.  You have other work to do to keep the team moving forward.  So does your director.  Does it really matter if she or he closes it and gets the credit or if they pass it on to a rep to finish and develop?

At the end of the day, you need to decide what it is you really want: a stellar sales rep that you will reward accordingly or a development coach to bring your people to the next level.  Create your job description accordingly.

Let me know whose car gets clean!


Kathy Burrows, Chief Energy Officer, Sold Out Seating

Sales / Retention / Leadership Training … Retainer for multiple visits as well as focused monthly assistance/video/strategizing

Contact:  kathy@soldoutseating.com

Get your first Potato Chip series book:  Potato Chip Ticket Sales by Kathy Burrows! 



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