Nov. 21: Kathy’s Sports Sales Mailbag …”Hey Kathy!”


Happy Almost Turkey Day!  Just as you are thankful for your clients for helping you be successful, I want to thank each and every one of you for believing in me and wanting me to share my knowledge.  I appreciate each and every one of you!

Before the tryptophan kicks in, read on!

“Hey Kathy,

I am getting mixed messages.  My college prof is telling us the way to get into marketing, operations, etc. is through sales.  Once we get in, we can move to whatever department has an opening. As I’m interviewing, teams are shutting me down for this. What do I believe?”  R, Midwest

Oh R,

Here is a message to all college profs!  STOP teaching this!  Those teams are so few and far between anymore.  Teams want  sales reps that want to grow in sales. They want to invest time and money into developing them, not use them as call centers and then shift them around. In 1980 and as close as 2000 this was still a philosophy, but it just isn’t that way anymore.  The positions that open the most are revenue generating positions.  Those positions are meant to grow people.  Marketing generally requires (as you’ve probably noticed) 4 years of experience plus in most major league teams.  How to get? Try various routes such as  through minor leagues or marketing agencies, of which there are sports marketing agencies.  Plan your strategy for the department you want before you jump in.  Intern, get experience, build a portfolio.


“Hey Kathy,

We use sports sales tables for games, and although we have some luck by marking single game seats and offering a gift or prize, we really don’t close all that much. Any other ideas?”  S, south

Hi S,

Some teams have success with sales tables but the majority really don’t.  If you have a decent walk-up, that is where I would focus my time.  If they purchase a partial plan you may have, you can offer them that day’s game for free and escort them into the facility and upgrade their seat day of game.  Most people hate lines, and to give them a ‘get out of jail free’ pass can be very enticing.

Another thing instead of focusing on the table is to focus on single game online buyers.  Immediately following their game send a discount out for an upcoming game. After that game, send a smaller discount out for  an upcoming game. After that, it’s time for a call and an upgrade to a plan.

Any others out there with ideas?  Please share.

“Hey Kathy,

Our team has used the same trainer the past 6 years. I would like to be trained by someone else. How can we best present this?”

L, southeast

Hi L,

There is nothing wrong with using the same trainer if a) the team is growing from each business and b) something different is presented each time.  If the same training is used repeatedly and the team isn’t growing in sales, then perhaps it’s time to move on.  Most importantly, the team has to believe in the person training them. If they are bored or feel the info is the same repeatedly, they will lose that sense of belief.  Make sure your trainer is focusing on growing them as sales reps.


Send YOUR sports sales questions weekly by 5 p.m. EST Tuesdays’s to:  Initials and cities will be changed for your protection, and all questions will be answered either via the mailbag or personally.

Kathy Burrows, Sold Out Seating

For YOUR staff sales training, contact Kathy at:  First quarter training is almost filled, so hurry and contact me and feel free to interview me to make sure we are a good fit. Looking forward to talking with you!

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