Nov. 28: Kathy’s Sports Sales Mailbag … “Hey Kathy!”


Time to gear it up after all that tryptophan and use as much energy as we can to ward off all those holiday cookies we’ll be eating! No time like the present to keep selling!  With selling comes questions…here are this week’s!

“Hey Kathy,

I’m wondering if you’ve ever come across corporate ticket ROI measurements that go beyond ‘social proof,’ i.e., testimonials.  How can salespeople make a strong business case for a client entertainment and corporate hospitality? Thanks, ” L, Midwest

Hi L,
For me, selling to corporate as ‘client entertainment / corporate hospitality’ are not the  words we want to use as we head into 2020.  Client entertainment and hospitality funds are being slashed as the tax gods are not favoring this.  What to do?
Nearly every company I talk with wants to know how I can help them gain more prospects and how can they be sure that their staff is using the tickets to their gain.  So whether we are talking premium seating or bowl seating, the key is:  let’s make a strong business case for ways to prospect with potential clients and still be able to show our current clients we appreciate them.  How to do this?
In talking with suiteholders, I have often asked how they track revenue success.  The answer comes back the same. Those that track have their tickets used by specific sales reps and watch closing rate within 30 days.  The simplest way to do this:  when you are in the sales process, explaining how you will fulfill their needs, you add a bonus:  you will help them track ROI and work closely with their admin or Dir of Sales.  Create an excel sheet for each game/event.  Across the top, list the reps names. Down the side, list items such as:  type of meeting (close, first, pipeline next step, retaining lost client, etc),  potential revenue, key current client recommended to attend, estimated time to close/next step, etc. If the admin is in charge of the tickets, they send the list of games out for the upcoming month to the sales reps. They fill in the info, send it back to the director of sales, who then makes decisions as to who will get the tickets for each event based on best opportunities.  The reps then make the arrangements with the prospect and current client they recommended, attend the event, and then have 30 days to either close or provide next steps.  This also gives you the opportunity to require a minimum of 4 seats (prospect, prospect’s guest, current client, sales rep).
Your job is to follow up, follow up, follow up.  Make sure from month one that there is an ROI happening. If not, coach them. Educate them. How can we spin it differently? Are they letting the current client do a lot of the talking about the company and their experiences? Is the event a soft sell opportunity with the close coming after? Is the experience managed the way it should be?
Again, most companies that I have talked with track in the simple ways.  The key is, they track. They have a plan. How many companies do we have that we never educate on how to use our product and instead hear “we’re not renewing…it doesn’t really do anything for our business.”  Of course it doesn’t, because we are selling for client entertainment and corporate hospitality…not for what the company  most likely wants/needs…more business.
Those of you in ticketing world…how do you help businesses track ROI?
Thanks for the question…hope it helps.
“Hey Kathy,
How do you boost confidence in selling?  I am in need of a dose, especially after hearing ‘no.’  Help!”  B, PNW
Hi B,
I wish I could just give someone a big hug and fill it with confidence that gets connected to them. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  How to grow confidence?  First of all, after hearing no, the key is to make that next call or go to that next appointment. Don’t let time go by.  The longer you let time go by, the more of a funk sets in.
So what do we do? Here are a few steps that I hope might help.  First, make sure you know your product inside out. If you are unsure about anything, ask.  Practice answering potential questions.  Be comfortable with  your answers.  Once you have mastered this aspect (which, by the way, is needed before you can get to the next step), you create a few questions that you want to ask, questions that will have the prospect nodding yes which means you are connecting well.  After creating the questions and practicing using them, then practice the magic words: I recommend.  At that point, there should not be any more lack of confidence.  You have mastered your product, you have thought about and created the process of ‘yes’, and you can now comfortably recommend.
Above all, if you truly believe they should have our product, the recommending comes easier and easier.  Know about your prospect before you even call.  If you can look at them and say, ‘wow…we should be doing business with them’, you have achieved confidence.
Please let me know how this works for you.  The fact you are asking shows me you care.
“Hey Kathy,
In talks with our VP…commission or no commission for sales reps. Your thoughts?”  R, southwest
Hi R,
Commission.  People who work in sports sales are competitive to begin with. Why remove the fiber that is so much a part of them? Passion only goes so far. Complacency sets in after a while when there is no competitiveness.
Kathy Burrows, Sold Out Seating Chief Energy Officer
Submit YOUR sports sales questions each week by Tuesday at 5 p.m. EST. All questions answered, either on my blog or personally.  
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