Dec. 4: Kathy’s Sports Sales Mailbag… “Hey Kathy!”


Before we ‘deck the halls’ and ‘jingle those bells’ we still have some work to do!  So let’s roll up our sleeves and answer YOUR questions!

“Hey Kathy,

I’m starting to get a little nervous.  Our season starts in April and I have a feeling it’s going to be another year of ‘catch up.’  How can we avoid that with 3-1/2 months left? ”   J, east coast

Hi J,

The absolute worst way to sell is playing catch up.  How do you sell a large group or at least a decent size one two weeks out?  Stressful to say the least. How to avoid this?

I’ve always reminded teams…the busiest work you will do is in the offseason. Deposits.  Meetings. Not being afraid to ask for the sale. Doesn’t matter if you have a schedule or not, this can still be done.  Having 2 solid power hours a day.

What if you’ve done all that and are inching closer to the deadline and know that you will probably be playing catchup?

First, set a Mendoza Line the team cannot fall below by game.  In a midwest climate, outdoor games in April and May are ‘iffy’ at best.  What is the lowest acceptable number? Next, from December (or definitely Jan. 1) increase power hours till the opening to 3 a day.  Crank it up.  Lastly, have the team meet and brainstorm how Jan/Feb/Mar should look to bring in the Mendoza Line minimums for April and May.  How can they get those numbers? Who should they be going after? What packages can they create? Create the plan then follow the process through. Set daily goals and get the team excited to hit them.

There’s a lot more we can create, but let’s focus on the basics first.  Keep me posted as to how the team is doing!


“Hey Kathy,

We are not quite at the halfway point of the season and a sponsor that signed on says they are not sure they made the right decision and want to meet.  We can’t let them out of their contract, but what can we do to keep them?”  B, midwest

Hi B,

It sounds likely they were ‘pitched’:  sold TO vs partnered WITH.  There’s a huge difference.  We have a half a year to remedy the situation.  Swallow hard and tell them that we definitely want to partner with them and somewhere this has been lost.  Then advise them as to what you can do to fix the situation and help them know they really made the right decision.  Go back to square one and find their needs. Was a ‘big sign’ sold and what they were looking for was foot traffic into their location? A ‘big sign’ will not necessarily do that. An experience that your kid can sign up for will.

Once you revisit their needs how can you best fulfill those needs now, and most importantly, how can your measure success? If they have a ‘big sign’ and don’t know what it’s doing, then call my friend, Sam Zelasko, at Skyview Satellite Networks who can help you  find how many impressions and visual eyes are looking at it each game.  If it’s driving traffic into their location, then, for example, to be an ‘honorary co-captain’ on ice or in basketball, the kids have to go into the store (with their parents) and sign up at their locations. Now you have them going to the store for an amazing opportunity and oh, by the way, let’s look at some things while here. Generally, kids will want to be able to do things and we want to see our kids being chosen to do them, so we tend to follow through with that.  Find their needs, see how you can best fulfill, (you may have to change what you are currently doing) and then make it measurable.

Most importantly, don’t just sell and visit them towards the end of the season. Be engaged with them throughout the entire year. It’s a partnership, and partners stay connected.

Let me know how the meeting goes (or give me a call before and we can talk more).


“Hey Kathy,

The usual holiday discussion is coming up with my boss…to give or not to give a gift to my team. Your thoughts?”  C, midwest

Hi C,

Actually, if it is a gift from you and not part of an expense report, there should be no question. You have the right to give gifts if you want.  Actually, it generally touches the staff to have a thoughtful gift chosen by their leader.

If the boss is concerned about being part of an expense report, then follow through with something that will be approved…an educational experience (training), a sales book they can learn with (such as “Selling Is An Away Game” by Lance Tyson, “Fanatical Prospecting” by Jeb Blount, or even “Potato Chip Ticket Sales” by yours truly…shameless plug!).  The point is, if  Scrooge…I mean, your boss,  is not in favor of gifts even if you give them personally, then give the gift of education that will help the team and organization.

I love the holidays.  It’s our time as a management to loosen up and let them see the human side of us, especially  if we try to keep the management facade strong all year.


Kathy Burrows, Chief Energy Officer, Sold Out Seating

Follow my blog and don’t miss an article!

Want to give the gift of training?  Filling the last few spots for the first quarter…contact: and let’s talk to see if we are a good fit!  No pressure! If we are not, we will find a trainer that is.

Need a holiday gift for staff?

Potato Chip Ticket Sales

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