Dec. 12: Kathy’s Sports Sales Mailbag… “Hey Kathy!”


The holidays may be upon us, but that doesn’t stop us from selling!  Read on as the questions keep coming!

“Hey Kathy,

I’m a little frustrated with our marketing team.  Having learned that marketing ideas / tag lines need to change every few years, ours has been the same 5+ years.  I’ve told the staff that they need to update them and they are resisting. What should I do next?”  P, NW

Hi P,

Your 3rd line in the statement is the reason for resisting.  “I’ve told the staff that they  need to…” If you’ve a) been in a position a short time and haven’t earned trust and respect yet, or b) a recent grad in a position you are going to have to remember to take a step back.  It’s time for the “Hi” technique…Humble Intelligence.  They have taken the defensive because without saying it, you implied they weren’t doing their job right.  Approaching it in a different way will make a transition much smoother.  “I would really like to revamp our ticketing/athletics/corporate program.  In doing so, I am planning to start a campaign called xxxxx.  Can you create the hashtag tag line that will go well with it and then help me plan a launch? ”  They need to feel part of the process too.  We get farther with honey than we do with vinegar.


“Hey Kathy,

I noticed someone commented on your blog about technology and how it helps the sales process for renewal.  I was a little confused on your answer.  Please share your thoughts.  Are you  pro/against technology?”  B, east coast

Hi B,

I am neither pro nor against.  Technology is great…if used correctly.  For instance, if we simply sell a group with a link that gives us all kinds of data, that’s great….but is it really selling the group? It still takes someone (YOU!) to work with the client and create a different email to go out with that link weekly.  Why?  If you get an email and then get the same one week after week, do you open  it? No.  So there has to be an interaction and call to action with each.

Same thing with renewals.  Yes, we can track success with technology. That’s great.  However, why do companies buy tickets? Generally to increase the opportunity to win prospects.  That, again, takes YOU!  Educate them on how/why.  Technology can show if the seats were used etc., but that’s better on the corporate side.

So my response is…use technology smartly. It’s there to help us. Know when.  At the end of the day, it’s still up to us to educate our client on the ‘how.’  Can both be used? Absolutely.


“Our season is starting soon and I want to reward our VP’s, Directors and Managers for how they’ve assisted our reps in the off-season and let them know I appreciate the fact that they will be away from their families a lot in season.   Any ideas?”  J, midwest

Hi J,

Kudos to you!  Most people say it’s ‘part of the job’ but it’s a huge part that does not work well with families.  Here are a couple of ideas:  VP’s:  send a gift card to your Director’s / Manager’s spouse or significant other to dinner. Tell them you appreciate the fact that they are supportive in their spouse’s career choice, and you know the season can be long…so please have this dinner together on me.  Director’s/managers:  have the staff and their significant others come to the park/arena for a dinner one night or at a sponsor location.  Let them know that you appreciate the support, just as above.  Or, bring the staff and their families down for a hot dog bar or barbecue bar along with a family movie on the jumbotron.

The point is, do SOMEthing.  The season is long … very long …to family members, as well as the team.

Send YOUR sports sales questions by Tuesdays at 5 p .m. to:

Ready to invest in YOUR team and increase their sales ability the upcoming year?  Very few spots remain for first quarter training. Contact ASAP: to see if we are a good fit

Need a holiday gift for your sales staff? Give the gift of education:  Potato Chip Ticket Sales


4 thoughts on “Dec. 12: Kathy’s Sports Sales Mailbag… “Hey Kathy!”

  1. Hi Kathy,

    Have to respectfully disagree with a piece of your 2nd response. Client entertainment is a $600 Billion dollar industry – companies know that taking clients and prospects to games works and drives new business. However, without a proper process in place internally for that company to track who gets tickets and why, with metrics to prove the ROI, tickets turn into a “nice to have” rather than a necessary business expense. A bad process leads to red tape for sales reps which in turn leads to low usage and wasted tickets. This is where technology comes into play and can solve for those outdated internal processes like google docs and spreadsheets.


    1. Hi Chris,
      I agree it is a $600B industry. Interestingly enough, I still sell. The majority of companies I sell to have still thought you get tickets and give them away to clients. I have done more educating in the past 2 years that they can actually use for prospects. You are absolutely right on the process of tracking The Who and why. That is crucial. So I still say… it doesn’t hurt to find why they want to the tickets. Too many come back at renewal time and say people just don’t want the tickets. That’s because we aren’t helping them see the how to use.
      Love the discussion! Thank you!


    1. One should never blindly hire someone. As trainers we should all be expected to be interviewed and see if we are a good fit for the team at that time. I continually receive calls and we discuss to see if it will work for their group. I am not afraid to let someone know that I don’t think I’m the right fit and often have recommended someone that fits where their team is at. You


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