Jan. 2: Kathy’s Sports Sales Mailbag …”Hey Kathy!”


2018 is a memory and 2019 is yet to be written.  This is the most exciting time of year!  You have the opportunity to write your own book this year, one chapter at a time. What happens will be up to you.  Time to make things happen!  Questions are coming in as people are preparing for the new year and hoping for new beginnings and changes…read on!

“Hey Kathy,

What suggestions do you have? Our communication between departments, and even within our department, is less than lacking. We rarely have department meetings, and when we do they are top down with little or no engagement wanted.  By not communicating with other departments, there is continual lack of communication and frustration.  

On the bright side, we are encouraged to go to our boss as he tells  us the door is always open.  Unfortunately it’s usually closed or he is away.  Getting an answer takes days and we often lose sales because we couldn’t come back with a resolution fast enough. 

The sad thing is, we keep losing good employees.  It has nothing to do with salary and everything to do with communication…or lack of.  How can we fix this? ”  R, Southeast 

Hi R,

So sorry to tell you…you’re not the only team experiencing this.  The good news is…things can change.  It doesn’t have to be forever this way.

I worked with a league this fall on leadership, and it was so exciting for me to have directors, vice presidents, etc. who had been in positions for years go back and try new things…and get excited because there was more engagement and interaction!  In order to change, people have to want to. So that is the first challenge. Is your leadership team one who wants to change and continue to grow the business or are they one who is comfortable with same old, same old?

I have been continually updating my research as to why people are leaving sports, and the #1 reason remains:  lack of communication. So what can you do, as an employee, to change this?

Here are some suggestions:  hopefully one will work for you:

  • take it upon yourselves to ask marketing, operations and  communications to meet with you once a month.  At that time, go over all large groups you are working on, see if they can incorporate it into the game in any way, etc.  Also, ask them what initiatives they are working on for sales and discuss how you can best utilize those initiatives. It is inconceivable to not have all of you working together.
  • ask your boss if you could do a once a month (or biweekly) sales meeting run by the sales team and his/her role as leader is as an advisor.   You could each take a turn and run it.  Go over what you are working on, questions you have, ask for solutions, etc.  The El Paso Chihuahuas do an amazing weekly sales meeting that I couldn’t be more proud of. They have their Director sitting in, but their team and Manager literally run the meeting.  They help each other, ask questions and get answers, and leave with a plan. They are truly running their own small business and the culture proves their success.
  • prioritize questions that need answers.  Email them to your boss nightly or every other night (or however often you communicate) and give a date with each that an answer is needed.  (Make it a day or two earlier just in case).  Better, offer a solution with it.  If you have a question, list the question, give your potential answer, and then the date. One should never ask a question without offering a solution they think would work. This helps your supervisors immensely.

Let’s see if any of those work first.  Please keep me posted and we can discuss further.  Here’s to a great and communicative new year!


“Hey Kathy,

My reps all seem to offer their group clients a link right away, and our results are not stellar. How can I change these habits?”  B, midwest

Hi B,

Do links work?  Of course.  But in order to work, they take work! A link is part of the process.  It is not a total solution. Just like a computer…a computer is the process but it takes someone to make it work. So in order for the link to work, it takes someone to make things happen.

I think a mini training session is in order, and have a contest connected with it.  It takes up to 6 weeks to change habits, so let’s focus on this together. The training session should focus on 3 steps:

  • Ask for the sale as a whole.   There should not be options given.  Initially, explain the group sale and then ask for it.
  • If they can’t do the group sale as a whole, offer a payment plan, with the last payment being the final total.
  • Is there a possibility  of going to the location and selling the tickets on site?
  • The  link.  The training session should be an understanding of how a link might work…what it takes, a start/stop campaign initially, rewards each week, and above all a different way each week to send out the message that is fun and energizing. Really educate the rep so if they use the link they are using it wisely and will have great success.

Once you have your training session, focus the week on practicing this with their calls/meetings.  Have them ask for the full sale first.  If that doesn’t work, have them ask for the payment plan.  Work down the line, but have them go one at a time vs giving them the link option first or all options at the same time.  Once, they are comfortable that week making these asks, then have a contest with some really good prizes.  For each closed group as a group PIF, they get 5 points.  For each group on a payment plan, 3 points.  For links, 1 or 2 points.  Put the priority on PIF groups. Then, manage your contest however you want. I’ve had some that instead of points they get raffle tickets. Once the contest is done, prizes are lined up all over and the reps can put their raffle tickets into the prizes they want to try for. It makes for a fun afternoon and one that everybody has the potential to win.

Keep me posted.

“Hey Kathy,

Any quick fixes? We are not near our Opening Day season goal.  Help!”  J, east

Hey J,

Getting in front of groups of people is the quickest way to increase numbers, and getting in front of groups of businesses is the quickest way to sell bulk numbers.  I would recommend putting together 2 influencers for January, 2 for February and 2 for March. The bulk of them should be businesses.  We all know that no business should buy less than 4 season if they are using them according to how we educate them to use them. Every influencer should have a minimum of 40-50 people, so it’s time to call and start scheduling !!!!

Let me know how January goes!


Send YOUR Sports Sales Questions weekly by Tuesday at 5 EST to: kathy@soldoutseating.com All questions are answered, and you will be ‘incognito.’

Last call for first quarter sales/leadership training!  There are only a couple of spots open. Contact:  kathy@soldoutseating.com

Need more sales help?  http://www.ticketsalesbook.com/  by yours truly! Tips for leaders as well as reps! 

Potato Chip Ticket Sales


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