April 3: Kathy’s Sports Sale Mailbag… “Hey Kathy!”

April already.  Opening days. April Fools Day.  The Easter Bunny is coming. Playoff teams are being decided.  And we keep selling! Along with selling comes questions.  And answers! From motivation, to training, to maximizing single game playoff buyers. Read on. 
Hey  Kathy,
In our corporate hospitality sales, there are 2 of us.  I knew when I started that  there were no bonuses or incentives for hitting our individual or team goals. The structure isn’t there.  It took 10 months to get goals, and I’ve tried to stay motivated by personal motivation, with little-to-no organizational incentives.
The only way there seems to be forward-thinking motivation is after a conversation with my supervisor when I’m frustrated.  I know he has so much more on his plate than sales and I really don’t feel the leadership needed. 
Any tips as to how to keep a positive selling mindset?
R, Midwest”
Hi R,
A number of teams have switched to higher base and no bonus/commission/incentives.  I know there is logic to some (the higher base they won’t have to stress for sales and will be more apt to close); but unless you are a 9000% motivated person you will have ups and downs. 
What do players who play sports have in common?  They are competitive.  People who desire sports jobs also have something in common…we’re competitive also. Without an incentive for competition, motivation is kind of hard. 
What to do? Here are a few thoughts…1) Make it a game you play against yourself. Set a goal every day…be it meetings set, closing, a new idea, etc. If there’s no one to play the game against or no incentive to do so, then create your own game.
2)  Create a weekly challenge with the other sales rep.  Whether you set number of meetings, revenue brought in, number of a category contacted…whatever, challenge each other every week and the loser has to buy the winner a tasty beverage after work on  Friday or Thursday.  3) Keep a timeline with goals on the wall.  Reach those goals by the date on the timeline and treat yourself (or if you and your other seller want to do it together) to a longer lunch, a special dinner, etc. 4) Set a goal that you want to reach to show growth and create your own check-in points.  Use the motivation for this to be a key selling point on your resume. 
I’m sorry your supervisor isn’t really there for you; but we will all face this at some point in our career.  Keep a journal, write down what frustrates you in the leadership style, and remind yourself of these things when you are a leader.  Until then, be in charge of yourself. When life gives you lemons, it’s sometimes time  to trade them in  and make margaritas.  
Send me a note and let me know how it’s going. 
“Hey Kathy,
As a leader, I like to use a particular trainer.  I am intrigued how you do things differently, but not quite ready to make a change.  How do I know if I should?  Also, what is it you do in a retainer other than check in?”  B, east coast 
Hi B,
There is no magic moment. What is important is your staff’s growth.  Is there change? Do they get excited initially and then go back to the same routine?  Are you engaging afterwards with your trainer?  Are they ready for something more? Are you providing it? Is there turnover? Lots of things go into training, not just how to close and how to sell.  Selling is an individual way.  We can offer ideas but people buy from people, so developing yourself as a person in a relationship with a client is far more important than reading a script to close. After all, you want the client for the long term, right? So where is your staff in the process?
With a retainer, I focus on a lot of things. Some 1:1 coaching. Lots of helping each team member with individual weekly strategies and hitting goals. Long term strategy planning for the department. Preparing for renewals, new onsales, etc. prior to the date. Helping your managers write their departmental strategy.  Assessment. Interviewing as needed. It’s something we discuss prior and address as things come up. 
Here’s what is important, B….if you are considering using any of we trainers out there, call us and interview us first. See if we are the right fit for the right time.  What was their personal sales like when they sold? Do they still sell? How do they conduct themselves during the meeting? What is their ultimate goal with the training?  Do they take it personally if the team is not excelling? Do they follow-up?  On the flip side, are you supportive  to your staff being more creative, setting their own strategies, running their own small business? If you are not, for example, then you and I would not be a good fit.  If you are, bring it on!  You will find the right fit for your team at the right time.  
“Hey Kathy,
What is the best way to leverage playoff single game buyers?  ” J, south 
Hi J,
The ‘buy today at the game for the upcoming year and’ … what is the hook? Announcements during the game sharing that info and a table set up for closing are important.  The follow-up after the game is important…as soon as possible, preferably the first day.  Capture the emotions and the engagement. Each day you wait is a day farther away from what they experienced and how they felt. Make sure you have a hook with it for a specified time (by next week, by the end of the month, etc.)
One thing we tend to forget as we get busy is focusing on the experience at the playoffs.  This is the perfect stage for potential buyers, so the experience has to be top-notch, not second thought as we are worrying about extra tickets, will we win, rushing around, etc.  This experience, as every game, sets the stage for the passion, the excitement, and the lingering feeling (win or lose) of how amazing it was and how they want to be part of it. THAT is what we capitalize on, be it at the game as I mentioned or immediately following.  
Sending video clips of the emotion, excitement and energy the very next day via email to all of the single game buyers with a note and then following up keeps it alive.  Capture them for the RIGHT reason…not just if you buy season next year you can come to playoffs. Capture them with the emotions of it and they will be yours a lot longer.
Kathy Burrows, Chief Energy Officer, Sold Out Seating.
Want to learn more about prospecting? Group sales? Season? Premium? Retention? Influencing? Strategizing? Maximizing playoffs?  Then time for training is NOW….contact:  kathy@soldoutseating.com and see if we are the right fit together!
More sales questions? http://www.ticketsalesbook.com/ by yours truly might help!
Potato Chip Ticket Sales
See YOU at ALSD in Chicago!  If you haven’t signed up, it’s time to now!  
I’ll be there for workshops, meet ups, and there for you!  Contact me ahead of time if you want to schedule a half hour meeting at kathy@soldoutseating.com

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