May 8: Kathy’s Sports Sales Mailbag… “Hey Kathy!”


One of the most exciting times of the year…NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, baseball is in full swing as is soccer and the WNBA  and Lacrosse is gearing up, as is a summer of auto racing.   Such a great time of year…and one of the busiest!  And with busy, comes questions….read on!

“Hey Kathy,

I’m a newer sales rep and I want to make sure I do well.  We’ve had someone in for training, have learned to overcome objections, ask for the credit card, and how to move into the sales conversation.  Of everything someone could learn, what would be the most important thing?”   S, midwest

Hi S,

First of all congratulations on your position and your desire to do well.  That desire makes you a valuable asset to your teammates and the organization.

We learn a lot of things in trainings, but at the end of the day, what good is a training if we don’t have prospects to talk to?  To me, the most important thing a sales rep can do is fill their pipeline – and keep it filled.  How to do this?  From day one it starts with learning how to prospect.  What good are all the tools of how to sell if we don’t have someone to go after?  Filling your pipeline, keeping it filled, gives you the opportunity each and every day to close sales.  Pipelines.  Can’t say enough how important they are.

The second most important thing:  structuring your day for success.  Coming in and scratching your head, trying to figure out what to do each day is setting you up for failure.  Having a plan and working it sets you up for success.


“Hey Kathy,

What are some of the keys to keeping groups?  It seems like they come out and have a good time, but they want to do something else next year.  What can I do better to try and keep them?”  G, east coast

Hi G,

There are a couple of keys to group retention.  One:  the touchpoints you are having along the way, all year long.  Prior to your group coming out, what is your connection strategy a month and a half out? What ‘potato chips’ are we giving them,  one chip at a time?  Are we focusing one week on the best place to park and enter that will be easiest for them to access their seats? Are we letting them know what concessions are nearest them and then letting them know where others are? Are we reminding them what can be brought in and what will create the easiest entrance? Are we letting them know when and where players may be signing autographs prior to the game? All these things, along with the group visit and the follow up immediately after, as well as touch points monthly throughout the year, makes the group leader feel valued and makes their purchase so much more valuable.  Yes, we can send a packet of info. Who reads it?  It’s usually in corporate speak. Breaking it off by week, enabling them to digest it and see that we are helping them step by step  makes for a much stronger relationship.  Selling it, calling them after and then never talking to them again until renewal time is a recipe for disaster.

A second is what we are selling them.  Are we selling them the lowest price or the best experience? If we sell by price, we are selling for the short term.  If we sell by the best experience, we are selling for a stronger opportunity to renew.

A third is our involvement.  If they are a company, what do we do throughout the year to strengthen that relationship? If a non profit, are we partners in their work? If it’s a consumer, are we part of the community?  If we sell and never partner, we will be burning a lot of bridges along the way.

The biggest compliment you can be paid is having your group tell you that they can’t find the same relationship they have with you in any other venue.


“Hey Kathy,

I have weekly sales meetings, but we seem to discuss the same stuff over and over.  Should I have fewer or change them up?”  B, midwest

Hi B,

Sales meetings and coaching sessions.  What do we generally cover? Call volume and pipelines. Think about it…a sales meeting is an opportunity to teach, to have staff share their business plans and where they are in the process, and the chance to take sales to the next level.  Coaching sessions give us the opportunity to work with each rep individually on their growth plan.

Think less ‘meeting’ and more ‘ownership, learning, and growth.’  There will be a new attitude in these meetings!


Send YOUR sales questions by Tuesday, 5 p.m. EST, weekly to:

Kathy Burrows, CEO, Sold Out Seating

Sales/Leadership/Retention/Supersizing Training:  contact:

Where can we meet up?  Contact me now to schedule a time to meet at any of the upcoming events…make sure you’re there!!!

May 12-13:  NAATSO conference in Orlando; Workshop 

May 19-21:  ECHL Meetings:  Keynote speaker and workshops in Las Vegas

June 30-July 3:  ALSD: workshops/round table in Chicago 

July 8:  First ever! Unique Sports Sales Summit in Las Vegas   EVERY team should be sending a rep or their sales staff! 

Have more sports sales questions?  Pick up a copy of Potato Chip Ticket Sales by…me!

Potato Chip Ticket Sales

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