Qualifying Prospects Key to Our Sales Strategy


We all want to be great sports sellers, but why is it some excel better than others? Is it because of ‘the luck of the draw’ and the leads they get are better? Is it because they push to close more? (selling for the short term).  Or is it because they are able to identify qualified leads and maximize their time?

A strong sales rep will ask themselves :  Where can I find the maximum number of qualified prospects in the minimum amount of time? In doing so, we are able to zero in quicker on those who need/can use/would find our product useful. So how do we do this?

In order to qualify someone, we have to ask ourselves questions so that we maximize our prospecting:


Who has the money to purchase what we have immediately? Who has the most urgent need to buy? Who has the influence on the prospects you can identify? Who has the most obvious need for our season/hospitality/suites/corporate?

Looking at this whole picture, the ask:  Who are the most ideal prospects?  Take the time to think this through and write down in detail who your ideal prospects would be.


Where do our ideal prospects live? Work? Socialize? Worship? Play? Where could we find lists or categories of people who fit our ideal prospect profile?  Where are there directories that we can create our own list from? Where could we go to find these new prospects?


Why would the prospect be most likely to buy what we have? Why might he resist? Why might this be a good time (or bad time) to approach them? Why would they be likely to set an appointment with you?


This is the most important in boosting your qualifying average once you have your list together so as to categorize them into an A, B or C group.

What would the prospect find as most beneficial about our season/hospitality/suites/corporate?  Why info could I give them or what questions could I ask that would get them talking more about their needs? What is most important for me to know?

So let’s think about how we go about prospecting and calling people.  We pick categories and start pounding them out. We generally do this without a plan. I’ve seen reps who randomly start calling a category such as advertisers and find they have no need for our packages.  What would happen instead if we took the time first to create a more qualified list?

For example:  I’m selling hospitality.  Who has the need for hospitality areas? Generally companies that celebrate awards, entertain high end clients, those that create memorable moments for employees or departments, etc.  Who would that be ? Initially realtors, insurance companies, financial companies come to mind for a starting point.  Why would they buy it? Perhaps if I approach it as a an affordable option with a most unique and amazing backdrop of our field that enables them to come in, celebrate achievements, present awards and then have fun after with a game.  We can enhance the experience by recognizing them on the jumbotron or even enabling them to participate in an experience.

On the flip side, we can reverse this.  We want to sell season tickets to companies.  There are a lot of medium and small businesses that don’t see the true value in a whole season. If we view them as ideal prospects, but we don’t have a true hook as to why they should buy our plans, then create that hook.  For instance, as many teams have done, create a small business package.  What does the business need? Prospects. Awareness. How can we give it to them? Social media. Jumbotron. Package it all together and it gives them the opportunity to feel they are really investing in us and we fill their needs better. Explaining to them how many thousands of our people they can be seen by with our social media is far easier than them trying to build their social media slowly.

On the consumer side of season sales, what is the profile of our best buyers now? What is the type of category of buyers? Where do they live? How can we capture more from their areas? What do the current buyers find most beneficial? How can we use this to our advantage?

The point is, once you qualify and identify the quicker it becomes to manage people through our pipeline. Closing goes from sporadic to consistent now.  And consistency is key in sales.

When we buy a house, we go through our wants/needs and criteria to select the right one. When we buy a car, we do the same.  Why is it, when we sell, we don’t spend the time to do our same homework and qualify so that we select the right ones? The few extra minutes can yield a huge return in sales.

Kathy Burrows, Sold Out Seating

Have questions for “Hey Kathy” sports sales mailbag?  Send YOUR sales questions by Tuesdays, 5 p.m. EST, weekly to:  kathy@soldoutseating.com

Time for training?! Sales/Leadership/Retention/Supersizing Training:  contact: kathy@soldoutseating.com

Lots of ‘on the road’ the next couple of months meeting with teams for training, strategizing, 3 year planning. Are you one of them? Contact me now for a few remaining dates for fall. 

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


Potato Chip Ticket Sales

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