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#SportsBiz Objection Handling Heading to 2022

In 2011, the company where I started my sales career, CEB, wrote a book called The Challenger Sale that has fundamentally changed the way that tons of businesses across the country sell. The book has barely had an imprint on the #sportsbiz landscape, even though the methodology behind it should have lined up perfectly. Theoretically, sports tickets, like most products The Challenger Sale was a hit for, is not something the consumer NEEDS. Since it's not something the consum

Negotiating vs. Objection Handling

Objection Handling is a critical part of sales and the sales process. It's our ability to use our benefits and internal solutions around the biggest challenges we face. The time objection. The money objection. The price objection. The secondary market objection. The distance objection. The 'your team sucks' objection. The #COVID19 objection. The push-off objection. Our reps should be prepared to handle all of those. But there's a major miss in how we teach objection

We're Baaaaaaaaaaaaaack...

A few weeks ago I posted the below on LinkedIn: There's no doubt that the landscape of selling tickets in pro sports is evolving almost by the minute now. Teams are struggling with welcoming fans back to stadiums and #sportsbiz sales reps are struggling with their individual interactions with fans...whether lowered secondary market prices, #COVID19 issues, or fans becoming more seat-belted to their couches. But there are solutions and there are answers...the hard statement i

Selling Tickets in 2021: Get Ahead of An Absolute S**tshow

Historically, a rep has been pushed off the phone with the absolute killer trilogy of push-off objections, including 'I need to talk to my...', 'Can you put it in an email?', or 'I just need to think about it...'. We've now found the trump card to all this...'I'm not comfortable...' or 'I'll wait and see...'. #COVID19 has made the trilogy a...uh...quadrology? I don't know. Working with the #ISBIVSN sales team over the last few months, I can tell you that this is a very rea

Needle in a Haystack: Selling During #COVID19

Work with a lot of #sportsbiz sales reps who can chase 'maybe's'. While our brands are strong and we're playing games, we have the opportunity to keep pushing on 'maybe's' until they cross over to a sale. We're just in a really tough place right now. There's not a lot of external factors helping us in the fact, quite the opposite, they're obviously hurting us more than anything. Where 'maybe's' had a decent chance to be 'yes'', they are now almost definitely 'no

What to Say to Sell a Losing Team During #COVID19

So selling during #COVID19 wasn't tough enough? Your team decided to be terrible, too? As if getting people to think about attending games wasn't tough enough, this is a hell of a double whammy! But here's the thing...this is still simply objection layering. It's the same as if they said, '...I live to far away and this costs too much money.' You have to mentally recognize that there's no difference. It's crucial. Here's my best advice: If someone is LAYERING reason afte

One HUGE #COVID19 Selling Secret

I've had a chance to connect with #sportsbiz sales reps during #COVID19 in a pretty substantial way. I've also had a chance to listen to over 100 of them sell or role play. The thing that has stood out the most is that, more than I've ever heard, sales reps feel like they need to be buttoned up in their pitch more than ever. They feel like they need to be perfect right now to give themselves a chance to sell. Y''s the exact opposite. People want to connect with pe

Speed of Selling in #COVID19

One line I use quite a bit in my sales trainings is that '...we are in the relentless pursuit of great sales conversations.' It means that if a client doesn't have genuine interest in the product, you be the one to get out of the conversation first. Remember, the vast majority of the people you connect with WON'T buy your product. We attack sales like anyone who picks up the phone is a qualified lead...when the case is COMPLETELY the opposite. The vast majority of people

Most Important Part of #SportsBiz Time Management During #COVID19

I've talked to hundreds of #sportsbiz sales reps during #COVID19 and their biggest challenge is just the quantity of people they say are willing to buy. There are very, very few. And that makes sense. This is a genuinely tough time for people, and, by every statistical measure I've seen, fans aren't exactly sprinting back into stadiums for safety reasons. Generally, in #sportsbiz sales, it can feel like finding a good, potential ticket buyer is a needle in a haystack. The

I Don't Have to Work in #SportsBiz, I Get to Work in #SportsBiz

One of the biggest challenges I'm hearing about across the still actively employed #sportsbiz landscape is fatigue. #SportsBiz sales reps are tired at the constant ebbs and flows that #COVID19 has given them on the work side. They are tired of working from home. Tired of seeing commission money evaporate. They are tired of all the political noise that is happening around the country. They are tired of talking to fans who are reticent to re-enter stadiums. Tired of being

Is a 'Grinder' in Sales a GOOD thing?

The short answer is: Not really. The long answer is a bit more complicated. Of course someone who works hard brings immense value to an organization. That doesn't need a just needs to appreciated. And before you start rolling your eyes, there's a difference between GRIT and GRIND. A grinder straps their helmet on and bangs out calls. Someone with grit finds solutions. They create sales when none is apparent. Some of the grittiest salespeople I ever worked wit

Is 'Maybe' an Acceptable Sales Answer?

One of the foundational principles that I discuss in my training (and I'm far from the only) is that the best salespeople get the most answers. They get more'yes'', more 'no's', and less 'maybe's' than their peers. But a USL rep, who's gone through my training, wrote to me the other day asking, 'I'm just getting a TON of 'maybe's' during #COVID19 and I don't want to push back in this climate. Is that ok?' I'm going to hold to the principle above. Even in #COVID19, the peop

Are #SportsBiz Sales Reps About to Become Extinct? - pt. 2

In December of last year I wrote a column tackling this question. My answer was 'no' in the short run, but 'yes' in the long term. If #COVID19 has been anything, it's been an accelerant. THOUSANDS of quality #sportsbiz salespeople are without jobs right now, and my site has had a number of people write in with the following question? '...When will teams be hiring again?' The answer is, 'I don't know.' Part of me wants to believe that that will be early 2021 when every lea

Are you a #SportsBiz Sales Rep who needs an opportunity?

I've been a manager who's had to let people go. It's the absolute worst feeling in the world. I'm incredibly sympathetic for my friends who have had to do this because of #COVID19. But that doesn't mean that my heart doesn't also go out to the reps in the industry who have been impacted. Lots of talented people lost their job during this time and I want to use my platform and stage to help. One of the worst things that can happen to a #sportsbiz rep in their development is

Important Selling Phrases During #COVID19

As teams start to put fans in stadiums and we start to see some hope for playing in front of fans in 2021, the pressure on #sportsbiz sales reps is only going to heighten. The heavy lifting of maximizing sales whenever your team plays is the work you do right now. Whether it's getting people into your pipeline or actually selling them...the work truly starts right now. I've talked and worked with a bunch of sales reps over the last month, and here are a few phrases that are

How to Engage B2B in #COVID19

I've been pretty on the record for being proactive from a sales standpoint during #COVID19. I think the area we can be the most proactive in is B2B selling. Again, I want to make the point that the likelihood of closing is less than it would be normally...but that just means we need to make more of an effort. I wrote an article on B2B selling during #COVID19 and all of that holds true here. A USL sales rep reached out to me after reading and asked me what I would actually

Consistency in Selling During #COVID19

Last week we went on a family road trip to see quite a few of our national parks. In these surreal circumstances, it was incredible to get away and find some time for peace and beauty. But, as most of y'all know, I'm always on the look out for new content...even when I'm on vacation. At the Grand Canyon a sign stuck out. I tweeted about it yesterday. After that tweet, an MLS sales rep wrote me the following note: ...Normally consistency isn't a problem. I'm just really c

Handling Specific #COVID19 Objections

Always want to keep anonymity of those who write into this site, so without quoting directly, because that would give the person and team away, a rep wrote into the site asking about two very specific, very COVID19 related objections. How do we combat state and local government declarations that may not deal with us directly or yet from fans? How do we deal with information that is inflamed by the media that our fans regurgitate? I'll answer those questions, but, real quick,

Who Should I Call Right Now? - pt. 2

I wrote the first of these articles right at the beginning of #COVID19. It got a LOT of views...and a great response. As things started to work themselves out, normalcy started to set back in to sales rep roles. And now that we're seeing a continued spike, I'm seeing confusion set back in for sales reps. I had TWO people write in to the site struggling with the morality of selling right now. On Thursday I'm going to be discussing how to combat some objections you might he

Should We Even Be Selling Right Now?

I've been asked this question more this past week than I have since #COVID19 started. As cases are spiking around the country, and more people in #sportsbiz are hearing that their friends are losing jobs, and clarity on playing in front of fans isn't coming, this is becoming a moral dilemma for some salespeople. The answer is, 'Yes, you should be selling right now.' Now it's not THAT easy, so here are some thoughts: Ask them up front: I've talked about this multiple times,

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