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#SportsBiz Recruiting in '21/'22: It's Time to Get Uncomfortable

As a leader in #sportsbiz, I'd be lying if I said my recruiting was anything really but whatever showed up on TeamworkOnline. I was incredibly proud to be part of innovations on it (videos at MLSNSC & sales combines at the Crew)...but let's not pretend those were pushing the envelope compared to how other organizations outside of sports recruited. We were sports. We could let people come to us. That's not totally the case in 2021, heading into 2022. There's an 18-month ga

#SportsBiz Rep: How Can I Be Up When Everyone Else is Down?

In response to an article I wrote a few weeks ago, 'How Can I Be A Good Ticket Sales Teammate?', I had an MLB sales rep write in with the following question: '...That's all great information. But what if everyone on your team is just super negative all the time?' For the team in question, attendance is down and the record is bad. No doubt. And no matter how good your leadership team is, that can create a really difficult environment for reps who need to pound the phone eac

Handling the 'I Need to Talk to My...' Objection

' I need to talk to my husband/wife...' 'I need to talk to my boyfriend/girlfriend...' 'I need to talk to my friends/family...' 'I need to talk to my co-workers/team...' To most people in #sportsbiz, that is a next step in the sales process. To the BEST salespeople in #sportsbiz, that is an objection. An objection can easily be defined as a reason someone is not buying right now. Great...then 'I need to talk to...' is absolutely an objection. So the answer to that can't be

#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

Managing a Lead List to MAXIMIZE Production

Doesn't matter how good or bad your CRM system is...we all get lead lists at some point in our careers. Some are perfectly maintained and set up and denoted...and most aren't. Almost every lead list has really good leads in it. And EVERY lead list has some REALLY bad leads in it (no info, bad info, out-of-market, or just a**holes). Most #sportsbiz sales reps get their lead list and blindly start calling through the list. That's fine. You can definitely do that. But it r

'How Can I Be A Good Ticket Sales Teammate?'

Right before he took a job with a Big 5 team, one of our #ISBIVSN reps asked me, 'Now that I'm going into a real office, how can I be a good ticket sales teammate?' I really loved the phrasing of that question. Not just a good teammate, a good ticket sales teammate. As a person who has been in charge of promoting from Inside Sales to Account Executive on quite a few occasions now, my attitude towards promoting someone was always 51% sales, 49% attitude. I never promoted so

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

Solving the 'I only go to a couple games per year...' Problem

' I only go to a couple games per year.' 'I like the flexibility of choosing when I go to games.' Every #sportsbiz sales rep that's sold for even a minute cringes when they hear these phrases. That rep knows they are about to have to jam a square peg into a round hole. Why? Buying patterns that are previously established can be REALLY hard to change. And, unfortunately, a lot of those people haven't gone to a lot of games the last couple years...thus it's never been harder

Why Personalization is Critical in #SportsBiz Sales

When I first moved to Houston and started dating my wife, even though I lived in an area with a TON of eating and drinking options, we always started the night at the same restaurant. Was it the food? Sure. Food was fine...but it was in a neighborhood with 4 of the top 10 restaurants in Houston. And it wasn't one of them. Was it the drinks? Drinks were great. But so were the drinks from most of the bars in the area. So if it wasn't really the food or drinks...what kept

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

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 moment...in 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

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'all...it'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

#SportsBiz Sales Rep Displaced by #COVID19? I Got You.

Over the last two months I've had the tremendous honor of (for free) training over 40 #sportsbiz sales reps who have been displaced in their roles with teams. This has been everyone from interns, to part-time employees, to inside sales reps, to sales reps, senior sales reps, managers, and directors. They've received training from myself, the legend Bill Guertin, and a number of leaders from across the #sportsbiz community. Every person has walked into the room ready to earn

#SportsBiz Sales Reps & #ElectionDay

There is no doubt that tomorrow is going to be one of the most super-charged days in our lives. I've written about #sportsbiz sales reps & politics before. I wrote that article just over a year ago and it's become one of the most read articles on my site. And it even seems pretty dated. I've seen the first pro sports team I can remember endorse a political candidate. The lines between who you are as a person and a professional have become blurred on every avenue of socia

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'm Not Sure I Feel Comfortable Selling Tickets During #COVID19.'

I continue to have conversations with #sportsbiz reps all around the industry. As #sportsbiz continues to turn back to fans, and back to selling, there's an issue plaguing a number of ticket sellers in the industry. I've heard tons of times, 'I'm not sure I feel comfortable selling tickets to people during this crisis.' Before I jump in here, I would like to say that those concerns ARE valid. People are sick. People are dying. People have lost jobs. Peers have lost jobs

Being Clinical in #SportsBiz Sales

There are some strikers in the sports of soccer who are excellent at passing. There are some strikers who hold the ball up well so other offensive players can come up the field. There are others who are outstanding in the air. Some are strong dribblers. Some are fantastic passers. Some have all or most of these characteristics. But you can't be an elite striker without being a clinical finisher. The goal of the position is to score goals. Same with a #sportsbiz salespe

Sell Like a Bat

Bats are not blind. True story. Look it up. Their seeing is pretty shitty, but they have eyes and they can see. So the phrase 'blind as a bat' is actually, technically inaccurate. But they still use SONAR, or echolocation, to give them clarity. They either contract their voice box, click their tongue, or emit sounds through their nose, and the sound reverberates off an object. That reverberation tells the bat where the object is, how big the object is, and what shape it

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