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  • Writer's pictureBrett Zalaski

Be Grateful for Ticket Buyers

I had a friend who, right out of college, sold Cutco knives door to door. It was a tough job full of incredible rejection day-in, and day-out. The bulk of his job relied on knocking on just the right door of the person who didn't have knives or whose steak knives were falling apart. Anything else was almost always a hard no...regardless of his sales skills.

Now, can you imagine if there had been a conference of people who needed steak knives and 20,000 people showed up? What would my friend have given to be able to be there? What if he got a call list from the people who attended the event? How excitedly would he attack it? And, finally, how much gratitude and appreciation would he have towards these people knowing what faces him without that list?

In #sportsbiz ticket sales, we face this scenario all the time. Our lead lists are filled with people who spent too much money on our product the first time. Our games are filled with those very same people who are enjoying that experience in that exact moment. And those people are not often met with gratitude...they are met with rushed product shoving like we were knocking on the door of an unqualified lead.

I'll hear reps all the time sprint through calls to ticket buyers to dump all of our products on them, be asked to put it in an email, and then move on to the next call. Sometimes those reps will say that that type of call was a 'good call' and that that person is now a 'prospect.' Or they'll say that their prospect 'just wouldn't tell me anything.' Each one of those demonstrates one thing to me: A fundamental lack of appreciate & gratitude for these leads.

Anyone outside of sports would KILL for the quality of leads we get all the time. Someone who came to our product, enjoyed our product, and spent too much money on our product...and then we casually dismiss them when we call? That would make salespeople in other industries gasp...and probably want to do unspeakable damage to us based on our complaints.

Here's the thing, too...our clients feel dismissed when we attack them that way. Do you ever wonder how we can have so little success on a ticket list? Do you think it has anything to do with the lack of appreciation and gratitude for coming to our games and supporting our teams? Shouldn't we start every call with 'OMG thank you SO much for coming out. Our organization is better because of fans like you.' Do you think that might start the conversation on a more positive note...and give us a better chance of making the sale?

Shouldn't we be grateful for our fans? Wouldn't that gratitude go a long way towards making them feel appreciated by you, which would make them more likely to move back closer towards coming out to our product? Shouldn't we be chasing down each lead because we just can't wait to get them out to more games and help them save money in the process? Shouldn't that creativity and respect lead the way in which we reach out to clients?

I love the quote from Zig Ziglar on the right. Maybe, instead of rushing through our TICKET BUYER CALLS, we should slow down, connect, and show genuine appreciate for their fandom and their time. At the very least, both of you will have a lot more fun than just running them over with information. Or, you could knock door-to-door trying to sell tickets...

I genuinely appreciate all of you and your time...hope this helped!

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