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  • Brett Zalaski

Fans Don't Owe Sales Reps Anything

A while back a rep wrote into the website with the following note, reproduced here with her permission:

I'm having a hard time getting information out of my leads. They just don't want to seem to talk to me. How can I get more information out of them when they aren't just offering it up?

This question seems innocuous, even fair perhaps. You may have thought this exact question at times...I know I have. We talked. What I heard from her set me back. It was clear in her head that believed her clients owed her their business. Unfortunately, she's not alone in this attitude.

Here's the thing to remember, and something I say in my trainings all the time...Your fans don't owe you anything. Nobody is paying them to buy our tickets. You need to earn their business.

If we're being honest, we don't have this mindset nearly as much as we should. This pervasive attitude of, 'We're a professional sports team. Our fans should be lucky we're here. They should just come to our games,' filters from senior management to individual sales reps. And it couldn't be more wrong...or damaging. Here's why:

  • When we don't care to connect with our clients, we only pass along information. This hurts the fans bond with the team.

  • When we don't care why our fans are buying the tickets, we sell the wrong thing. When we sell the wrong thing, fans don't renew.

  • When we don't care to earn our fans business, we become lazy salespeople. Lazy salespeople are bad sales people.

  • When we don't act with urgency, we extend the sales process. When we extend the sales process, the more that can potentially go wrong with the client's decision.

There's nothing wrong with being proud of working for a pro sports team. When you act with pride, you'll connect with fans. There is a problem with being arrogant enough to think that fans owe you a conversation. They don't. We, as an organization, owe our fans WAY more than they owe us. And the more we treat them like that, the more sales we will make. Earn the right to have a conversation with them. Earn their business. Remember, your fans don't owe you s**t.

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