GROUP SALES MONTH: Effective Communication Plans Sell Group Tickets
Group Sales Month on Empowerment of a Salesperson is sponsored by FEVO. FEVO is a sales amplification tool used by industry leading pro sports teams, colleges, and festivals. For more information check out FEVO.com.
How often have you had a group agree to send a link to their group…and then you see them only send it once and the group falls flat? Or the group sends out their email communication…only for you to see a distorted version of your logo and your hopes for a big group fall flat? Or how often have you worked with a group on a fundraiser and checked back in after a week or two to see that they’ve sold 3 tickets and raised $9? How did that happen?
It happens a lot in group sales. And, in these situations, it’s very easy to blame the prospect. How could they let us down like that? How could no one buy? Here’s the tougher reality…it’s not the prospects job to sell our tickets. Our responsibility is to help them market their group with our help, support, and direction. We’re the expert…not them. We need to support them by acting like marketers…not salespeople.
Why are strong communications important on the buyer side? The cooler the group looks, the more likely people will go to the event. The more consistently the message is communicated, the more likely it is people will respond. People receive communication in a variety of ways this day and age, too…so the more channels you can work through, the more likely the message to break through.
There’s a simple 3-step process to allow us to turn from sellers to marketers…and to maximize how communication reaches the buyers to give us the best possible return on the group.
1. Define the Communication Channels: From your first or second conversation, make sure you understand and define ALL the communication channels the group has available to them. Organizations and groups can communicate via email, face to face, phone, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, fliers, internal TV station, and a couple more ways I’m sure I missed. Some people are more likely to catch an email, some a text, and others the phone. You should take every opportunity you get to connect your event to their constituency.
2. Create & Execute a Communications Plan: ‘Do you think we should send it out again?’ is a question that gets asked a LOT on a group sales floor. The best groups I’ve seen have no only defined the communication channels, they’ve also worked to create a communications plan. The plan works to create momentum right from the launch of the group, and outlines the channel and message that will get sent over the entirety of the group. At this point, if you need to make a change, you are proactively changing your plan…as opposed to reacting to the lack of success and momentum of the group. Also, as the group goes along, see where your biggest bumps come from. Did they email get people to bite? Was it the tweet? Or was it when the internal video dropped? Proactively double and triple down in those areas once you see the success start to occur. Your communications plan should be an agreement as to when the messages will hit which channels, so you, the salesperson, can also use this as an accountability measure to ensure they do what they say they’ll do.
3. Support the Plan with Internal Resources: We have a marketing team…use it! Your team uses FEVO, or something like it…use it! We have internal resources that can help make the event look cooler…and we need to use them. The cooler the event looks, the more likely people will react to it. After we understand what channels they have, we need to ask and understand how they can support the message with their resources. Once we understand those, we can fill in the gaps with our resources to make sure we get the maximum response. This can be as little providing a couple pictures or some text on the game they chose, or as much as taking over the communication plan entirely. But no matter which, if we’re going to do the group, we have the responsibility to maximize the result…both for the client and for ourselves…and that comes with making it look as awesome as possible.
Communication is critical to maximizing groups. Frequency, consistency, and quality of that communication are all critical to get the end result you want…a huge group. It all comes down to caring. Do you care to maximize the group? If you do, you’ll care enough to utilize the process laid out above. If you don’t, you’ll have a lot of distorted logos and $9 fundraisers in your future. Your choice.