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  • Brett Zalaski

How to Run Your Own Ticket Sales Empire

There are many things that pro sports teams do an excellent job of in training. There are many things sales trainers in the sports industry do an excellent job of training. There is one thing that none of them do a good job of...teaching reps how to be entrepreneurs.

And, ultimately...isn't that what a rep is? Isn't is a franchisee of your team...just like a McDonald's or a Chick-fil-a? And doesn't their success revolve around similar factors to what makes an individual Subway successful? Unsure? Let's go over it:

  1. Location: You hear that about businesses...right? Location, location, location. Isn't that true for the best reps, too? Don't the best reps always seem to be everywhere? They always seem to be in action. Making phone calls, attending meetings, making sales, going on networking events, etc. They are dominating each game night. Each action moves them closer to a sale. Their location is everywhere a sale can be made...and in the positions where sales are most likely to be made. A rep needs to be constantly looking at how available they are making themselves to make sales...and if each action is getting them closer to a sale.

  2. Customer Service: How you treat people matters, too. I love this story to show how powerful it can be. I like good coffee. I hate McDonald's coffee. It's terrible. I don't care what their marketing says. It tastes like cardboard. Yet, when I worked for the Columbus Crew, I got McDonald's coffee at least once per week. Why? I promise you their coffee tasted like every other McDonald's coffee. It was the customer service. Their was an elderly woman that worked the drive through that made me light up EVERY morning I went through her window. I just needed that customer service at least once a week...that energy got me going on mornings I may not have had it. Same for a restaurant here in Houston. It's not the best restaurant in the area I lived in, but they had the best bartender who cared about every client who came through and MADE you want to come back. We'd see the same customers on the nights we knew Pierre was working. BE THAT LEVEL OF CUSTOMER SERVICE! Be so good that people want to come back to work with you..and tell others about you.

  3. Little Things are Buttoned Up: Is your coffee always hot? Is your food always warm when it's supposed to be? Is it cooked the right way? When something goes wrong, does that franchise respond the right way to correct mistakes? Is the restaurant clean? In #sportsbiz ticket sales, do you do everything you say you're going to for each client? Is your CRM updated so you have ALL the information about each client you work with? Do you continue relationships with clients in ways that continue to build value or do you just check in? If something goes wrong, do you proactively solve problems...or do you just hope no one notices? The best, most entrepreneurial sales reps do think about this stuff with every interaction they have.

  4. They Know Their Business: One of my favorite franchise sandwich places is Which Wich. Even though I mostly get the same thing, I just kind of like the freedom to do whatever I want with my sandwich without completely changing the order. Recently I was talking to my local Which Wich owner, who's been lauded by the company as one of it's most successful owners in the country. While we talked about everything above, the thing that struck me most was his understanding of the numbers behind his business. He knew how many sandwiches he had to sell over lunch on a Tuesday to ensure that his company would stay on track that week. He knew exactly how many catering jobs his location did in a month where it hit goal. He invested in a catering truck to help with advertising and timeliness because he understood when it would fit in his budget and how it would fit in his budget. It was fascinating. It also reminded me of the best sales reps I've worked with. They always knew (had it documented) where their next sale was coming from. They always had a pipeline management document open on their computer. They know the revenue expected of them each year, and how that broke down by month, week, and even day. Shit, some of them knew by call. We talked about the top 3.5 ways to make a sale...quick...and these reps knew exactly when to break the glass and do it. They know the more that you understand what you need to do, the more likely you'll be to find a way to do it.

There are obvious differences to running a food franchise and being a ticket sales rep. But there are also a TON of similarities between those that do both well. Remember, whether it's McDonald's, Subway, Chick-fil-A, or Which Wich, these restaurants go out of business ALL THE TIME. Just like reps don't always keep their jobs. The reps and franchises that thrive? I guarantee they have location, give great service, do the little things, and know their business. So what are you waiting for?