Is it Time for the SUPERSTAR #SportsBiz Sales Rep?
I was having a super cool conversation with my eldest step-son about the transition the NBA took from a team-driven league to its current iteration as a player-driven league. This isn't a knock on teams at all...they've evolved terrifically to capitalize on it. But it's a player driven league. And it's not that it's player driven in terms of player movement only...fans now look to players for news and content, too.
After having this conversation, I started thinking about this from a sales rep standpoint. Historically reps have been asked to be the purveyors of information from the teams to the fans. We have a really cool product, people should want to come to our games, they just need the information on our ticket packages.
But is that where we are today? It's not...right? Fans have immediate access to information. They can check our website, they can go on social media, they can check Yelp, etc. etc. etc. to help inform their ticket buying decision process. The traditional #sportsbiz sales rep is more useless than ever in pro sports.
But the SUPERSTAR sales rep isn't...in fact, they're more valuable than ever. What is a SUPERSTAR #sportsbiz sales rep? How do they positively impact their teams?
They aim to gain the trust of their clients...not to get their clients to like them.
They aim to solve opportunities or challenges for their client...not pass along info.
They make recommendations...not pass along info (pt. 2).
They look at 'sales activity' as phone AND email AND face-to-face AND video AND social AND self-prospecting AND networking.
They are just as comfortable in front of a camera as they are on the phone.
They need passion, wit, and quirkiness*...not super professional, over-scripted, and 'too cool for school'.
They are authentic and vulnerable and true advocates for their team's brand.
They are the first thing their fans/clients think about when they think about the team...above the players, the games, and the team brand itself.
Superstar sales reps own and project all those ideals. They are successful before they make any calls. It's a balance of confidence and humility. I'm good at my job...but my job is to focus on them. In this crazy time, it's more important than ever for a rep to stand out when they do their outbound sales...in all the ways they effort to do it. It will be virtually impossible to connect, much less sell, if they don't. It's time for a rep-driven organization...who's in?
*- From To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink