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  • Brett Zalaski

Needle in a Haystack: Selling During #COVID19


Work with a lot of #sportsbiz sales reps who can chase 'maybe's'. While our brands are strong and we're playing games, we have the opportunity to keep pushing on 'maybe's' until they cross over to a sale.


We're just in a really tough place right now. There's not a lot of external factors helping us in the moment...in fact, quite the opposite, they're obviously hurting us more than anything.


Where 'maybe's' had a decent chance to be 'yes'', they are now almost definitely 'no's'. And so we have to change...we have to adapt. What once was finding a needle among a few pieces of hay, we're truly at the point of finding a needle in a haystack. #COVID19 concerns, money concerns, job concerns, safety concerns...on top of all the other reasons a buyer may say no to us normally.


So the adaptation, in the short run, needs to be wider, not deeper.


This is not the long-term answer. It's not great from a sales process standpoint. It's just the truth. It's not about finding who will talk about our team...it's finding the people willing to talk about our ticket packages. And the list of people in the second part is WAY shorter than the list in the first part...for the moment, at least.


How do we approach this?

  • Ask their situation up-front: Simply ask, 'Is this an 'ok' time to be talking about the 2021 season?'

  • Set the agenda: Tell them up front that your goal is to sell them tickets...and ask how that sits with them. 'The reason for my call is to talk to you about your experiences in our ballpark and see what we can do about getting you back out in 2021 and save you some money. How does that sound?' We've now given them two chances to get out...if they're in, they're in. And it's good if they're out...just another piece of hay removed.

  • Lead the conversation: Stay on subject about tickets. Don't let them drift off. If they've agreed to the conversation, stay on subject. When you follow the buyer in this environment, they'll take you off subject and you won't make a sale. If they try to continuously go off subject, they're not that serious.

If you've given them multiple outs and you stay on subject, you might find that needle.