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  • Brett Zalaski

Qualifying the Call Before the Call

Lead qualification is one of the most critical sales skills to learn. The amount of time spent by a #sportsbiz sales rep calling or calling back people who have zero interest in buying is quite staggering...especially when added up over a week, a month, or a year. While it's critical to qualify the lead ON the call, we also need to be smarter about qualifying the lead BEFORE the call.

We make two types of calls, when we break it all down. The first is a call to someone we've never spoken to, the second is a call to someone we're calling back. We'll go over one way to do each in #sportsbiz. Some of these have been touched on we're just packaging them all in the same place.

Totally New Call

When you get ticket buyer leads, or someone turns over a book of business to you, it's important that you spend time organizing those leads. Most times we're given a list and we call it in order. That's not actually a great use of our time. If I get a new list of ticket buyers, I want to spend a half hour going through all their purchase histories, and then organizing my calls that way.

If they came to multiple games this season without coming before, those will be my first calls. If they've come to multiple games over multiple seasons, those will be my second calls. These two should be somewhat obvious, but there's an important distinction between them. If they've come to multiple games for only one season, they have not created a buying pattern. If they've come to multiple games for multiple seasons, they may have a pattern they are comfortable with.

If they came to one game this year, those will be in my third group. If they've come to one game a year for years, those will be in my last. The first group should be obvious. The second group has at least a likelihood that it was their first time out...making them a little easier to talk about the opportunities with your club. If someone has created a small, consistent buying pattern, it will be almost impossible to talk them off that pattern. You can do this with a new book of business on the B2B or groups side as well.

Follow-Up Call

This one's easy. Stare at the person's name for 5 seconds before you call them. If you either used-to-like-them-now-hate-the-sight-of-their-name, or you genuinely don't believe that they will pick up the phone/are avoiding you, either don't call them...or call with the intent of breaking up with them. The way you respond to their name or answer the 'Will they pick up?' question is your body telling you everything you need to know. But taking time to do this takes intent. Reps call back, and call back, and call back, etc. and, in the process, actually drive our fans away. Want to know the highest email or voice mail return? It's when you break up with the person.

We actually have the ability to take time back BEFORE we waste it...yet we don't. How much of your day is spent chasing? How much of your day is disorganized in terms of your approach? How much more could you accomplish if you were organized and intentional in your actions? The only acceptable answer is 'a lot'. But you have to take the actions steps of organizing the leads given to you and thinking about the people you are calling...which both take a little extra time up front. So you need to believe that a little time up front will save you a lot of time moving forward.

I love the quote on the right. We spend a lot of time creating bad habits because we aren't doing things with a goal in mind. Continuing to lean in to those habits causes us to just hemorrhage time every day. Take that time back.

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