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  • Brett Zalaski

#SportsBiz Objection Handling Heading to 2022


In 2011, the company where I started my sales career, CEB, wrote a book called The Challenger Sale that has fundamentally changed the way that tons of businesses across the country sell.


The book has barely had an imprint on the #sportsbiz landscape, even though the methodology behind it should have lined up perfectly. Theoretically, sports tickets, like most products The Challenger Sale was a hit for, is not something the consumer NEEDS. Since it's not something the consumer needs, we need to challenge their thinking to open up more opportunities.


The problem was that a lot of fans THOUGHT they needed us...so we could just product dump and get a positive response. #COVID19 has been an accelerant that has proven to many that they DON'T need us. So, our customers are being more difficult, more challenging to us on a day in, day out basis. They have more objections than ever to coming to sporting events. So what does The Challenger Sale say to this new threat?

LOVE that piece of information, because it aligns with a lot of what our #ISBIVSN reps are seeing consistently. The STATUS QUO has shifted from people GOING to games, to people staying on their couch. We need to do two major things to combat this new wave of objections:

  • We need to make SPECIFIC recommendations that are CLEAR on what the buyer is being recommended, as well as clear on the justification for the recommendation to challenge them to think about coming to more games again.

  • We need to be DRILLED on the top objections that you are hearing about your team in your marketplace to push the status quo of going back in our favor.

What are some of those objections you NEED to have answers to?

  • Time

  • Money

  • Distance

  • 'I need to talk to my...'

  • 'Can you put that in an email?'

  • 'I just need to think about it...'

  • COVID19

  • Buying Tickets Online

  • 'Your team sucks...'

  • Etc. etc. etc.

Those first nine are pretty omnipresent in pro sports...but there are definitely others in your market. We will tackle those first nine over the next few months...but you should be constantly communicating with your fellow reps and leaders about the ones that are market-specific for you.


For YEARS the answer for sports has always been product. That's not the case anymore. We need to make sure to recognize that the status quo has become the couch...and we need to challenge our buyers off of it.