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  • Brett Zalaski

The #1 Thing #SportsBiz Sales Reps Do Wrong in B2C Sales...Constantly

There are about a billion different ways to describe what we're about to talk about. I touched on it one of our earlier columns ('I called all my leads!'). I call it 'Channel Stacking'. It's also the #1 thing #SportsBiz sales reps do wrong when they call ticket buyers...and they do it constantly.

Here's an almost bullet-proof fact: If you and the person next to you make the same amount of cold calls to warm prospects every day, you'll do about the same in ticket revenue. Unless the person next to you can't find a coherent sentence with a flashlight, this will always be the case. Why? Because ticket buyer lists have an incredibly small margin of error for close rate on the first touch point. If you make the same amount of calls (ok size number), you'll roughly reach the same amount of people (very small number), and you'll both close roughly the same amount of people (teeny tiny number). Because, let's be honest...how many people who actually pick up the phone in the middle of a work day are actually in a position to drop a significant amount of money on sports tickets? If this is the only way you go about doing your job, there is no ticket sales god that you can pray to who'll get you to the top of the sales board.


Here's another bullet proof fact. Everyone on that ticket buyer list a great lead. It's a list of people who made the decision to purchase your product and spend way too much money. It's insanity. If any other industry got these leads, they would attack the prospects Hunger Games-style until they reached every last one of them. I should know...I was in one of those environments! When we had a request to purchase one of our white paper research articles, I literally saw physical confrontations for the lead.


Yet we call them with the same 'ho-hum, just a ticket buyer' approach, day-in, day-out. And that couldn't be more wrong. We need to launch a full-scale attack on these leads. Each lead needs to be hunted down until they give you a 'no' or a 'yes'. It's insanity that we call them once, say they're not interested, send the lead back to our boss...and then they don't get called for another three months. INSANITY!


People are busy...they have shit to do! I wrote this column at 6 am in the morning because I have to record two podcasts, have two business calls, have a video presentation I'm working on, and have two kids I have to shepherd around town, while staying on top of my emails...TODAY! I'm not bragging...that's just the truth. If a Houston-based sports team called me to sell me tickets today, it's not that I'm not interested...I just have lots of shit to do! But I would probably buy...eventually. I'm a good lead...and I'm sitting on three teams' call lists in the area right now.


So...what should a rep do? Here are three things you should do today, with the next B2C lead list you get:

  1. Set a Goal to Reach All Leads Over 2 Weeks: You won't, but you won't even come close if total and complete victory is not your goal. Track this goal daily. This isn't a revenue goal. It's not a call or talk time goal. It's a 'Did I talk to them? Yes or No,' goal.

  2. CHANNEL STACKING: This is why you paid the big bucks to read this article. People respond to different types of messages. I respond best to a direct phone call, which makes me a dinosaur in today's day-and-age. You shouldn't guess what that is for your client. Over the two weeks, they should receive at least two phone calls, two emails, and one social media contact (preferably LinkedIn). Most people list their cell, so no reason not to try that. Six organized contacts over two weeks. There should be a call to action on each ('You spent too much money...I want to help!' usually works for me), and each should say when and how you are reaching back out to them. This is not desperation, this is earning their business. I can't buy from you if I never talk to you. I'm busy, you're either going to have to get lucky (6 shots are better than 1), or prove to me you're not going away.

  3. Look Back Through the Looking Glass: You were once a fan. How would you feel if you knew someone who could save you money on a sporting event? That would be pretty cool. What got you excited about going to pro sports events? Make sure your clients know that...and feel like they are working with a real fan. What would have made you sit up and take notice if someone called you? Make sure you think about that and use it when you're reaching out that amount of times in a short period of time. What would make you excited to talk to someone...not annoyed that they called so much? These are all critical questions to ensure your approach, to a lot of contacts, is valued...not ignored.

Ticket buyer leads are where just about every salesperson starts...and where many salespeople continue their careers. Every one of us has had to make these calls. They can be numerous, and there can be a lot of non-connects...but there are absolutely sales here. There are hundreds...to thousands...to hundreds of thousands of people that purchase our product incorrectly every year. If we can connect them to us, personally, and educate them about our opportunities...we will make sales. But people are busy. And buying tickets are no one's priority. We have to move that opportunity up their ladder of priority by being diligent in attempting to connect to them, and educating them about how we can help them. Get after it!