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  • Brett Zalaski

The 'I Don't Feel Comfortable Coming Back During #COVID19' Objection


As more and more teams are opening their gates to fans, there are a few teams that are easily filling their smaller capacities. Others are finding it WAY more difficult. Even with the stadiums being outside. Older fans are hesitant to go back, and younger fans don't necessarily have the means in this weakened economy.


And the above objection isn't going to be just localized to this moment. If you look at any report, fans will be hesitant to re-enter a stadium anywhere from 4 to 6 to 12 months from when the team gets back.


So, as we go outbound, we're going to hear this objection...a lot. How can we handle it?


First things first, you need to have respect that everyone's situation is unique and everyone's timeline should be respected. Arguing that it's safe when they say this isn't going to win you any sales. It's not about YOUR comfort...it's about THEIRS. And that's an ENTIRELY personal feeling.


So what can we say? Here's a mock conversation:


PROSPECT: I just don't think I'm ready to get back out to the stadium in this environment.


SELLER: Just so I know, is that a personal feeling, or issues or challenges with the safety protocols we're putting in place?


PROSPECT: It's a little of both, for sure, but it's mostly on my side.


SELLER: When do you think you'll feel more comfortable coming back? Do you just want to see it successfully done first, or is it just when you feel more comfortable about the current environment?


PROSPECT: I still think it's a very personal thing, but I'd obviously like to see it play out first.


SELLER: Are we talking about this as a 2022 thing, or do you think you'll be back in 2021?


PROSPECT: For sure 2021, but probably a little later on down the line.


SELLER: Well, I've got two recommendations. First off, when the stadium is completely empty, I'd love to have you down so you can see first hand the protocols we're putting in place to keep you safe.


Second, we have a Choose-Your-Own plan that...


First off, I'd never do that last part together, but, for the sake of time, I did. A couple of things:

  • Qualify, Qualify, Qualify: You see I qualified to make sure there was real interest, and interest in coming this year. Don't just let them off the hook when they say this, unless they really push on it. Get them to commit to coming this year...or let them move to next year. Either is fine and is to be respected, but ensure you're getting that quality of information.

  • Tailor, Tailor, Tailor: I did this in two ways. I tailored my approach away from selling in the first instance towards getting them to the stadium. In the second part, I chose a ticket plan that gave them as much control over their situation as possible. But both decisions were made to be tailored to the person I sold to.

  • Empathy, Empathy, Empathy: If they pushed back on either of these, or had put their foot down firmer, I would have walked away. There's no reason to push on anyone who is cautious coming back. It's absolutely their right and we have no business pushing fans further away by making them feel bad for choosing not to game. Urgency is awesome in sales, but being a flat out asshole won't win you anything.