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  • Brett Zalaski

Top 4 Things You NEED to Know to Sell

For a lot of the sales training stuff I'm talking about this month, I'll be referring back to my article on the Top 5 Way to Fix Your Sales Training/Evolve as a Salesperson. For the purposes of this article, we'll be focused on that first change...product knowledge.

People who have seen my sales training know how fervent I am about product knowledge. Ultimately, this is your job. I'm a sales trainer. I should know the sales process better than the people I'm coaching! There are many things sales training can teach you...product knowledge is something that you have to fight to get and understand. I also think it's your team's responsibility to help you on this journey. If your team isn't supporting you here...let me help!


Product Knowledge comes in four very important forms:

  1. Your Team: You need to know your team's roster, and their role on the team. You should know where the player's came from, and an exciting story about their journey to where they are today. You should have opinions on who your favorite players are and why. You should be able to discuss the fan favorites and why. Your ability to connect to your fans starts with you being a fan...and an expert. The least knowledgeable? You can educate them why these people are important. The most knowledgeable? You can hang with them in any conversation. This information is readily available on your team's internet, wikipedia, and I'd also recommend sitting with your PR team to learn more intricate stories on the players.

  2. Your Sport: Similar to the above, once you've tackled your team, you should start on your sport. I'd often joke that, prior to 2009, I literally have no knowledge of soccer. It's true. My knowledge of the sport falls off a cliff. But 2009 and on? I can hold a conversation with the most ardent soccer fan. It's important for every reason that we named above...and the more of a fan of the sport you are, the more that comes across in every conversation you have. The more enthusiasm you take into the conversation, the more energy you pass to the buyer, the more you sell. ESPN.com, wikipedia, and sports blogs and podcasts are great ways to speed up the education process if the sport you're in isn't one of great knowledge to you (like me with soccer)!

  3. Your Stadium: Part of being an expert means knowing your stadium as well as any fan. You should know where every section is from every entrance, and all the places where fans can go to buy popcorn or craft beer. You should know the stories behind cool parts of your stadium. You should have opinions on your various seat locations...good and bad. You should know where the lines are so you can go and find yourself some leads/sales. You should also be able to think creatively about what spaces can be used for groups. I had a rep in Columbus who, on a game where we had sold out all our normal group inventory, sold the back of the stage for a group! Literally the guts of the stadium. It was incredible. And it worked. Walk your stadium alone and make notes. Walk with a friend and talk opportunities. Put time on your calendar each week to sit in the different locations.

  4. Your Product Mix: You should know the overall cost of 2-8 season tickets or partial plans in each section. You should be able to name the benefits off the top of your head, and the perks to your premium seat holders. You should be able to name each offering you have available to you and the target audience for it at all times. You should be able to recite the ticket minimums or costs on each of your Fan Experience Packages and group area. I'm not trying to be difficult...this is your job. Your team managers and your team should be able to provide everything you need here.

As I said above, these things need to be attacked. Put time on your calendar each week to be come acquainted with each of the above. Often times we spend way too much time selling and forget to become an expert. I know that sounds crazy...but it's true if you think about it. That's why we need to take a concerted effort to ensure we train ourselves on the four areas above...and push daily towards being an expert on our product.