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  • Brett Zalaski

Top 5 Simple Mistakes We Make


One of the big misnomers in sales is that a sale comes down to how you act in the moment. The fact is, sales occur because of a number of small moments...many that occur before the salesperson even picks up the phone, or sends an email. One in-bound request to Empowerment of a Salesperson that I followed up on individually focused on why the rep was being inconsistent in her sales results. This created a longer conversation where we isolated 5 things she was doing wrong even before her process started. They are a good learning process for all #sportsbiz sales reps...so here they are:

  1. Read: Our CRM systems give us lots of information that we disregard. Were they a first time client? What type of ticket they bought (flash sale, normal individual, etc.)? How many times have they been out in the past? Where did they buy their seats? How much did they spend? What types of games have they bought (weekends, weekdays?)? Where do they live? Paralysis by analysis is a real thing, but using the information to be thoughtful in the way we communicate is also important. Each person wants to feel like our sales process has been personalized for them. That starts from the information we can glean from the lead itself.

  2. Have a Goal: Most reps go into their calls aimlessly. Take a second to think about what you want to accomplish on the call based on the information you read about above. If they are a new buyer, I'm probably aiming to get them into a partial plan. If they have come to multiple games, I'm probably aiming higher. If they came and brought 7 friends...I'm thinking about a group. You should always be prepared to go where the conversation leads, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't walk in aimlessly. Have a goal.

  3. Mindset: How are you feeling right now? How would that translate to the buyer? If you've called 50 people today and no one has picked up, are you genuinely ready for a positive conversation? If you got 10 'no's' this morning do you believe the next call is a 'yes'? It's ok if you answer both those questions no sometimes. It happens with me and it happens with everyone. However, if that's the case, take a walk around and get in a proper head space. Sometimes reps blindly rip through calls when they aren't doing well...and all that does is hurt our sales numbers, AND our potential clients.

  4. Know Your Open Cold: Potential customers hate being cold called. Potential customers don't like spending more money when they weren't prepared to do it. You're already playing from behind before you make the call...so don't hurt yourself more by stuttering, stammering, and generally being unprepared to catch someone. Smile, be engaging, and connect with them. They are looking for a reason to disengage...don't give them any.

  5. Intention: Get on the phone and tell the client you want to sell them more tickets. This keeps the conversation perpetually on track, it does not trick the client, and it allows you to get into more conversations directly related to tickets. Sometimes a client isn't ready to buy...and that's ok. That statistics will say that's highly probable. The more upfront you are, the more shocked you'll be at how many positive conversations you find yourself in. Don't avoid being a salesperson, embrace it.

These all should be small reminder, but hopefully they're helpful to have in one place. The more focused we are on getting into the sales process, shockingly, the more time we will spend having real sales conversations. It's not that hard.

There's a great scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall where Paul Rudd is trying to teach Jason Segel to surf. Segel keeps trying to do too much, and Paul Rudd keeps telling him to 'do less' or 'do nothing'. Then he does nothing...and Paul Rudd says, 'You have to do something.' That's exactly what sales is...we have to do the small somethings (see above), but do less overall. We spend a lot of time overthinking or sales. We never seem to find that happy middle ground. Ultimate we are only trying to get people to come to something that will enrich their lives and have them spend LESS money in the process. It's that simple.