The Sales Commandments According to This Disciple

The Sales Commandments According to This Disciple
by Carson Heady – April 2013

Sales is a psychology; a profitable sport by which we engage clients, build relationships and seek the perfect balance for the holy sales trinity: customer, company and you.  Without all of these entities in mind, the transaction and stability suffers.

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Rob Kristiniak
Rob Kristiniak

As a sales person you always need to be working on your craft and being innovative. Sometimes that will involve doing things outside of your comfort zone. At the end of the day it’s the innovation and creativity that separates you from the rest of the pack.[/dropshadowbox]That said, there are certain fundamentals we must ingrain in each and every leg of the sales process; without them, our process is defunct and the results will tell that story.  Remember: results do not define us, but they do not lie.  If there is a breakdown in your process, your results will be broken, too.

  1. BE PROACTIVE AND THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.  A major area of opportunity of many salespeople is their predisposition of wanting to follow the leaders or be like others; fit in, follow the beaten path.  But why be like everyone else?  That makes one average.  Blaze your own trail.  Stand out.  Reach out for more customers; do not just accept the low-hanging, less challenging fruit.  Don’t get me wrong: you pick up every bit of fruit you can find – small or big.  Nevertheless, always think of innovative ways to put yourself in front of new clients.  Like a billboard on a busy freeway, be where your customers are looking and show them why you’re the one they need to pay attention to.  Doing so puts you in position to guide the process.  Not doing so puts the customer in control and your paycheck and career are in their hands.
  2. LISTEN.  Salespeople often ask me how to overcome certain objections, but they fail to realize that if they had set the right foundation they would be using the customers’ own words in the presentation, the close and any necessary overcomes.  Your words and philosophies pale in comparison in the customers’ minds to their own; listen and learn their language so you can speak it.  Find out what you need to know from the customer so you can diagnose their situation; where do the gaps lie?  How can you plug those gaps?  How are you going to make them realize that jettisoning their comfortable, familiar ways of doing business and going with you is going to be better?  You can’t get there unless your ears perk up and you get them doing the talking.[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]
    Linday Beale
    Lindsay Beale

    The most important part of the sales process is to put the customer first by listening. If you ask the right questions they will lead you down a path allowing you to make a recommendation based on what your product can offer them. As you follow-up you that let them know your call is to help them accomplish their goals, not just sell a seat location.[/dropshadowbox]

  3. REACT.  React to everything, and know when to use your information.  You can be the smartest person in the room – great.  However, if you are simply unloading jargon and facts on your potential client, are you showing them why your way of doing business is better?  Knowledge is power, but knowing when and how to use it is even more effective.  Improve your pitch, but perfect your reaction.  If you role play, don’t practice improbable scenarios; get used to setting the right foundation and knowing how to react to every objection your client throws at you.  See objections before they happen and address potential hitches before your customer even can.  You will see many customers, but only a few themes; master those themes and there’s no slipping one by your goalie.
  4. FOLLOW UP.  Unfortunately, no matter how effective a closer you are, the sale will not always happen on your timetable.  Don’t get me wrong: you need to do everything you can to build trust and determine why specifically the customer is not doing business today.  But if they leave the table for a viable reason, you must have an organized, prompt and thorough follow up process in place.  Customers will “browse” or “do research” and finally get tired enough to do business and pay more elsewhere if you do not stay front and center in their universe.  Follow up within 24 hours to a week and reignite the lead.  You cannot win them all, but you can nurture them all to as close to completion as possible.  That’s your job.  If you can look back on every transaction and know you did everything you could to earn the business, you did your job.  Congratulations.
  5. MASTER THE GAME.  There are ups and downs; when you’re up, ride the wave.  When you’re down, make sure you behave – according to process, that is.  You may get the shanks in your golf game or your baseball hitting suffers, but do you drastically change your swing to get back to desired results?  Of course not.  You have to envelop yourself in the process.  You also must learn the playing field – how can you make money where you currently are not?  What best practices are others using?  Steal them shamelessly; those who execute best are the best.

Finally, refresh and recharge often.  You need to make sure you are the person you were on interview day.  Play for the love of the game, the adoration of the crowd and the benefit of the customer and you will be victorious.

 

 

 

8 Ways to Eliminate Negativity Once and For All

8 Ways to Eliminate Negativity Once and For All
by Dan Rockwell – April 2013

Bad weighs more than good

One bad experience outweighs one good. A gallon of bad weighs more than a gallon of good.

Setbacks nag; success whispers.

You overemphasize what went wrong and minimize what went right. Down is easier than up.

Small setbacks increase frustration more than small successes enhance satisfaction.

One negative defeats one positive. It’s worse! One negative defeats two positives. It takes three positives to off-set one negative. It takes 2.9013 gallons of positive to sweeten one gallon of negative.*

One gallon of positive won’t sweeten one gallon of negative.

Now you know why negative environments are easy.

Boats with holes

There’s a hole in your boat. Bad experiences gush in; good experiences jump ship.

Find the good before the bad sinks you.

Thank more. Cheer more. Pat on the back more, much more.

Plugging holes

When boats are sinking you can bail water or plug the hole! Or jump ship. Assume you’re in for the long haul.

Preventing one bad creates more buoyancy than appreciating one good. Why? Because bad outweighs good.

Do more good by eliminating one bad.

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  1. Eliminate negative employees.
  2. Remove obstacles. Organizations create hoops, sign offs, and regulations that make work harder. Ask, “What’s slowing you down?” When you find out, remove it or smooth the way.
  3. Stop belittling. Work that isn’t valued isn’t meaningful.
  4. End frustrations. Explore frustrations with employees, don’t ignore them, end them.[/dropshadowbox]

Throw out bad – good comes back

Still more:

  1. Focus on progress not failures. Constantly. You’re falling behind if you don’t. Better wins.
  2. Transform setbacks into progress by making them learning events.
  3. Respect. Welcome ideas. Don’t dismiss suggestions, explore them. Off-handed rejection belittles.
  4. Agree on outcomes then let go. Freedom energizes; control drains.

The pursuit of excellence is fueled by positive environments.

Positive environments aren’t accidents, leaders build them.

Eliminate bad.

Shout the good.

Whisper correction.


Team Discussion

How can leaders counteract the pull of negative gravity?

How does how you act away from work affect how you act at work?

 

* Research on the bad outweighs good.[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Who else can benefit from eliminating negativity? To dump the bad and load up on good? [/dropshadowbox]

Top 20 Tips for Blogging and Writing Good

Top 20 Tips for Blogging and Writing Good
by Kirk Wakefield – April 2013

Why you should be blogging

Your profile picture may be ridiciously good looking and you may already write good like Derek Zoolander. But why should you write anything for others to read? Because you have something to say–and if you work for a team you have a built in audience. [dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Little known fact about John Grisham

john grisham

John and I were church ushers together in Oxford, Mississippi. Some time after getting to know John, The Pelican Brief was published with a character named F. Sims Wakefield. Unfortunately, F. shoots himself. So, I was never certain if his outcome was just because he was a lawyer or maybe the impression I left on John. [/dropshadowbox]

You may not think of yourself as a writer. But, if you follow these guidelines, in time, you’ll be as popular as my friend John Grisham.

CEOs from major corporations use blogs as a way to build personal and corporate brand equity. You can follow some of the best here.

Top 20 tips for blogging

Adapted from McGraw Hill’s Online Marketing book, we share the Top 20 Tips for writing ideas.

Note: Read this book if doing anything in digital marketing.

  1. Write as simply as possible. Like that.
  2. Keep it short. See?
  3. Plan a writing schedule and keep it. See #5.
  4. Make a list of topics to cover. Think about your target market.
  5. Look at the calendar. What’s in season?
  6. Create editorial departments. Like a magazine.
  7. Stay informed. Try www.google.com/alerts.
  8. Look to the key phrases for inspiration. What is trending? 
  9. Take advantage of inspiration. Write down clever thoughts during the day. Or night.
  10. Plan “think pieces.” Provide background, analysis, and opinions. 400-500 words.
  11. Slice the onion thinly. Divide longer pieces into part 1 & 2. Stay tuned.
  12. Author how-to articles. Like this one.
  13. Include educational articles. Be authoritative. Research and facts help.
  14. Share your checklists. What works for you? Make a list. With numbers. Like this one.
  15. Try a Top 10 list. Or even 20.
  16. Interview people in your industry. Now you have an excuse.
  17. Embed videos from YouTube or elsewhere. Videos engage. Try it.
  18. Link to podcasts. Then add your opinion.
  19. Outsource to experts. Get a guest blogger. Day off!
  20. Get the best blogging advice everyday. Where? Here.

What sells?

According to the same Online Marketing book, six things:

  1. Comparisons between two competing ideas or products.
  2. Problems solved. How have people made mistakes doing something? Show pitfalls and how to do it right.
  3. A better way. Sure, that’s a good way, but have you tried this “cool trick”?
  4. New uses. People forget what used to work still works. Or maybe it’s used elsewhere (corporations), but not here (music, sports, entertainment).
  5. New features, new prices, and, well, news. What’s new?
  6. User stories. (No, not drugs.)People trust people like them. What have you or others you know used and it worked?

Looking for something to write for the S3 Report? If you work in professional/collegiate sports or affiliated agencies/brands, pick a topic from one of the six that sell and you can start today. Or in the off-season. Either way, let me know.

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]S3 Editor Contact Info: Kirk_Wakefield@baylor.edu or connect via LinkedIn.[/dropshadowbox]

Do you need a blueprint for executing sales events?

Do you need a blueprint for executing sales events?
by Deno Anagnost – April 2013

The secret to success with sales events is paying attention to detail and then follow-through, as we discussed in our first article. Now we get down to specifics of how we executed one of our sales events at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Who: We invited 150 of our top premium prospects interested in buying Stadium Club Season Passes or seats in our Legends Suite product.  These potential customers were fairly far along in the sales process.  Other departments involved were our:

  1. Events department in setting up and planning the event,
  2. Creative Services department for designing the email invitation for the event, and our
  3. Database Marketing department to help us identify the best possible leads to target.

What: This was an exclusive cocktail party for prospects to meet one of our all-time greats and to get a behind the scenes look at our state of the art training facility. The idea is to offer an experience they can’t buy and can’t get anywhere else.

When: The Mike Alstott Cocktail party was held Wednesday March 13th at 6pm-8pm. Wednesdays is the least scheduled night of the week for kids’ sports, so we scheduled it for prospects to attend right after getting off work.

Where: The party was located in the main lobby of One Buccaneer Place, the training facility and headquarters of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The main issue is convenience, but also enough space for ease-of-movement to not feel crowded, but also not too big so guests could feel isolated. We also wanted to make it easy for our sales reps to get around to all the guests.

Why: The purpose for this event was to make it easier to get face to face with key decision makers and show them the type of events they would be a part of in the future once becoming a Stadium Club or Legends Suite Member.  Each event is designed to drive revenue, and create a one of a kind experience for our guests.

How:

  1. Invitations: Personalized attention by first inviting over the phone and then an email invitation to the event so we could fill all of our available space for the event.
  2. Arrival: Upon arrival guests were personally greeted and invited to enjoy appetizers, beer, wine and soda.
  3. Entertainment: An acoustic cover band helped transform our lobby into a high end lounge.
  4. Opening: Director of Sales Ben Milsom thanked the crowd for coming and provided a run down of how the evening would go.
  5. The Main Event: Mike Alstott took photos and signed autographs with our prospects.
  6. Selling: During the event we had all hands on deck. Account Executives engaged their prospects further in a sales discussion which involved asking for, and receiving orders for seats face to face at the event.
  7. The Takeaway: Each guest received a tour of our facility and left with a framed photo taken of them at the event and also received a  Buccaneer flag.

Results: From this event we were able to close important sales in a great experiential setting. Guests were in the right frame of mind and our reps were able to listen and share the benefits of membership in the club.

Becoming a great boss: The secret of managing millennials

Becoming a great boss: The secret of managing millennials
by Rocky Harris – April 2013

Does Gen Y get a bad rap?

gen ages
Source: www.lifecourse.com

The generation currently entering the workforce gets a bad rap. They are seen as entitled, spoiled and difficult to manage. They don’t follow rules. They expect to be rewarded without working for it.

While some of this may be true (see chart below), the truth is each generation is misunderstood and treated unfairly by the older generations. I remember when it happened to me.

Back to the future

The stereotype of my generation (Gen X) was we were underachievers known for cutting corners. Slackers.

In 2000, I was a recent college graduate interning at the San Francisco 49ers. One day I left early to attend a graduate sport management class at the University of San Francisco, about 90 minutes away. One of our seasoned executives said, “Typical youngster these days…sneaking out early. Has anyone in your generation ever worked a full day?”

Instead of letting him know I worked full-time for the 49ers with 12 hours of graduate courses and a part-time job on the weekends, I decided to leave without defending the truth or acknowledging his ignorance.

That day left a mark on me, making me dig deeper into why he would make a generalization without knowing me personally. That would be like me saying, “I’m surprised you’re still awake this late in the day old man. Isn’t it time for a nap?”

From that day forward, I realized like most stereotypes, creating generalizations about generations isn’t productive.

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”550px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]”I employ the belief that every individual should be communicated to in a way that will yield results,” said Kristen Gambetta Director of Client Services for the Houston Dynamo. “While there are generational qualities that come into play, it is important to get to know the individual to learn how to effectively motivate him or her to action. If you put your co-workers in a box based on their generation you may not be getting the most out of them.”[/dropshadowbox]

Forgetting to remember

At one point in my career I forgot the lesson I learned.

When I first became a manager, I would complain about the generation below me: “They expect to be president of a team by the time they are 25 without doing any work to get there. They show up to work whenever they want rather than at 8 am when everyone else gets here.” Sound familiar?

I was guilty of doing exactly what I complained about when I was younger.  I stepped back and understood I painted everyone with the same broad brush. It wasn’t fair.

Managing differently

In a survey conducted by Lee Hecht Harrison, more than 60% of employers experience tension between employees from different generations.

A good manager or leader manages each person differently. Why? Because they’re different. Each employee is motivated by different factors. You have to know when to pull the right levers.gen Y traits2

What do you do with the 22 year old who thinks he can be team president at 25? Tap into ambition to get the most out of them. What about the one who gets to the office later than others? Look at productivity. As long as they stay late and get the work done, does it really matter when they arrive?

Even though this generation has a unique set of values, expectations, and approaches to work, so do people of ALL ages. The reason why people have a tough time understanding other generations is the same reason why managers have a challenging time managing employees: No two people are the same and they shouldn’t be treated as such.

John Wooden said, “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” The only way to correct without causing resentment is to figure out what motivates and treat them accordingly.

[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”550px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]“I find it unique to work with such a wide range in ages, said Houston Texans Senior Director of Communications, Kevin Cooper. “I find lots of knowledge can be exchanged between the generations. The ability to communicate and find common ground is where we need to be. There are modern problems that can use experienced solutions and older issues that require modern ingenuity. There in the middle–where  respectful dialogue lies–is where business can move forward.”[/dropshadowbox]

A message to millennials

My guess is the young men and women entering the workforce deal with these generalizations throughout their young careers. My advice is to not make the same mistake I once did. Don’t pass judgment on other generations. First, consider what motivates and drives those older than your generation. Second, as you progress in your career and start managing people, don’t be quick to judge the next generation behind you. And, third, always remember what Mark Twain said, “All generalizations are false, including this one.”

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A take from the front of the class

Michael Lysko
Michael Lysko

As a Baby Boomer I’ve taught and coached Gen X and Gen Y. Here’s my take on Millennials:

  1. Don’t underestimate their work ethic and desire to succeed.
  2. When it comes to entitlement and career goals, I don’t think that they are any different from Gen X’ers in that they want to be recognized and rewarded for effort and achievement.
  3. They seem to have an inherent sense of fairness. They don’t trust the mainstream media to give an unbiased view.
  4. Media consumption patterns are much different than earlier generations–in that their interests are much more narrow and social media involves an exchange of ideas as opposed to an authoritative voice on the 6:00 news.
  5. Most respect authority, but are more willing to question authority when they feel strongly about an issue.
  6. Trust must be earned on an individual basis. It doesn’t exist simply because of your title.
  7. They may not expect to remain with a single employer for an extended period of time. They learned from their parents that circumstances can change quickly. They want to be in a position that allows the freedom to make choices that are in their own best interests. [/dropshadowbox]

Source of header pic: www.scottfilmer.com

 

Here’s a method to turn sponsorship assets into answers

Here’s a method to turn sponsorship assets into answers
by Bill Glenn – April 2013

Assets or answers?

[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Selling Blindth_ups_logo

I’m obviously not a big fan of blind, asset-based proposals where it is apparent that the property has no understanding of our brand and what we’re trying to accomplish. We get hundreds of these a week.

J.W. Cannon

Most of those salespeople seem more concerned about how we can bring value to their pocketbook than how their property can bring value to UPS – almost a transactional relationship.

The fact that they don’t take the time to research and understand our business during the pitch process tells us a lot about how they’d likely be as a potential partner.

Instead, tailor the proposal to meet sponsor goals. Don’t make the sponsor work too hard. The words “opportunity to do ‘X’” should never make it into a proposal. The sponsor already knows that; they’re looking for solutions, not more stuff to do.

[/dropshadowbox]

In this age of branded content, properties offer rights to marks to enhance the ability to create brand context. New digital signage offers better image and really “pops.”  The property’s social media accounts offer scale to create potential value.  All of this is true.

But these are assets not answers.

Brands seek solutions. Too often, properties continue trying to sell assets. Failing to convert assets into answers short circuits client meetings and loses sales.

Properties must take a good look in the mirror and ask the tough question: “Do we take an answers or assets approach to selling?”

Don’t make an asset out of yourself

Of course, most will respond “answers.” The reality lies in your “go to” presentation approach. Does your typical presentation:

  • Outline the broad demographics of your fan base–without customizing to the client’s primary target?
  • Highlight new digital signage–without considering the client’s communication objectives?
  • Feature the volume of followers or likes–without discussing the real value to each specific client?

An assets approach focuses on the needs and benefits of the property. An answers approach focuses on the needs of the brand and how to integrate assets into a plan to lift the brand.

The answers approach

An answers approach addresses three primary questions brands contemplate during a presentation:

1. Does this property enable us to communicate with our primary target market?  If you’re speaking to the client and don’t know and understand their primary target, the client hears the same thing Charlie Brown heard from his teacher: “Wa, Wa, Wa.”  The starting block of any partnership provides this answer–does the property deliver the brand’s target market? Offering little or no convincing data you deliver a sizable piece of this target means little or no chance of closing a deal.  For example, that huge millennial audience you deliver through social media is simply an unrelated asset if the brand’s target is baby boomers.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss2hULhXf04

2. How does our target market consume the content and experiences this property offers? Are the content & experiences consistent with our brand marketing strategy and approach? Brands want to integrate not interrupt. Where and how is the brand’s target market investing time and passion? Integrate with context rather than interrupt with contests.   Touting contests is an assets approach. Discussing context is an answers approach.

Context: Context refers to how the target engages the brand via the property. Is it at home in front of the television? On site at events? Online with social media or website content? In-store buying merchandise? Sharing the engagement context confirms the target is a significant part of your fan base. You show you understand which assets will engage the target in line with the brand’s strategy.

3. How will this property motivate my target market to ultimately think, feel, and act differently about our brand? Brands invest in sponsorships for generally one of four reasons: To build brand awareness, impact brand perception, sell product(s)/service(s) or generate/drive leads.   Properties must determine which objective(s) brands are trying to achieve.

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Renewals Too verizon-logo

It’s especially important to a company in the technology sector like ours that properties take the time to understand our business needs, goals and objectives before proposing anything.

Jeff Fink

We will often encourage pre-proposal calls to discuss those things in order to avoid wasting time on a “packaged” proposal.

It can be even more frustrating in a renewal scenario where a property doesn’t check in to ask about current business direction. Things move and evolve quickly in our category and we need properties that acknowledge that fact and respond accordingly.[/dropshadowbox]

Benefits of the Answers Approach

Brands come to properties because they have questions. An answers approach:

  • shows initiative,
  • drives meaningful conversation,
  • enhances the productivity of a meeting, and
  • enables a property to present an opportunity to positively impact their business.

Assets might grab attention and really “pop.” Answers uncork potential. So find a brand and go “pop” some questions.

Can social media make or break interview chances?

Can social media make or break interview chances?
by Jeannette Salas – April 2013

Social Media, Networking, Common 1st Year Mistakes, and Tips for Success

Social media shows up in the most unusual places

Employers frequently search candidates on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linked In, and blogs to see what they find.  Maybe they find a cute picture of your dog (Griffie, above). Or maybe other things not so cute.

Some employers may say, “What you do outside of the organization is your own business.” But, at the end of the day, employers want great company representation 24/7/365.

The best way to find out what potential employers can see is to Google yourself.  How can you manage your social media and use it to your advantage? Don’t publish anything in social media you wouldn’t want your mother (or next employer) to read or see.

While running a minor league sports team, a few arena employees were tweeting opinions on our low attendance one night. Once received on others’ feeds, tweets can’t be erased. Their comments were out there for the world to see, including their boss (me), our fans and customers and most importantly, any future employers of theirs. These young employees underestimated the power of social media, almost lost their jobs and could have damaged chances for employment elsewhere.

Social media is the new extension of your resume.

In what is an already difficult job market, employers use social media to eliminate candidates, even those with great resumes. As a hiring manager, once I found candidates I wanted to interview, I first looked them up in four places: Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (images included). If anything at all gave me the sense they were unprofessional or wouldn’t represent our company well, they were eliminated immediately. While it’s cool to post fun pictures from your last vacation with your friends, think about who might see those pictures and how they may be construed.

Managing Social Media

  1. Make sure your profile picture is appropriate.  Microsoft Outlook pulls up your social media profile picture whenever an email is received directly from you.  Not sure a keg stand (or any other “party” picture) would get you in for an interview.    THINK PROFESSIONAL!
  2. Beware of content in personal blogs!  Everyone is subject to their own opinions BUT negative and/or inaccurate content can come back to haunt you. (See cancel culture circa 2021.)
  3. Social media outlets allow you to reach millions of people in seconds.  Use it to your advantage when searching for jobs/internships.  Let friends and family members know you are looking for a position.

Networking

When it comes to sports business careers, networking is king. Like everything else in life, it always comes down to relationships.

  1. Stay in touch. When you make a contact keep in touch. Forward your resume immediately after contact.  Make contact at least every 6 months and after career achievements like graduation, obtaining a certificate [e.g., HR Cert, Sales Cert, etc], or an award.
  2. Join professional organizations and relevant social media networking sites and groups on LinkedIn like the S3 Report,  Ticket Sales & Technology, or Ticket Sales Best Practices.
    • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and professional in appearance.
    • These are great ways to connect with professionals that may be able to help you on your career path and offer insight, as well as search for positions.
    • Some groups and individuals frequently post open positions. Follow them.

Common First Year Mistakes

Mistakes entry-level employees tend to make during the first year of employment:

  1. Lack of communication: Afraid to ask questions or for help; don’t call in when out sick; no notification of being late.
  2. Staying out of spotlight: Make an IMPACT within the organization; get involved in committees, events, etc.; EVERYONE should know who you are or at least heard of you.
  3. Poor networking: Get to know employees in other departments.  This isn’t high school – don’t fall into a clique.  Attend all company events – GREAT networking opportunity!
  4. Not leading:  Don’t be scared to pitch ideas/take lead on projects. You bring a fresh thought process to the table – voice your ideas!  Volunteer to take the lead on a project to develop leadership and project management skills.
  5. Complaining: DO NOT complain. PERIOD!  Complaining is:
    1. unprofessional,
    2. unattractive, and
    3. unpromotable. People will not want to work with you or consider you for other positions within the organization. They will think of positions for you outside the organization.
  6. Inflexibility:  Adapting to change is important. Business can change at the drop of a hat.  Be open to new ways of completing tasks or approaching scenarios.  Flexibility helps you grow with and within an organization and seamlessly transition into another one.

 Tips for Success

  1. Continue learning. Stay abreast with the latest in your field.  Attend training, seminars, conferences, and certificate programs.
  2. Ask for help. Not sure? Ask for clarification and guidance. Then you’ll be able to help others who don’t know.
  3. Ask for feedback. Feedback lets you know how you are doing and where you are lacking.  This is essential for professional growth and development.
  4. Communicate. Make sure lines of communication are always clear and open.
  5. Create Raving Fans. A customer service based fundamental: All co-workers should enjoy working with you because your product is top quality and you are great to work with.  If people like working with you they are more willing to help and listen to you.
  6. Read self-help books. Start with How to Win Friends and Influence Others and Emotional Intelligence.  These are great books to help you continue growing both personally and professionally.
  7. Look to the future. Keep moving forward. Plan your career and move towards your ultimate goal.

Reinforcement from the Houston Astrosastros

I agree with all Jeannette points out. Two related thoughts to share:

Don’t underestimate the importance of a resume-appropriate email address. Stick with the traditional last name, first name (or some version of name). This format is simple and it works. An unprofessional address can mean the difference in a team contacting you regarding a job or passing you over for lack of professionalism.

In the interview, be sure to follow the lead of your interviewer. When you are informed at the beginning of the interview that this is going to be a quick phone screen (e.g., 10 minutes on Handshake), stick within that time frame. Everyone’s time is valuable. Sometimes you only have a short time span to sell yourself…PRACTICE THAT SKILL. It proves you can be clear, succinct and respectful of other people’s time. Consider it to be an extended elevator speech.

PS: That said, you need a 30-second elevator speech and a USP of eight words or less about who you are. Read m0re about branding you in our next article here.

~Jennifer Springs, HR, Houston Astros

 

 

 

 

Ticketing technology: How can we reduce barriers for renewals?

Ticketing technology: How can we reduce barriers for renewals?
by Chris Faulkner – April 2013

As technology rapidly moves forward and clients become more savvy using social media and mobile technology, we need to adapt the way we conduct our ticketing business. 

Premium seating, in particular, deals with ample amounts of data from proposals from salespeople, accounts, data, contracts, and paperwork.  With all of the fancy mobile devices, apps, and tablet technology, how can we start to simplify processes to get better results, more sales and more renewals?

Tuning into the right channel

At the Denver Broncos we turned to Channel 1 Media and their e-brochure technology platform.  The e-signature technology was key in order to create fewer hurdles to doing business and simplify our internal processes.

This past season we had 2,691 seats up for renewal in our United Club, giving our small service staff a huge task in getting all accounts renewed and more importantly making a large piece of our total revenue pie at risk.  The e-renewal piece would capitalize on the excitement of the season, but more significantly allow our clients to sign their renewal electronically in a couple of simple steps.

In years past we created a printed brochure, including personal mail merged contract information specific to each account, mail out, and follow up with a phone campaign to chase down renewals.  Our clients would then have to sign the renewal contract, mail or scan back to us, we would countersign and email or mail back to the client: a painfully slow and dated process.

Rescuing at-risk renewals

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Dennis Moore
Dennis Moore

At the Denver Broncos we strive to be on the forefront of ticketing technology as it evolves into the future. Our goal is to create efficiencies for our staff and allow more frequent and easier interaction with our most valued clients. [/dropshadowbox]The e-renewal piece also allowed us to capture the specific renewal data in real time and target specific “at risk” accounts over the course of the 4 -week renewal period.  We had 883 unique Personal URLs (PURLS) created for our 2,691 expiring seats.  After emailing out we could see immediately who clicked on their links, what pages they were viewing, how long they were on the site, and ultimately when they signed the renewal.

Once signed, an email notification was sent directly to the service rep on the account for follow up.  Over 85% of the links were clicked through multiple times. We were able to renew at our highest percentage since the building opened.  We targeted accounts not opening the link along with those that opened but had not e-signed the renewal yet.  We also converted the same piece to an iPad application for service reps to take to present the offer on face-to-face appointments in-game and outside the office.

Looking forward

As a sales manger, reporting real time data and understanding the behavior of clients helps the organization as we make pricing and renewal incentive decisions moving forward.  The ultimate focus, creating less hurdles for the customer, in turn, resulted in a higher renewal rate.   By embracing the growing technological developments, ticketing and client service operations become more efficient while providing an overall exceptional experience for the client.

 

 

Evolution of analytics in sports: What’s next?

Evolution of analytics in sports: What’s next?
by Aaron LeValley – April 2013

There has always been the adage that professional sports teams are 5-10 years behind the ‘normal’ business world in terms of technology, business practices, and strategy. Are we starting to see the sports industry close that gap? After seeing some of the topics discussed at the 7th annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference, it seems we’re heading in the right direction.

Money got the ball rolling

The movement began in the early 2000’s with the evolution of “Moneyball” on the personnel side. Baseball led the way in utilizing complex statistical analyses to determine personnel and in-game decisions.

On the business side, teams and leagues explored the database marketing and CRM frontier by hiring individuals to help sales teams manage clients and prospects. We then saw the evolution of the database marketing role into deeper, more complex analyses with lead scoring models, retention models, and more.

Russell Scibetti
Russell Scibetti

Russell Scibetti, Director of Relationship Marketing for the New York Jets said, “From when I first began over three years ago to where we are today, the Jets have seen the benefits of taking a deeper look at our season ticket holders and fans.”

Recently, we’ve seen organizations create roles extending beyond database marketing into business analytics. Aggressive teams are hiring individuals who:

  • can help price tickets to maximize revenue,
  • build complex reporting and marketing queries, and
  • dive into sponsorship valuation.

Catching up

Which brings me back to this year’s Sports Analytics Conference. Rather than just focusing on sales and marketing, we saw research on topics like

  • multi-model neuroimaging to analyze the batter’s recognition of a baseball pitch,
  • an NFL presentation explaining how the time of day and gender affect the way sales teams should approach a sales call, and
  • great panels on how analytics influence social media, sponsorship, and customer loyalty.

All of these demonstrate how the sports industry is putting a greater emphasis on being more business savvy, using analytics to catch up to the ‘normal’ business standard.

Vincent Ircandia
Vincent Ircandia

Vincent Ircandia, Vice President of Business Operations for the Portland Trail Blazers, “We are using analytics within all aspects of our organization from finance to sponsorship, to broadcasting and beyond, and have buy-in from the top on down.”

Ideas for analytics projects

As your organization moves forward in this area, here are three projects implemented at various teams that can help:

1)      Sales & Service: Build a model that predicts a season ticket holder’s likelihood to renew

2)      Ticket Operations:  Create a new reporting structure with tools like EXCEL and advanced SQL reporting services

3)      Finance: Work with management and finance to build 5-10 yr pro forma financial models forecasting  revenues and expenses

What types of analytics projects are your organization working on?  What’s next? We would greatly appreciate your feedback in the comments below.

 

 

How to get promoted in sports sales careers

How to get promoted in sports sales careers
by Rob Zuer – April 2013

What is success?

“True success comes to an individual by self satisfaction in knowing that you gave everything to become the very best you are capable of.” John Wooden

Wooden’s definition of success is the simple answer to the question every single person asks in a first job in sports and the key to happiness in life.

We don’t want or need the best salesperson. We want people striving every day to get better; people who feel deep satisfaction from more than revenue or commissions.

Positive Attitude

You will always have those around who can’t succeed or hate what they do.  Do not:

  • whine,
  • gossip,
  • talk negatively,
  • complain, or
  • get sucked into the herd.

They will drag you down. Do not associate with them.  Negativity spreads like a plague.  Keep a positive attitude about yourself and, more importantly, your organization.

Teamwork

Kelly Cheeseman
Kelly Cheeseman

How you work with others directly affects the perception of you as a future leader.

“The theme of this industry is teamwork. You need it on and off the field, court or ice. To be successful in all cases you need to have a great game plan, be a team player, and work hard to achieve the plan or goal,” emphasizes Kelly Cheeseman, Chief Operating Officer of AEG Worldwide.

P.J. Keene
P.J. Keene

P.J. Keene, Director of Group Sales for the Houston Astros, reminds us, “People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.”  To have influence, P.J. explains, “We must lead by example, focus on more than just your numbers, and care about our team.” 

In helping others get better to achieve the team’s overall goals, you brand yourself as a potential leader with a bright future.  Being number one on the board is not the only thing that gets you promoted.

 Five Ways to Improve

Positive attitude and teamwork are fundamental to success in the business of sports. How can we make ourselves better? 

  1. Find a Mentor

Seek out and learn from those individuals who have been there and done that.  If you want to be a quarterback in the NFL, you watch Manning, Brady, or Montana.  You copy throwing motion & mechanics and learn all they did to get to where you want to be.  This is no different in the sportsbiz careers.  Find the stars of the industry and learn from them. 

  1. There Is Nobody To Blame But Yourself

Successful people take responsibility for everything that happens to them and by them.  Take responsibility for your actions. Do not blame others or the situation.  No one will feel sorry for you or listen to excuses about how life is unfair. 

  1. School Is Not Over

Never stop learning.  Read books on any topic that makes you better.  Invest time in things that will help you succeed.  And dare I say it? Turn off the TV & video games. Why waste so much time in areas unrelated to your goals? 

  1. Screw Up!

Failure is the best teacher.  Take risks. Make mistakes.  The story goes that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he invented the light bulb.  When asked about this, he is quoted as saying, “I did not fail. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” 

  1. Set Goals

Have your goals in front of you.  Place them on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, front door, back door, closet, anywhere you can see them.  Make them an obsession.  Do not give up on them.

Will the job be difficult?

Sure. Don’t give up or get discouraged. The results and money will come. Love the journey to the destination.

Where will your journey take you?

 Failure
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison
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