by David Pierce – February 2014
Identifying highly qualified leads can be an arduous, time consuming process. As a result, it is important to maximize every opportunity with your hottest leads.
Who is your hottest lead?
Instead of looking to the CRM system or hoping for a better leads list, think of your hottest lead as the customer with whom you developed a high trust relationship that resulted in a sale.
In a recently published study of over 500 sport salespeople,1 leveraging post-sale opportunities through upselling and referrals was identified as the most important factor driving the success of sport salespeople. This finding was ubiquitous across all leagues and types of salespeople.
Relationships = Referrals
According to Duane Haring, Director of Season Ticket Sales for the Houston Astros, relationship building is the foundation of leveraging post-sale opportunities. “You won’t get any referrals or upsell many clients if they don’t relate to and trust you. Building a strong relationship for the long haul with a client will yield many more referral and upselling opportunities over the life of that customer.”
Setting priorities to upsell
However, some salespeople fail to seize the opportunity. According to Jason Cohen, Director of Consumer Ticket Sales for the Indiana Pacers, “some salespeople don’t prioritize asking referrals and upselling and prefer to choose the path of least resistance.” Cohen noted that salespeople also fail to understand how an organization is structured, the role of the salesperson in a company, and their goals in using the tickets.
What should sales managers do?
Sales managers should assess a salesperson’s competence in leveraging post-sale opportunities by comparing the sales productivity of those who are committed to asking referral and upselling questions to those who do so less often.
- Be specific. Instead of asking a generic question like “who else might be interested,” narrow the customer’s thinking to a specific area. For example, “who else do you know in your office?”
- Refer back to needs analysis. Use facts gleaned in the needs analysis to identify other people in the customer’s social and business network that could use tickets to the game (youth sports coach, human resource manager at work, pastor at church, etc.).
- Do your homework. Put yourself in the shoes of the client to understand how their world works.
- Leverage social media. Use social media to identify who else is in a person’s business or social network.
- Identify new ways to use the product. Get customers thinking beyond the product they just purchased into new ways tickets and experiences can be used.
- Remember that people consume sport in social settings. Would the experience be more entertaining with four friends instead of just two?
- Bundle. Bundle game tickets with other ancillary purchases like parking, concessions, merchandise, and access to premium areas. Product features such as stored credit tickets and all-you-can-eat options can add to the total sale price.
- Know your product. Be able to describe the difference in seating quality between price points. Provide benefits for improving seating quality.
1 Pierce, D., Lee, D., & Petersen, J. (2014). Sport sales personnel perceptions of factors impacting job performance: A factor analysis of sport sales activities. International Journal of Sport Management, 15(1), 71-90.
Photo courtesy of Glotzmeister.