5 keys to rising the ranks in sport sales

by alex portera - sr. premium sales consultant at legends | December 10, 2019

Just like most of you, I’ve always wanted to work in sports. Now four years into my career, I’ve found myself working on the largest sport and entertainment project in the industry. Working for Legends as a Senior Premium Sales Consultant for the Los Angeles Rams and SoFi Stadium, and it didn’t just happen overnight.

There were many things that played a part in getting to where I am today. I could go on and on talking about them, but I’m not a big reader myself so I want to keep this short and sweet for you. After looking back at my brief career, there are five keys that I believe are the reasons I've been able to grow and achieve success:

1)      Stay consistent

What you do on a day-to-day basis might change, but how you go about doing it needs to stay the same. This has a lot to do with your work ethic, attitude, positivity, and how you attack every day. You need to maintain a consistent level, especially in sport sales. You can’t get too high or too low. If you fluctuate a lot, it’s difficult to sustain success. There are many things you can’t control in sales, and this is one of the few that YOU can control.

2)      Be the expert

You need to know what you are selling like the back of your hand. Your client is most likely coming to you with a general idea of what you do, but they aren’t the expert. Most, if not all of us, are selling tickets to a sporting event or show and it isn’t rocket science. Take the time to learn exactly what you have to offer (packages, pricing, locations, etc.). This will help the client learn to trust you and look to you for advice on what they should do.

3)      Don’t “sell” - instead “have a conversation”

Okay, now stick with me on this one. Of course, we always want to sell at the end of the day, but your clients shouldn’t feel like they are being sold. Have you ever walked into a car dealership and they try and sell you a car right away that might not make the most sense for you? I have, and it’s an unpleasant experience. The worst thing you can do is assume a client wants a certain product. Some people make assumptions based off things they find in their research (Where the person lives, how expensive their house is, how large the company is, how much profit the company makes, individual income, etc.). Make sure you are having a conversation with your client, ask them questions, engage with them, talk about things outside of just your product. At the end of the day, make sure you ask for the sale or set definitive next steps but throughout the meeting/sales process, just be yourself.

These first three points focus on selling. These last two points have more to do with you and your career growth as a professional.

4)      Be open to feedback and leaning

This is a trait that I hang my hat on. No one wants to admit they made a mistake or don’t know how to do something. You must understand that is OKAY. No one expects you to know everything, especially if you’ve never done it before. I am always asking what I can do better, whether it’s during a role-play for training or conducting a one-on-one meeting with a sales rep. You’ll never know if there is a better to do things if you don’t ask. But asking for feedback is just step 1. Step 2 is taking what you hear and implementing it. Letting feedback go in one ear and out the other will ultimately stunt your career growth.

5)      Share your career goals

This is something I learned early on in my career and I can’t stress enough to people who are just starting out. While you might know that you eventually want to work in management, suite sales, sponsorship, etc., does your direct report know? Don’t be afraid to express your career goals to your boss. They aren’t going to fire you. If anything, they will most likely help you get to where you want to go. One very important aspect of this, “Do your actions align with where you want to go?” Take for example if one wants to work in management. Are you a leader on the team? Are you always on time to work/meetings? Are you a top performer? Anyone can just say they want to be something, but the people that make their aspirations come true are the ones that back it up with their actions.

While I’m still learning things about the industry every day, these five keys have made the difference for me and have had a big part in getting me to where I am today. I hope all of you who read this can take at least one thing away and implement it in your own career growth journey. I wish you all the best of luck, and hopefully our paths cross someday in the sports industry.

-Alex

Alex graduated from the University of Scranton in 2015 and has been in the sports business ever since. He was an intern at the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, he sold advertising for sports publications, and has spent the last three years selling for Legends Global Sales, working on some of the most iconic projects in the country. First, at One World Observatory in NYC and now at the LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood park, the future home to SoFi Stadium and the LA Rams and Chargers. You can learn more about, and connect with Alex on LinkedIN by going here.