How to run a sales appointment in sports

by darren Arnold - Sr. Director of TIcketing at the hamilton bulldogs and canadian business advisor at sports business solutions | February 20, 2020

You've had a great call. Asked all the right questions. Got a great lead who wants to check out some seats. Now what?

You've heard of home field/court/ice advantage and this is your chance to really showcase that. I've heard industry standards for years in our world that state over 90% of face-to-face appointments lead to a sale. So, let's peel back the onion and try to understand the how and why of it all.

The Confirmation (2 parts)

Part 1 – Following your phone call, send a calendar request on the agreed upon date, time and location. Think like the customer will think the day of and be as specific as possible on where to meet – gates, where to park, etc.

Part 2 – Two days out from the meeting, call/email the customer to remind them of how excited you are to meet them in the coming days. Reiterate all of the details shared previously and provide your cell phone number in case they face any issues the day of the meeting.

Day of Meeting

-Pre-Meeting

Review your notes from your previous calls and emails and create your checklist for the meeting. Bring relevant sales materials and handouts as visual aids. Take note of the seats you are planning to show and provide a few different options, so you have a frame of reference. Confirm with a trusted peer that they will be back in the office available to take your call if you need assistance back at “home base”.

-The Meeting

I’ve always appreciated the simple and inexpensive courtesy of having a bottle of water presented to you. This meeting may be lengthy and, in some venues where climate control is not an option in the off-season, it can be a nice touch. I don’t need to share the benefits of proper attire, a firm handshake, eye contact and meeting with a genuine smile upon meeting.

Take the client on some of the key vantage points or through historical places of reference in the building and really try to get them to create imagery in their mind. In essence, you are recreating moments on your field/ice/court while the lights are dim, so you have to really be descriptive and energetic. If available, take them to places they can’t normally see. We often take for granted some of the access we get in our roles and this is the perfect time to show player benches, penalty boxes, dressing rooms, premium and press areas. This is your time to wow them. Encourage them to take photos and to share on their social media and get them to join the season ticket "family."

When going through seat locations, sit a seat apart and provide them a little space. No need to overcrowd the buyer and make them feel uncomfortable.

Take in the surroundings and understand the need to elevate your voice if the venue is in conversion and don't be afraid to relocate to a better location if needed. No sense in lowering your chances of a sale because of a miscommunication or misconstrued messaging.

Handle objections as they arise and do so while looking the client in the eye and showing genuine care and concern for their reasons not to buy.

Explain why TODAY is the best opportunity for them to purchase by stressing urgency drivers and reiterating your benefits and value propositions.

-Post Meeting

Explain in detail the next steps, payment plan scheduling and benefits roll out. Make the customer feel like they made the best decision possible by joining your season ticket family. Encourage them to take photos and to share on their social media where you can engage with their personal network, a great opportunity for referrals which we will touch upon next.

Referrals

It is absolutely imperative that you take advantage of the face-to-face appointment and seek referral opportunities. Make them aware of seat locations to the left, right or nearby that they can share among their personal and professional networks. Even if they do not provide any in the moment through exemplary service, there is no greater joy than receiving an unsolicited referral by way of the service you've provided.

In a world where we live in short bursts of information exchanges such as texts and emails, I challenge you to seek the opportunity to engage in face-to-face selling opportunities. The results are proven to be in your favor in doing so. Best of luck and happy hunting.

Extra Tips

-be on time

-have a pen and notebook for any special requests

-keep a charged cell phone handy in case you need to call your peers in the office for backup or any ticketing platform needs

-know your path in advance - nothing more embarrassing than locked doors or inaccessible seats

-make them laugh! - a sense of humor is a great way to break the ice and build rapport

Darren

Darren Arnold is the Senior Director of Ticketing at the Hamilton Bulldogs and is an Advisor of Canadian Business Operations at Sports Business Solutions. He's a regular contributor in theClubhouse and collectively he has more than 13 years of sports sales, leadership, and consulting experience. He's one of the best resources for sales training tips and advice and he's always willing to lend a hand to help others. If you're interested in connecting with Darren you can email him here: darren@sportsbusiness.solutions