Learn why a traditional sales methodology is the incorrect way to sell anything to a company in 2017.
There’s an epidemic in professional sports. It’s called PassingAlongInformation-itis. It manifests itself mostly in premium sales reps who are afraid to truly dig into detail with companies, instead preferring to just sit on their brand identity and how “cool” their premium seat inventory is. This traditional way of selling is the incorrect way to sell anything to a company in 2017.
Related to this epidemic, there are two specific moments from my sales career that come to mind, one an illustration of selling a solution, the other of merely passing along information.
It took an 18-month sales process, but a rep on my team and I finally closed a full season suite with a wealth management company. They wanted to utilize the suite as a second office and establish a new, unique identity in the city. It was an awesome reason to purchase a suite.
At the end of the process, the Executive Director complimented myself and my sales rep, and mentioned he had chosen us over two other properties in our city. He went on to explain that while the other properties’ premium choices may have been a little nicer (and they were), he appreciated that we actually listened to his company, their concerns, and their challenges, and the suite felt like the right solution to the challenges they were having.
The other two properties simply walked into their office and told them to buy a suite. Even though we had walked into this negotiation as the bronze medal favorite, we left with the gold because we made sure the sales process focused on the needs of the company.
Earlier in my tenure at that team, I sold club seats to a regional security systems company. At the end of their first season with tickets, they told me that they were not renewing their seats. And it was totally my fault. As a last-ditch effort, I asked the Regional VP to grab a coffee with me. Over the coffee, I learned that the tickets were bought for the company’s employees, and they were just not used.
I then asked the Regional VP what his top priorities currently were. He explained to me that his sales reps were not getting out and establishing relationships face-to-face, and that their brand footprint in our city was not strong compared to their other markets. They went from dropping a mid-four-figure investment to purchasing an almost six-figure suite and sponsorship deal. That’s a pretty gigantic swing because we sold on need and not jamming it into a budget.
These are just two stories, but they are tremendous examples of what happens when you elevate the sales process from “information passing” to “solutions selling”. The more we care about helping our buyers, the more access to revenue we get. Now that’s a win-win!
About the Author: Brett Zalaski is the VP of Ticket Sales & Service for the Houston Dynamo and Dash.