More and more frequently, traditional methods for selling to premium clients are antiquated and ineffective. Learn how to better find your next buyers through both outbound and inbound strategies.
A wise business owner once told me their secret to success: “Go where OUR people are.”
When I first started selling premium, we were told to prospect via purchased lists, various business journal’s lists and top companies, and past buyers. “Convert them over” was the mantra. But as we all know: Lists can be outdated the day they are purchased. Everyone in town is pounding the business journals and companies targeted to most succeed in the upcoming year (most of which you already have as clients). And past buyers (although a few may purchase) are “past” for a reason. I had to set myself apart…but how?
I needed a process, and I thought back to that wise business owner. That concept changed my sales, and continues to do so to this day. Let’s ask ourselves three questions when looking for the premium client:
A wise business owner once told me their secret to success: “Go where OUR people are."
Who Are OUR People?
I get a lot of questions from younger sales reps. “Which categories should I hit first now that I’m selling premium?” they might ask. But categories that work in Pittsburgh may not be the same categories that work in San Francisco. We must understand more than just the category.
We can’t go where OUR people are if we don’t first know who they are. There is no one size fits all. The question is two-fold: Do we know who the decision makers are that we currently sell to when it comes to top-line entertainment for their company? And second, what is their profile and that of their company? What is the age range? What is the demographic of where they live? What is their educational background? Are they married with children in house, in college, or empty nesters? What is their income level range?
In a younger tech environment, for instance, OUR people may be a VP in their late 30’s or early 40’s with zero to two young children. In a financial environment, OUR people may be 45-60 years old with kids in high school or college. What is the company metric? Average income range of the company? How does the company currently prospect for new business? How does the company entertain? To be able to prospect for OUR people, we first must know who the people are in our area that constitute “Premium”.
Where Are OUR People?
Where do OUR people most tend to work? What are the types of companies most apt to want and use our product for the long-term? Where can we find those companies?
Social selling tools can be a strong start. Be it Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., who is on it? Who is followed? Who has reason to use your product? Who are the contacts of some of your existing premium holders now?
Research is crucial. How are we researching these companies? What are we looking for when we research? Are we finding commonalities, such as our mission statements or charities that companies support?
I have had executives purchase because they believed as businesses, we believed in and supported like philosophies. Most importantly, as you do your research, do they have the financial resources and the potential need for our product? Do you strongly believe they should be using our product? If you strongly believe, your ability to manage the communication with them will be much more effective and will enable you to truly build a strong relationship.
Golf clubs, yacht clubs, and charity galas are all great places to meet prospective buyers after work and on weekends.
Get out of the office and drive and see who is making a strong mark in the community. I once was in a city with construction going on. Fencing was everywhere with a company name on it, so I researched, called, and set an appointment. Three months later, they purchased. Want to get ahead of the game? County records are open records in which you can find what businesses have filed applications to move into the area.
Where are OUR people most apt to be after work or on a weekend? Do our people hold golf memberships? If so, meet with the membership chair at the more exclusive golf clubs. Many host monthly member gatherings, and will often let you bring a person of influence from your organization to attend with you and give a brief talk – executive to executive. This is a great way to get in front of groups of OUR people at one time.
So many times, we say we attend networking events when it is more of a social engagement. OUR people often attend galas. This can be a preferred networking event to the traditional type. Donating a high-end product for auction, and offering to “buy now at $xxx” (of which a portion still goes to the charity, and they can still auction another) gets your product in front of them quickly and enables you to let them experience the product.
Some of OUR people are boaters. Discussions with the yacht clubs in the area can prove to be very beneficial. Some are weekend hikers. Local backpacking shops can prove valuable to help introduce you to prospects. Many will be at their kids’ games, sometimes coaching. A Saturday morning spent observing, learning, and providing the league or team with an opportunity to attend your event can open the door to the relationship you need for a premium sale.
Who Wants OUR People?
This is a little different way of looking at who the premium client may be. What is the demographic of your audience? What are your potential clients’ needs? If one is having prospects that are the demographic of your venue, then it would make total sense for them to entertain their prospects in a setting that is comfortable for them.
For instance, some financial advisory companies will go after that 25-40 age demographic. Where is that age demographic comfortable? Frequently, you can find them at concert venues and soccer games. Find companies who want your demographic, who want to wow their prospect by making them comfortable.
The purpose of content marketing, be it videos, blogs, or social media posts, is to generate interest, not sell.
What About the Client Who Wants to Find Us?
How easy do we make it for potential clients to spend their money with us? How many times do you look on an entertainment website and “Premium Sales” or “Hospitality” is listed under “Ticket Sales”? I have gone on websites to gain information for a premium outing I would like to do and found it frustrating to find it bunched up with everything else being sold with vague information that doesn’t even encourage me to dig further.
If we are selling premium, we need to treat it as premium. How do we make this opportunity stand out so people who may have interest reach out to us and qualify themselves in the process? Let’s look at three methods that come to mind.
I once saw a social media post for a major basketball team that showed pictures of courtside seats and said, “These prime seats just opened up. Let me know if interested.”
What does this say? It says: “I didn’t do my job very well in either selling to or satisfying this client, and they dropped these prime seats.” It says: “We don’t fill our venue too well and don’t have people interested in prime seats.” It says: “Can you do my job for me?”
The purpose of content marketing, be it videos, blogs, or social media posts is to generate interest, not sell. What we post and how we post it can make all the difference in a phone call to say, “Tell me more about what I saw on…” Do you belong to local groups on LinkedIn? Do you filter some of your posts? Market to YOUR market and instead show a satisfied premium client with an experience they get for being a partner or new addition to the space you sell? You want a comment or a call to say: “Tell me more.”
We will talk more later about educating the client, but why can’t your online presence educate them in a subliminal way? Perhaps your client is using the premium product in a unique way, and you can use that testimonial/idea to stimulate interest. Instead of showing loads of pictures and how many a suite seats, you could instead post a picture with ideas of how it can be used, not just client entertainment but “when you bring your prospects, great clients, and your sales rep together for an evening, success is bound to happen.” Soft education gets the prospect reading your material to think…hmmm…this is interesting. Tell me more.
They know that they are now a lead, but that is because they want to be. Tell me more.
Instead of your website simply putting premium together with everything else, create a landing page with compelling calls-to-action. Design the site for visitors to either click on the hyperlink and find a video with information (always intriguing as you walk through the space and educate along with it), show information but incentivize clicks for a physical gift or physical walk through at the facility, or simply show information and incentivize clicks for “future opportunities”.
Prior to the days of landing pages, I used to create my own links and blast out a page every time there were openings for the Owners Suite by simply saying, “Be closer to the batter than the pitcher…Click here and let me tell you how.” What were the success rates on recipients contacting me and ultimately buying right away? Of 81 gamedays and 81 chances for the suite, I sold 74 of them one year. Landing pages give those interested the opportunity to have a softer sale instead of a car sale. They know that they are now a lead, but that is because they want to be. Tell me more.
Educate and Nurture
All too often, we still try to gain the premium client through traditional methods: They can afford it, so they should be buying it. Instead, create a business strategy for finding who OUR people are, and how to capture those prospects who are reaching out to us. Maximize the tools that enable us to sell smartly, and then educate, retain, and nurture for the long-term.