Some teams are knee deep into playoff ticket sales, renewals for next season, and a rush of new season ticket sales to reserve their priority numbers for next season. That’s great! However, this may not be the case for the rest of the teams in the NBA, NHL, or NLL.
Great seasons have come to a close and the focus already is on next year. What are you doing in your front office in the off-season to continue to engage a greater fan base, those hard-core fans, and businesses that use season tickets for employee or client entertainment?
The Experience vs Wins/Loss Record
At a recent speaking engagement, I was asked by a male attendee what could be done to engage the sport and business community if you happen to be with a team who didn’t win the championship trophy. I responded by asking the young gentleman whether he remembered if the last sports game they attended ended in a win or a loss. His immediate answer was that his group had a memorable time, but to be honest couldn’t remember the final score.
While games that end in a win can really enhance the experience for a client, the best part about attending games for most are the memories that they can take away to talk about at a later moment in time. The memory of a daughter or son attending their first game with their father; the chance of a lifetime to stand center court to shoot baskets, or taking out a lead prospect to chat nothing about business, but everything about business.
Wins are great, but experience is everything.
So I am pretty sure you have heard this word before and you might have even read about it. Referrals are a great way to grow your book of business and increase your fan base.
This is not only to your benefit, but also your clients. If there happens to be four seats in section 124, row 8, seats 1-4 behind your client, they might know someone who would love those seats. Be specific. What a great opportunity to further enhance a season long experience for your client to enjoy games socializing with those they already know!
Organizational Referrals (season and group ticket related)
Think outside the box to create experiences your guests wouldn’t typically have access to. How can you enhance the experience for your clients two-fold? Do your clients belong to any non-profits that need fundraising? Season tickets can be used by a non-profit to fundraise year round where as a group outing can be used for one specific event. Where does their family volunteer their time? If they have children, what school or sports do they belong to? And if you are comfortable, where is their place of worship?
Hit the Pavement
This may sound a little old school, but face-to-face is a great way to really get to know your clients and meet others. Have you done a site visit to your clients’ offices? Do you know if there is an employee in that office with your team’s shrine?
Remember to take a look around. Many businesses work around other businesses and can provide a referral to a great contact to the company next door. Make a special note to thank their receptionist, as they are a great resource to their business.
LinkedIn reached over 100 million users in 2011…do you have a presence? Have you connected with all your clients on LinkedIn? A great resource is not only the members of common groups on this social media platform, but the ability to find common connections with your clients. Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral if you see they are connected to a common interest. Who are your 2nd connections? Explore!
It’s very powerful to make 100+ phone calls a day to drive new business development. Can you imagine the potential of the calls if they were actually able to put a face to your name?
I leave you with this…
Most often the front office staff is the face of an organization to clients all over town. A simple thanks to clients can really extend a long way!
Let’s not have this conversation end here, but continue the conversation below. These are just a few of the many ways to engage your local community and continue the excitement for next season. THIS IS THE YEAR! What are some other great tips you might add to assist others in a successful off-season?
Photo by JMROSENFELD