I have been in 100% commission radio and media sales going on a decade now. I have been in sports sales for a little over five years and worked with over 500 clients. I have also probably worked with well over 200 different reps on sales team no bigger than 5-8 in size; which is a lot of people for a short period of time.
Why the crazy turnover? Why so many people coming and going?
The Sales Funnel! It’s as easy as that. As a manager if you don’t convince your reps that they need to have such an overflowing funnel of prospects and ideas that it never even gets below the tip of the top then it is hard to succeed.
Likewise as a rep in sports sales, if you can’t convince yourself to be prospecting every single day no matter how far you are past your budget for the month or the year it will catch up to you. You have to keep the gas to the floor at all times to succeed!
The Hardest Part of Sports Sales: How Do You Keep That Funnel Overflowing?
So how can you keep the funnel at the top?
It starts with my Hot Dog Stand Marketing Version of Sales. It is my own creation, my mission statement that I use each and every day: Ten Building Blocks for sales success no matter what decade/age we are in. It is explained in much more detail in my book or at a speaking engagement.
Over the coming weeks here at Sports Networker I will delve into each of my 10 traits and steps to ensure that we thrive; and don’t just survive; in the sports sales world for the coming decades.
Number Three: Overflowing Funnel of Prospects and Ideas
Some might be mistaken and take this as pitch pitch pitch, sell sell sell, and close close close. Always be closing Always be closing! (to steal a line from Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross)
That couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is all about combining the quality of having great specific ideas and valid business reasons that are truly unique for each one of your clients. Then mixing that in with a huge quantity of prospects that are not just numbers in the phone book. Those prospects are people that you have contact names for, always know how to reach and what their triggers might be.
You also know enough about their business that you feel you have an idea that they will be at least interested in and willing to sit down and discuss it.
If You Think You Have Enough In Your Funnel, Add More!
If you think your funnel is overflowing, it’s probably not overflowing enough!
If you think you have enough ideas and prospects in your pipeline, add more.
We move so many great clients and prospects through our pipeline that we have a have a decent amount fail. When we don’t reload and reload it gets dry.
A dry funnel is the only hindrance to many people’s success in sports sales. It’s a combination, I believe, of reaching stagnation when you have been in the industry for some time and you start to feel comfortable with your list, accounts and what you have done. The other factor is simply a lot of new people don’t know how much you need in your funnel.
To go over a quick example let’s say you have a budget of $100,000 for October. You have $20,000 on the books. Most people would then pitch between $60,000 and $80,000 to get to that budget and hope “something else falls out of the sky.”
No, honestly, I’ve heard people say that.
Realistically though you need to pitch $200,000 to get to that original budget. That’s a big difference and why the big gap occurs in sales. That’s a lot of quality ideas you need to pitch to a lot of quality prospects – that’s what we don’t realize in the sports sales world!
If you are a manager, crunch the numbers with your team each month to show them how much they need. If you are a rep never think enough is enough, and both sides will keep the funnel overflowing forever!
Success Doesn’t Come Easy. But This Is The Key!
I’ll also leave you with this. Step 3 the hardest of my ten steps. It is probably the one that I have the hardest time in motivating myself to do consistently. It’s the easiest to give up because we feel that we might be ahead and can relax a tad. It’s the one that gets pushed to the side when “busy work” gets in the way.
Step 3 is also the most important and most essential to your long term success in sports sales. Make it part of your daily routine and you are on your way to a kick butt long term sports sales career!
Do you have questions? Need help? Have more thoughts? Leave your comments below, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and or hit me up on one of the social media outlets and I’d love to discuss and give you more ideas on any of these ten steps.
Two weeks from today…we’ll dive into volume number four!