It’s coming. Most likely sooner rather than later as we as a nation make progress battling this nightmare.
I’m talking about when we can go back to work and start selling tickets again. None of us really know exactly what that will look like or when it will happen but it will happen. And, you’ll have to do double the work in half the time to catch up.
Here are areas you have to be thinking about:
- Budget. The budget you started with for your next season is thrown out the window. How are you calculating your new ticket revenue budget and your ticket expense budget? If you’re planning on revenues to be down, you have to be planning on expense reductions. No owner is going to blindly accept a lower revenue budget and the same expenses as before. Have you thought completely through where your expense cuts are going to be and what your revenues will look like if you restart May 1, June 1 or July 1?
- Staffing. Many teams have laid off salespeople during this time. Those salespeople may be collecting unemployment and waiting by the phone for the call to return or may be off pursuing some other career dream. Other teams have used this time to purge less productive/desirable staff. Do you 1) know how many salespeople you’re going to be allowed to have and 2) have you already started the process of interviewing and recruiting? You don’t need to hire them right now but make sure to have them teed up to start as soon as you get the go-ahead.
- Training. Old salespeople or new salespeople. It doesn’t matter. You’re going to need ramped up training to help them handle new objections related to a flailing economy, ballpark/arena cleanliness and safety and other problems. Do you have your sales training material together and are you ready for the moment the lights go back to put a training on? Or have you at least talked to your preferred sales trainer about getting on their priority list to schedule them as soon as possible? There is going to be high demand for the best training so get cracking now!
- Databases. I hope after my harping on this for the last month that you’ll come out of this shutdown with the best group and individual fan database your team has ever had. If you’re behind now, get caught up before it’s time to start firing again.
- Sales events. The shortened sales season means you have to do much, much more than grind out phone calls or appointments. You’ll need mass sales events to talk to dozens of prospects at one time. Those events will be challenged by social distancing guidelines and other government issued rules. Have the events already planned out so it’s a quick adjustment to accommodate those rules.
- Marketing plan. This is critically important. You’ll likely have way less marketing budget at your disposal so how are you using it to quickly (within days) enact your ticket sales and marketing plan? Email marketing and digital advertising will be even more critical in this next shortened selling season. If you need help, check out our digital advertising page for suggestions and ideas.
- Ticket Operations. A shortened selling season means every minute counts for your sales staff to maximize revenue. Make sure your ticket operations department has every ‘i’ dotted and ‘t’ crossed so your sales staff doesn’t get bogged down with ticket delivery problems and customer service issues.
This promises to be the most unusual selling season in our lifetimes, whether you’re a summer sport or winter sport. Those that are prepared now will be the teams that prosper.
Are you ready to fire all your bullets and hit your target?