The basic premise of next week’s FREE webinar on premium ticket sales is that we need to do things in a way that allows us to reinvent the value proposition and differentiate ourselves from the competition in the world of sports business.
As someone that has written about and spoken about the need to reinvent the way that we think about prospecting and selling, one area that we can see some results of our efforts pretty quickly is in the premium space.
For several reasons:
- The ideal prospect is a little easier to define.
- The objections are going to be more predictable.
- The ability to differentiate ourselves is much easier.
The best ideas here will capture people at all levels of the sales funnel.
Let’s think through a few ideas this morning that you can start to use immediately.
Rethink the way you are prospecting:
I’ve mentioned a program that the Miami Marlins used a few years back with “sprints”. An idea that was taken from the world of project management.
During these sprints, the Marlins would target a specific vertical or prospect profile and they would kick off the sprint with some sort of unique outreach.
Over the course of two weeks, they would nurture the relationship and try and drive the person towards a closing event where they would get a yes or no answer.
Closing the loop!
I look using the Marlins example because it is a sports-based example and people can see how it would apply to their business fairly easily.
But let me share a few additional ideas that have been successful at opening premium opportunities in other industries:
- A blow-dry party targeting female law firm partners connected a consultant to over two dozen top prospects in under 3 hours.
- An ice-cream truck parked in front of a top prospects’ office on a hot summer day led to several million dollars in new business.
- Taking a dozen people to a baseball game got me an 8-figure contract extension.
The point here is that prospecting shouldn’t be limited to just using cold calling or direct mail or one tactic.
Creativity is king!
Because not everyone is going to return your call and/or not everyone you can get on the phone is going to be the decision maker.
Or, even more importantly, many people can influence the sale.
Whatever it is, think through ways that you can take your prospecting to another level.
Especially when it comes to trying to attract and connect with people that lots of people are trying to connect with.
Change the value proposition:
I think I wrote about this pretty compellingly a few weeks back when I wrote about the idea that premium and luxury mean different things to different people.
Unfortunately, in too many cases, the way that the premium product is positioned doesn’t share the message of differentiation effectively.
Much of the way that we sell the premium experience should be redefined in a way that emphasizes the unique nature of the live experience and being the only place that you can experience certain aspects of your unique building.
Take a look at the Loge at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium which is the first premium area of its kind in the United Kingdom.
Tottenham highlights how this is the first area of its kind in the United Kingdom.
That’s taking advantage of one of the core rules of marketing: the law of leadership. Which simply means that if you are the first of your kind, you sell that!
Want another example?
Take a look at the Jim Beam Suite at Fenway Park: “the first and only field level suite in Major League Baseball”.
These two examples are pretty straight forward, but as with prospecting, the key is creativity.
There are any number of ways that you can create a new or changed perception of your value including:
- Creating a new category for your experience
- Changing the perception of what a night at your building means
- Defining a certain word for your prospects that allows you to own that word when people think of your experience
All of these ideas and more are at your disposal.
The key idea is that if you are selling premium like every other sports or entertainment property in your sport or town, the value proposition is quickly eroded and your ability to influence the sale in a positive way is reduced.
So get creative and think about why you and why your building?
When you get them into the building, you “Wow!” them:
This is a definite bottom of the funnel idea for selling and marketing.
I hope that if you have the best possible experience, you are generating lots of referrals and repeat customers.
That said, let’s talk about making the experience your guests receive as outstanding as possible because keeping customers and having them refer more business your way is one of the best ways to maximize the revenue you generate from premium ticket sales.
First, see the event through the eyes of your ideal buyer.
As I mentioned in my previous post on the topic, how each of us views premium and luxury is going to be unique and depends on a lot of factors.
So when you are designing your offerings and your experiences, see them through the eyes of your ideal buyer.
I’ll explain it like this.
If your ideal buyer is the senior partner at a major law firm, what are they going to drink or eat or want to do in your premium space that will be premium to them?
Recently, my wife took some clients out to a premium space at an out of town venue and she was texting me from the restroom telling me that they were offering up a choice of Bud products that included Bud Light Lime and well level wines to premium guests.
This is wrong for a number of reasons:
First, if you are selling based on the all-inclusive nature of the premium experience, Bud Light Lime doesn’t come across as premium.
Second, if you are selling an all-inclusive experience and forcing people to spend more to get premium beverages or foods, you aren’t really offering up a premium experience.
So look at the event through the eyes of your ideal buyer.
Two, elevate the level of service.
In the days before I ever became a consultant and thought about revenue as a process, I always thought about starting a consultancy just focused on helping people do better at customer service.
Because in most cases customer service is the best form of marketing, sales, and revenue generation.
The challenge today isn’t that my services as a customer service consultant aren’t needed. In fact, they are needed now more than ever.
The real challenge lies in the idea that as quickly as we offer a great experience or service, the bar is set ever higher. So we have to continue to generate more ways to improve service to our guests.
What does this mean for you?
It means that you have to make certain that your customer service meets and exceeds expectations.
A non-sports example of this is with Booking Protect and the way that they redefined customer service and expectations in the world of refund protection.
It seems like just the way that business is done, but often when we buy the travel protection on a flight or a holiday and have to use that the process is going to be dehumanizing and fraught with complications.
By changing that dynamic to create a personalized and simple solution, Booking Protect changed the way that customers can expect to deal with a refund of a ticket or holiday.
In sports and entertainment, the same opportunities exist.
What needs to be set at the highest levels is a dedication to offering up an experience that isn’t just best in class in sports and entertainment, but world class because in many cases that is what you are competing against, world-class venues and opportunities.
Finally, go after referrals.
One of the gold-standard sales tools is a referral.
As you please more premium buyers, one of the best ways to expand your network and close more lucrative sales opportunities is by getting referrals from pleased guests.
This could be internal referrals. In cases where a company throws a party for their sales team on a specific project, you should totally be reaching out to the person that hosted the event and finding out how the event was, were the happy, and who else might enjoy an event like that.
Or, it could be external referrals.
You know, people that your clients know that might be doing certain similar events.
It is simple, but it doesn’t happen all the time.
These are only a few of the ideas that you could use to generate more revenue.
Like I said, join my webinar and I’ll give you even more.
What other ways do you have to maximize premium revenue?