Lately, I’ve been doing a lot more coaching, workshops, and webinars with sales teams at ticket selling organizations around the world and I’ve come back with a few ideas that can apply to every organization that sells tickets, experiences, or events.
Here are my top 5:
- Ask the right questions.
- Focus on quick wins.
- Use previous results to show you the road to the next success.
- Allow your numbers to show your impact.
- Focus on action items.
Let me explain in more detail.
Ask the right questions:
Almost always, an organization engages me because they want to increase their sales or revenue.
This usually comes hand-in-hand with a hypothesis of what is the problem.
It could be something like “we need to get better at closing,” “can you help us create a stronger call-to-action?”, or something else.
Most of the time these hypothesizes are based on the pain that an organization is feeling in the moment.
You may not be selling as fast as you’d like so it must be your sales closing.
You are running around chasing too many ideas with no progress, must be you need to improve your workflow.
In a lot of cases, the answer is much simpler: in most cases, it comes down to whether or not you are setting the right priorities. Which often means you need to ask better questions.
A really helpful question I use often in my coaching or workshops is: “What are your top 2 or 3 priorities?”
You may only have 1 or 2. That’s fine.
The priorities are important because they allow you to ask an internal question that drives every action you and your team take which is: “Does this support my priorities?”
If not, you might consider doing something else or not taking the action at all.
This all begins by asking the right question.
Focus on quick wins:
In learning about becoming a better consultant, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that you need to give people some quick wins.
Why is this so valuable?
There are tons of reasons, but three big ones are:
- People have heard it all before and aren’t buying this change effort.
- Quick results make people feel good.
- Quick results and follow-through lead to people buying in on tougher efforts.
What will a quick win look like?
Depends on your business, but I’ve had organizations I’ve worked with improve their year-to-year sales by 50% or more within 90 days.
I’ve even seen dramatic sales increases in as little as 15 days in certain cases and have some pretty great examples of organizations changing their culture with the right buy-in in under 30 days.
The better way of thinking about quick wins is to put them in this context:
- Is the win measurable?
- Is it obvious?
- Can you easily celebrate it?
Use previous results to show the way to your next success:
In a lot of cases, we stay wed to what got us here for far too long.
At the same time, we can often not pay enough attention to why we were successful to begin with.
A way to drive sales is by figuring out why you were successful, what that means to your business, and how you can use this knowledge to drive more success for your business.
Here is an example that may be useful to you:
A few years back when I was first really establishing my consulting practice and starting to do more stuff remotely, I was hung up on the idea that I always needed to be in the person’s office I was working with to help them or that I couldn’t possibly sell consulting services over the phone.
I was wrong on all of those counts.
I realized that not being in someone’s office didn’t mean that we couldn’t talk on the phone, diagnose a problem quickly, and come up with some action items that moved the business forward.
In fact, it meant the opposite that because I was so responsive I could do more for my clients because we were focusing on the impact of our work and not time or location…just impact.
For your business, something similar might be at play.
Maybe people aren’t buying tickets because they don’t want them, but because they have a notion that tickets aren’t available, are too expensive, or some other reason.
I’ll show you an example of a negative that you can turn into a positive as well.
As an example, look at the Washington Nationals, there was a report in the paper that attendance is down significantly despite the team being the hottest team in baseball and one of the best over the last 5 or 6 years.
What does this tell us?
Winning doesn’t solve everything.
How does this highlight the road to future success?
Simple, knowing that people aren’t turning out just because you are winning means that you can throw out all of your old assumptions and try something new.
Like changing the packages you offer or changing the way you do email, or pricing, or whatever.
The key is to use the information at your disposal to help you make decisions that will lead you to your next success.
Allow your numbers to show your impact:
Sometimes we take action and we do it almost in a vacuum. Which leads to the situation where we don’t know if our actions had an impact or not.
This can be a pain for any of us, but when you are working in a larger organization or with a team, not knowing your numbers can be fatal to the cause of change.
Well, if you don’t have evidence to back-up your results how will you know anything is working?
And, if you can’t make a case for the change you’ve been creating, you are going to struggle to get people to buy-in to the next set of change that you want to make.
So show your work.
It is pretty simple:
- Take a snapshot of where you started.
- Check your numbers as you are moving forward.
- If you are being successful, ask why and figure out how to double down on stuff.
- If you aren’t, ask why not and figure out how to change.
The key here is to measure what you are doing and use the numbers to justify the changes you want to make.
As an example, I was partnering with a client that was trying to hit a new revenue result.
We came up with one simple change to be made across the business.
We measured the before and after 15 days, we compared it to the results prior to the change.
We had an impact of mid-five figures in new profit in under 10 days.
Just as important, the morale of the team improved because they saw the positive impact of change take hold in a tangible way.
So measure and use those measurements to guide you forward.
Action items are your friend:
Peter Drucker used to say, “I’m glad you had a great time with me, but what are you going to do differently on Monday.”
I have a similar approach to my workshops and coaching calls, I’m glad we uncovered issues or refocused you, but if you aren’t going to do something differently as soon as we get off the line…I’ve failed and you’ve wasted your time and money.
At the end of my workshops and coaching calls, I make sure we have action items that do three things:
- They are actionable.
- They are measurable.
- They are time-sensitive.
Because you need these pressures to create change.
Here’s an example:
Say you want to write a book.
A bad goal is to say as an action item: “I’m going to brainstorm book ideas.”
Why is this bad?
Because there just isn’t nearly enough there for you to feel compelled to do anything meaningful with your brainstorming session.
Instead, put it into my formula and it would come out: “I’m going to brainstorm book ideas and come up with 3 ideas that I think have a market fit and reflect my value proposition that I’m going to share with you by 9/5/19.”
It seems simple, but putting those kinds of pressure on your self will get things done.
How do you do that effectively for your team?
You might think about your priorities and think about what few things will improve your business immediately and build them into an action plan for your team.
Let’s say you want to sell more tickets through your marketing efforts, a great goal and action item might be:
“We are going to come up with 3 new ways to market our tickets and we are going to map out 3 action steps that we can take on each of them by the end of the day today.”
This does a couple of things:
- Sets a clear goal for you.
- Puts a time limit on you.
- Opens the door to more actions.
I’ve been learning a lot from my coaching and workshop sessions and I’ll have more to share, but this should be a good jumping-off point for you.
Want a coaching session with me? I’m now offering small-group coaching sessions for sales teams and marketing departments to reset your focus, get your team focusing on the right opportunities, and taking actions that will deliver results. Want to learn more? Email me email@example.com
25 November in London, England: 1-day workshop called: “Revenue Reimagined: A The Business of Fun Workshop”.
In this full-day workshop, we will work through the how arts, sports, and events organizations can rethink and reimagine their revenue operations from selling more tickets to generating more membership sales, to selling more merchandise, and more. This workshop is a great way to kick off your strategic planning for 2020 and motivate you and your team to take new actions to create change in your organization.
Because this is going to be very hands-on, I’m going to limit this to 20 folks or less. So space is super limited!
To learn more, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “London”