Rule Number 1: Don’t throw up on yourself. Kidding. Kinda…
All jokes aside, the Inside Sales process in sports is akin to how a wise frat bro once described the experience of pledging a fraternity to me. It’s the most fun you never want to have again.
And that’s no knock on pledgeship or the life of an entry-level salesperson. The ride while paying your dues can be fun, but it’s just the start of the journey, not the final destination.
As I’m seeing Inside Sales classes and position announcements proliferate my LinkedIn newsfeed, I figured I’d offer a bit of advice to pay it forward to the next generation of sports sales leaders.
1. The greatest minds in ticket sales once sat in your seat. Seek advice and mentorship from your manager, the management team, senior reps at your team, and those alike in the sports industry. They got where you want to go. Ask them how.
2. There are no shortcuts. Put in the work.
3. Embrace product knowledge training and sales training. I still use sales coaching given to me from my first week on the job in Inside Sales. The more you learn, the more you earn.
4. You will suck at first. That’s ok. With repetition and a determination to improve, you’ll get better. It’s a balancing act of Will vs Skill. At first, your Will (Determination) must be and will be stronger than your Skill. That’s why you might need 100 calls a day when senior reps only need 40 to produce results. Until your Skill improves, your Will to improve must overcompensate.
5. If you’re capped by 40 hours a week, work smarter. Avoid call reluctance and sending 50 memes a week about your White Claw weekend. Be efficient and effective with your time.
6. If you’re not capped by 40 hours a week, do like I did and get up for work at 4:30am.
7. Refuse to lose. While it’s a friendly competition, it’s still a competition. The ones with the best numbers usually get promoted first. Just remember, being a good team player is important too.
8. Now you’re a pro. Act like it. Get to bed at a decent time. Exercise. Eat right. Don’t go out until 2am on a work night.
9. Leaders are readers. Read books and articles on sales and leadership.
10. Relationships matter. With your peers. With your bosses. With industry contacts. With your clients. Sports business is a small industry. Build bridges, don’t burn them.
Kevin Klammer is a sales trainer and consultant with Sports Business Solutions. His 15-year career has spanned sales and sales management in the NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA, media sales and sales management in a top 10 media market in the US. He is a B2B sales guru and champion of building modern sales cultures that thrive and win. To learn more about Sports Business Solutions, visit www.sportsbusiness.solutions and follow along on social. To connect with Kevin directly you can email him at email@example.com
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