Sep 16, 2009 at 02:15 PM
written by Jim Loria

Quick Sales Tips for Today

… Recruit and date first before presenting the Marriage Proposal. The old saying, never kiss on the first date.

… Avoid only calling on a client, despite what your relationship may be, if it’s continually just to “Sell an Idea” or “Ask for a Favor”. The client will get tired of your voice. Like a real life marriage, you need to keep your partners off balance. Keep the relationship interesting and fun for both parties!

… If you are in position to do so, one of the best (trade) deals you can make is with your local Cookie Design Company. They can developed your sports team uniform (or business logo) cookies. For the price of a small ad or some tickets, you can secure 15-20 deliveries over a year. Perfect opportunity to surprise a client when something special happens, welcome a new sponsor to your (team's) family or just say thank you for the business!! You can also work this through a Fruit Basket company too. You can never say THANK YOU enough to your clients or customers!

… Never discount how important it is to develop relationships with the soft drink street reps, the beer guys, your grocery store partner, c-store personnel, etc. I stay in touch with them quite a few times each season, trying to learn their business, get updates on in-store vendors, acquire contact names, see who has co-op funds and such. A lot of times, the names you're acquiring will never be seen in a local phone book. Some might be regional! On the flip side, year's ago, one of the best trades I ever made was giving a local caterer a pair of season tickets in exchange for his Pharmaceutical Sales Rep list!! Sold a Suite and 48 season tickets off of that prize list!

… Merchandising is an important element too. Don’t take for granted how powerful a sports team product such as a Hockey Puck, a Football, Basketball or a Baseball (and Bat) can be! You want your team (company logo) product to be seen in those key corporate offices. That $5 cost is worth “thousands” in perception & value to have your team/business viewed on Mr. CEO’s desk! I remember once years ago that in order for me to close out a deal, I had to get a Joe Montana Autographed Football for a National Hardware chain.

… Your success is all about the reputation you develop and your ability to deliver on performance! Treat everyone you meet like it’s your last friend on earth whether he/she is the CEO or the Intern! Focus always on the little things! Example: Something as simple as sending your female clients that have children a Happy Mother's Day when that comes up or a Happy Valentine's Day wish too! Same for all clients, take time to wish them the best during each of the major holidays (Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years/4th of July/Labor Day). Everyone likes to be thought of!

... HANDWRITE THANK YOU NOTES when you close out a deal with a brand new client or one that maybe was a bit of a struggle!

… From a sports team perspective, try to capture e-mail addresses from your meetings and social gatherings. As for myself, I develop grouping lists on my e-mail address book. Lists such as “Group Leaders”… “Season Ticket Clients”… “Partial Plan Buyers”… “Corporate Sponsors”… “Future Sponsor Prospects”, etc. I communicate with these people all year; sometimes even survey them periodically to receive input. I tend to do as much business nowadays from e-mail postings as I do picking up the phone. KNOW THAT MY SUCCESS ON THE LATTER IS ONLY DUE BECAUSE OF THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT I’VE DEVELOPED WITH THE RESPONDEES!

… You build EQUITY POINTS everyday with every person you meet and or speak with. Never let the walls around you get stained or erode by being sloppy on follow through or not responding to a problem. AGAIN, YOU’LL ALWAYS HEAR ME SAY “IT'S ALL THE LITTLE THINGS YOU DO TODAY THAT MAKES THE BIG THINGS HAPPEN TOMORROW!”

Jim Loria who has over 30 years of sports management experience and for the past 10 years as served as President of the USHL's Sioux Falls Stampede. Jim can be reached at [email protected] and don't forget to check out his previous posts.