Like many of you, I spent this past Sunday morning and early afternoon glued to my TV set as Tiger Woods completed his comeback by winning another green jacket. I’ve heard some people call it the best sports television they’ve ever seen and some that were ranking it in their top 3 or top 5 sporting events of all time.
One of our sales reps asked me, “Wouldn’t you’ve loved to have been there and felt all that energy?” I immediately responded, “Absolutely not! The last place I want to be to enjoy a golf tournament is at the actual golf tournament.”
I speak from a lot of experience. As a former golf show producer back in my early days of radio, I had the pleasure of traveling to several US Opens and PGA Championships. While I loved getting a first-hand look at the courses and really enjoyed the player’s interaction with one another during practice rounds, as soon as the real golf started, I wanted to be somewhere I could watch more than one hole or one group. It’s just simply not ideal to really be able to follow the action when you are at the tournament.
So, what does this have to do with selling sports marketing? Well, there’s an ideal place to do what we do as well. The ideal place is at our office, in our environment, where we are most comfortable. You bring the client to the station, which allows you to give them the tour, hopefully you run in to a couple of the jocks or a great guest as you’re walking through, or sometimes you’ve even planted someone to be lurking when you know the client is going to coming in. The staff treats them well, maybe their name is up on the board or TV screen when they walk in. It’s a big deal that this client has come in for the meeting and this should work in your favor during the presentation and close.
However, most of us end up pitching at the client’s location, where it’s their environment and where they’re most comfortable. And, worse than that, this is where they can easily get distracted.
Auto dealers are the worst when it comes to this. They end up having to deal with a client of their own, so the meeting starts 15-20 minutes late, then they have to check their phone and return a few texts, then they have managers and assistants coming in the whole time while you’re trying to keep their attention. Your odds of making a sale go way down because the client isn’t even sure what you’ve presented since their attention was constantly elsewhere.
There is one other option better than their place and that is at a neutral site, perhaps over a meal or on the golf course. In this scenario, nobody has the “home field advantage” and everything is somewhat equal. You should certainly have less distractions to keep the attention of the person you are pitching.
As with anything in our business, you could learn more by tracking how you do in this area. Does where you make the pitch affect your closing ratio or does it not make any difference? You may learn that what you need is to schedule more presentations at your office, after all, don’t we always expect to win more at home?