Is integrity in sports sales a problem?

About Wade Graf

Hundreds, even thousands, apply for any ticket sales position opening, flooding LinkedIn, PBEO and Teamwork Online  with resumes and contacts trying anything to break in.

Some fly to the Baseball Winter Meetings or various sports sales combines in hopes of speaking to any hiring manager willing to listen. If fortunate enough to grab entry-level positions in inside sales, they soon realize they have a very short time period to prove worthy ticket sellers.

Three Takeaways:
• Form good habits and practices early in your career.
• Never compromise morals or integrity in order to get ahead.
• Promotions aren’t always awarded to the top revenue generator. Integrity, teamwork and work ethic are other key components in taking the next step in your career.

Entry level sales positions are often part-time or limited periods (6-12 months) before the next batch of recruits invade the cubicles. Reps compete in revenue generation to earn a full time position with the team. In this pressurized competitive situation, inexperienced reps may look for any way possible to succeed.

Habits learned early in your career not only stay with you; they grow and intensify on a daily basis. It is incredibly important new ticket salespeople understand there is more to their jobs than just generating the most revenue possible. Sure, managers want and need to fill the seats through season tickets and nightly suites, but that’s not all that matters.

Does integrity count?

Outstanding sales reps don’t compromise integrity trying to make sales or earn promotions. Being a standout sales representative is not:

  • taking a 16-digit credit card number or check, then ignoring the client over the entire course of the season.
  • achieved by holding a great seat location from your co-workers until you find just the right individual or company who will buy them from you.
  • earned by trying to sell to a company your teammate has been talking to for months or by hiding a sale in the client’s brother’s ticket account.

Just one episode of taking another representative’s sale can tarnish that representative’s image. Months or even years of great work can come crashing down over one moral compromise.

Jason Fortune, Season Ticket Manager with the Texas Rangers, explains,

Jason Fortune

“As long as you  maintain your integrity and make the right decisions, you will always have a chance to earn a promotion. Always remember that sales reps who cut corners and ‘cheat’ the system will not last long with any organization. The recipe for success is simple: Come in, work hard every day surpassing expectations, never compromise your integrity, and eventually your hard work will pay off.”

Katie Morgan, CRM and Database Manager with the Texas Rangers, notes the effects acting with integrity has on potential promotions:

“Gaining the respect of your peers is one of the most beneficial things within the sports industry and also one of the most critical. Maintaining working relationships with those around you will help with day to day tasks. But, more importantly, those who earn respect and work well with others catch a manager’s eye when looking to potentially promote.”

Are you a great teammate?

Being a great teammate and helping the person you are competing with to earn the promotion is just as important as being on top of the sales board. Giving great customer service and showing customers around for an hour in the stadium means just as much to the organization as making ten more calls in order to earn the next sale.

When looking to promote from within the organization, season ticket or suite managers don’t always pick the leader on the sales board. They want those who can sell, but also those who provide superior customer service, have great moral standards, and represent the organization well each and every day. Remember it’s a team sport, both on the field and in the office.