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CONTENT/TEACHING OUTLINE COMPETENCY: OBJECTIVE: 4.00 4.

02 Develop customer service skills needed in the sports and entertainment industry. Recognize the steps of the selling process.

A. Explain the approach. 1. The approach is the first encounter with a customer. The initial approach is critical. It should be positive, create a favorable impression, and create interest in the product. a. Service approach. i. Considered the least effective approach method. ii. Should only be used when customer is obviously in a hurry or when selling a service. For example, How may I help you today? b. Greeting approach. i. Simple greeting such as Good Morning! Is it still storming outside? is used to acknowledge customers presence and establish rapport. ii. Greeting may include introduction of oneself. iii. Can be combined with the service or merchandise approach. c. Merchandise approach. i. Includes comments or questions about the merchandise the customer is looking at or handling. ii. Considered the best approach method. For example, The Atlanta Braves jersey will not shrink when washed. 2. Sales approaches used in sports and entertainment marketing include telemarketing, direct mail, and personal selling. B. Determine the needs of customers. 1. Observe the nonverbal communication of the customers and how they express themselves through body language. 2. Listen to customers. Maintain good eye-contact, provide verbal and non-verbal feedback, give customers undivided attention, listen with empathy and an openmind, and do not interrupt. 3. Question customers. Well-chosen questions can help uncover needs and buying motives while putting customers at ease. Begin with general questions and then progress into specific questions. It is important to ask open-ended questions (questions that require more than a yes/no answer). For example, How often do you bring your family to Paramounts Carowinds each year? Then explain to the customer the benefits of an annual pass to the park. C. Explain product presentation and demonstration. 1. Good presentations actively involve the customer. For example, when AT&T was making their presentation to the United States Olympic Committee, recordings of different sound variations were demonstrated so the committee members could hear the clarity of the sound system when making announcements to the fans. AT&T felt this form of sales presentation would ensure their selection as the sound system used by the Olympics.
Sports and Entertainment Marketing I Summer 2003 60

CONTENT/TEACHING OUTLINE COMPETENCY: OBJECTIVE: 4.00 4.02 Develop customer service skills needed in the sports and entertainment industry. Recognize the steps of the selling process.

2. Show the product to the customer and tell them about its benefits. This is called show and tell. Never show more than three items at one time. If in doubt, show medium-priced merchandise first, which means the salesperson can go up or down in price based on customers reactions and comments. 3. Make the presentation come alive. Involve the customer by putting the product in the customers hand. Demonstrate how the product works. For example, when customers are considering purchasing season tickets, offer to show them where they will be sitting. D. Overcome objections. 1. An objection is a reason, concern, or hesitation a customer has for not making a purchase. For example, I really want both the sweatshirt and short sleeve shirt, but I cant afford both. 2. Common objections: a. May be spoken or unspoken. b. May be logical or psychological. c. May relate to the need, product, price, salesperson, source, store, or time. d. May occur at any point in the sale. e. Should be welcomed. Indicates true interest in merchandise. Indicates to salesperson the next steps in recommending solutions. 3. To handle objections, listen, acknowledge, restate, and answer the objection. 4. Six specialized methods of handling objections. a. Boomerang. The objection comes back to the customer as a selling point. For example, if a customer states, I cant believe this concert ticket is so expensive. The salespersons response might be, I understand, but the view from those seats will be excellent. b. Question. The customer is questioned in an attempt to learn more about the objections raised. For example, Why dont you want to buy running shoes, especially if you are starting to get more involved in 5k events? c. Superior point. The salesperson acknowledges the objections as valid, but offsets them with other features and benefits. For example, if a customer states, I went to a Charlotte Checkers game last week and the tickets were $10 cheaper than the Hurricanes tickets. The salespersons response might be, Yes, that would be correct, but last year the Carolina Hurricanes were in the Stanley Cup Finals and the Checkers are not part of the National Hockey League. d. Denial. Provide proof and accurate information when answering objections. Best used when customer has wrong information or when the objection is in the form of a question. For example, if a customer states, I really dont want to pay a $150 joining fee in advance. The salespersons response might be, You dont have to pay in advance, we can spread the joining fee over a six month period if you like.
Sports and Entertainment Marketing I Summer 2003 61

CONTENT/TEACHING OUTLINE COMPETENCY: OBJECTIVE: 4.00 4.02 Develop customer service skills needed in the sports and entertainment industry. Recognize the steps of the selling process.

e. Demonstration. Answers objection by showing one or more features. It demonstrates the saying Seeing is believing. For example, a salesperson shows the benefits of a new MP3 player to a customer. f. Third party. Uses a previous customer or another neutral person who can give a testimonial about the product. It can be in the form of a letter received from a satisfied customer. For example, The Carolina Hurricanes have always purchased their team equipment from us. As a matter of fact, let me show you a letter we just received from their equipment manager. E. Explain closing the sale. 1. Closing the sale. Obtaining a positive agreement from the customer to buy. For example, Would you like this gift wrapped? 2. Customer readiness in closing. a. Buying signals i. Facial expressions or body language. ii. Physical actions. For example, nodding, reaching for a wallet. iii. Comments. For example, I really like it; it fits well. iv. Questions. For example, Do you have another one for my son? b. Trial close. This is used to get an indication of what needs to be done to close the sale. For example, Would you like to wear them home? 3. General rules for closing the sale. a. If the customer is ready to make a buying decision, stop talking about the product. b. When a customer is having difficulty making a buying decision, stop showing additional merchandise. c. Help a customer decide by summarizing the major features and benefits of a product. d. Do not rush a customer into making a buying decision. e. Use words that indicate ownership, such as you and your. f. Use major objections that have been resolved to close the sale. g. Use effective product presentations to close the sale. h. Look for minor agreements from the customer on selling points that lead up to the close. 4. Specialized closing methods. a. The which close encourages a customer to make a decision between two items. i. Remove unwanted items to bring the selection down to two. ii. Review the benefits of each. iii. Ask the customer, Which one do you prefer? b. The standing-room-only close is used when a product is in short supply or when the price will be going up in the near future. For example, If you
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CONTENT/TEACHING OUTLINE COMPETENCY: OBJECTIVE: 4.00 4.02 Develop customer service skills needed in the sports and entertainment industry. Recognize the steps of the selling process.

purchase the signage at the RBC Center today, you will be saving your club over $2,000.00. Next month, there will be a 10% price increase. c. The direct close is a method in which a salesperson asks for the sale. For example, May I initiate the paperwork for your sponsorship of our charity event? d. The service close explains services that overcome obstacles or problems. For example, Now, lets talk about when you would like the system installed. F. Explain suggestion selling. 1. Suggestion selling is beneficial to both the customer and the salesperson. The customer gets the benefit of goods or services that will compliment the initial purchase. For example, How about an ice-cold Diet Vanilla Coke to go with that hotdog? 2. It is performed to help or enhance the original purchase. Suggestion selling is not intended to force unnecessary items onto the customer. 3. It takes place after the customer commits to make the original purchase, but before the sale is entered into the register. 4. Three methods used include offering related merchandise, recommending larger quantities, and calling attention to special sales opportunities. G. Explain relationship marketing. 1. Relationship marketing involves the strategies businesses use to stay close to their customers. Building a relationship with a customer is crucial to keeping them as a repeat customer. For example, mailing or e-mailing a bi-monthly newsletter to any customer of the stadium store. 2. Benefit selling involves informing customers of new benefits about a sports or entertainment product. For example, rather than purchase a gym membership that will expire in six months, a customer purchases a booklet of admission tickets that do not expire until they are redeemed. 3. After-sale activities are used to develop and nurture customer relationships and loyalty in developing on-going dialog with customers in preparation for future sales. For example, taking payment or taking the order, departure activities such as reassuring the customer, following-up on commitments made, and evaluating selling skills.

Sports and Entertainment Marketing I Summer 2003 63

CONTENT/TEACHING OUTLINE COMPETENCY: OBJECTIVE: 4.00 4.02 Develop customer service skills needed in the sports and entertainment industry. Recognize the steps of the selling process.

Resources Printed References: Marketing Essentials, 3rd ed., pp. 226-271. Sports and Entertainment Marketing, pp. 9-10, 21, 3233, 75-76, 80, 85-86, 89-92, 109, 113, 136, 452, 198, 200-203, 207. Marketing, pp. 30-31, 92-94, 147, 229-230, 324-325, 330-331, 455, 467-473, 563. Suggested Activities: Marketing Essentials, 3rd Ed., Zazz Lab, pp. 294-295. Select three students from the class to come to the front and demonstrate each of the three types of approaches. The teacher is the customer in each of the approaches. Or have students write an example of each of the approaches and share with the class. Have each student bring to class merchandise related to the sports or entertainment industry and have them give a one-minute demonstration/presentation of that product/service. (Keep a few of the students merchandise to use in the suggestion selling activity.) Divide the class into teams. Assign each team one of the six specialized methods of handling objections. Each team is to prepare a oneminute skit demonstrating their assigned form of handling objections. Divide the class into teams. Assign each team one of the four specialized closing methods (they may be used more than once). Each team is to prepare a one-minute skit demonstrating their assigned form of specialized close.

Teacher Notes

Sports and Entertainment Marketing I Summer 2003 64

CONTENT/TEACHING OUTLINE COMPETENCY: OBJECTIVE: 4.00 4.02 Develop customer service skills needed in the sports and entertainment industry. Recognize the steps of the selling process.

Resources, cont.. Suggested Activities: Use the merchandise you kept during the demonstration activity. Place the merchandise in the front of the room. Pair students and have them brainstorm ideas for examples of suggestion selling for each product/service. Have students write a thank you note to a customer who purchased a high end product such as a flat screen television or season tickets to the L.A. Lakers. There is a 4.00 project at the end of this competency.

Teacher Notes

Websites:

Other Resources: 4.02 PowerPoint Presentation

Sports and Entertainment Marketing I Summer 2003 65