57 Characteristics for Success in Sports Sales

sports sales success

David J. Halberstam

David J. Halberstam has been the Director of Corporate Sales for the Miami HEAT, Executive Vice President of Sports for Westwood One Radio and Vice President of Sports Sales for CBS Sports Radio.

Halberstam is an industry authority, and we are honored to publish excerpts from his new book, The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

In part two of our excerpts, Halberstam outlines his 57 characteristics for success in sports sales.

Take a moment and see where you fit and how you can improve:

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In addition to having the DNA that embodies a strong stomach, a nose for where to go and an organized disposition, you’re likely to succeed in sports sales should you have these concepts in the forefront of your mind.

Halby’s 57 Characteristics for Sales Success:

  1. Love selling unconditionally, no matter the emotional roller coaster and nausea you’ll experience. Unlike riding a roller coaster in an amusement park, you’ll likely finish ahead of where you started.
  2. Appreciate the internal recognition of coming up with the big hit.
  3. Motivate yourself through a fear to fail. In other words, you’re competitive.
  4. Ask good questions of all—yourself, clients and agencies.
  5. Play nicely with your colleagues by being a decent team player. You’ll need the help of your sales teammates to succeed. Cold calling is an emotionally eviscerating task. Don’t undertake it alone.
  6. Fact find eagerly. Decipher the pertinent from the non-pertinent.
  7. Lock yourself comfortably into a cold calling mindset, not allowing external influences to get in your way and infiltrate your resolve.
  8. Think positively and expect success. Ignore the ambient negativity.
  9. Remain somewhat thick-skinned. You need some sensitivity so that prospects won’t be unnecessarily abrasive.
  10. Stay firm and not wishy-washy when talking with clients.
  11. Endure pressure comfortably because pressure is insidious and it mounts.
  12. Cut the emotion out of the process and employ a scholarly detachment to better assess the discourse with a prospect.
  13. Command respect internally and externally.
  14. Crave the freedom to essentially function in a mental sales setting on your own.
  15. Don’t need hands-on supervision.
  16. Eager to learn.
  17. Good at engaging around people, although it doesn’t mean you have to close down every bar in town every night.
  18. Enjoy meeting new people and making new friends and have a natural curiosity to learn what makes companies and their decision makers tick.
  19. Thrive around people who have responsibility for big budgets.
  20. Exude a no-lose attitude.
  21. Follow strategy consistently to reach objectives.
  22. Good at setting goals and able to map a plan to get there.
  23. Comfortable interfacing with technology and can effectively convert the software of a smartphone to connect with a prospect.
  24. Look respectful.
  25. Smile infectiously.
  26. Demonstrate sophistication by being equally comfortable talking with corporate executives in the corner office, inexperienced administrative assistants or mechanics under the hood.
  27. Business generally interests you.
  28. Remember personal traits of clients and prospects. In other words, you have a solid memory.
  29. Work at an energized pace, pitch and tone.

    sports sales jobs

    Working in sports sales means you’ll often be charged with filling these seats. Bring the right attitude and it’ll make a world of difference in your success

  30. Execute good follow-up.
  31. Persuade comfortably.
  32. Possess a sales gumption.
  33. Share your enthusiasm contagiously.
  34. Interpret the nuances of dialogue.
  35. Analyze, absorb and apply new information easily.
  36. Golf (many commitments are made on the golf course).
  37. Pumped by starting your day with a fresh canvas.
  38. Motivated by making money.
  39. Bold enough to ask prospects for big money.
  40. Comfortable speaking publicly.
  41. Build a determined mindset and indomitable attitude.
  42. Fast on the learning curve.
  43. Command a room.
  44. Quick on your feet.
  45. Reach corporate level executives where you can convince marketers on the merits of a broad-based multiplatform program.
  46. Read people well.
  47. Resilient, particularly after a series of sales setbacks.
  48. Somewhat creative.
  49. Speak articulately and are able to present confidently.
  50. Stimulated to come up with resourceful proposals to present to prospects.
  51. Enjoy a temperamental makeup.
  52. Solve problems.
  53. Poised and passionate. Your confidence swells when you bring new accounts into an industry you love.
  54. Accept risk. Sellers are paid largely by commission.
  55. Pleasantly persistent.
  56. Stay current. Keep up with trends covering sponsorship and sports media.
  57. Facile with industry buzz words and nomenclature. You’ll sound savvy. For instance, there are phrases today that weren’t used just a few years ago, such as “package deliverables” and “halo.”

What are your thoughts on these concepts? What sticks out to you? What do you think you need to work on? Let us know in the comment section below!

And if you are looking for a job in sports sales, you are in the right place. or at least you will be when you click this link.

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About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

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