It's no secret that I'm not an unabashed Tottenham Hotspur fan. My weekend mood is directly linked to their success or failure. Even when I started rooting for them, and cheered for the Gareth Bale's and Rafael van der Vaart's, I was never as connected to the team as I have for this current group. They play an attractive style of team soccer, have an incredible 'never give up' attitude, and seem to genuinely care about each other on and off the pitch.
Those characteristics of this Tottenham team have never been assigned to them previously. Even when they were playing Champions League soccer under Harry Redknapp, they were a team of individual stars who could get pushed around...and who all seemed to have the agenda of using Tottenham to move on to bigger and better things. Mauricio Pochettino has changed all of those things. He's given this team an identity that is team first...and the results have followed. Let's break down how he's accomplished that...and what that can mean for ticket sales teams:
Establish an Infrastructure: Tottenham is not a team that can currently financially compete with the giants of the BPL. One of the things that has been critical under Pochettino's tenure has been how he has transformed their youth program...and incorporated those players into his 18. Sales teams that invest and execute an intense Inside Sales team (hire based off of historical successful characteristics, train reps consistently for success, promote them when they are ready to have full-time success, etc.) have more long-term success and tenures for their sales team because they have more consistent buy in from their sales team. It's not a difficult parallel to make.
Treat Each Other With Respect: One of the small things that Pochettino instituted before practice each day was that each player had to look every other player in the eye and shake their hand or give them a high-five. While players may be competing for spots on the pitch, this small gesture reminded them each day that they were on the same team. This gesture, along with a culture of weeding out players not committed to respecting each other, has made Tottenham an incredibly tight group not just on the field...but off the field as well. They are constantly on each other's social media pages, which makes it that much easier to root for them.
Sales teams are like swimming or track teams. While we are all fighting to gain points for the team as a whole, we may also be competing against each other at times. You want to have a team that balances individual competitiveness with the desire to be part of a team that respects each other and enjoys coming to work every day. Success should not give a sales rep a longer leash if they are negatively impacting what the team is trying to accomplish.
Making Long-Term Goal: Pochettino and Daniel Levy have focused on bringing in younger players who can have an impact now, but also have upside for years down the line. They are focused on not just being successful now (though that is a HUGE priority), but putting the actions in place to be successful for years to come. In fact, it has been amazing to watch the team sign EIGHT of their young players to contract extensions over a three week span. It energized the fan base...but also had a clear impact on energizing the players, too. They are bought in and locked in.
Too often I see ticket sales teams make panic decisions. We have a spot open so we'll panic hire someone not of caliber from the outside, or not ready from the inside. They'll make decisions on getting butts in seats now that will have consequences down the line. By asking yourself the question, 'How will this help or hurt us in two years?' to every action you take, you'll put yourself in a better decision to make true positive changes to the organization you're in. True, there are always pressures to sell tickets now, but I've seen plenty of teams that have made short-term decisions that have negative impact for years down the line.
I'm so excited that I get to root for this Tottenham team now...and even more excited to think about what they may become as they continue to mature. It makes you proud to be a fan...and it makes the players proud to wear the Lillywhite. Create and execute your sales team based on aspiration...not desperation.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!