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Death of A Salesman 
by Dan Migala

Dan Migala's picture

I am going to do something that I have never done before. No, it is not giving a presentation without PowerPoint which is an accomplishment in itself because it is so much easier for me to not fail by reading off a piece of paper but I am not afraid to fail.
I am going to use the next hour to share with you the one piece of knowledge on marketing success that changed my entire business life. I am doing this because I want to help each of you to learn from my experience and strengthen your future abilities to help your teams generate more sponsorship revenues.

But understand that I do not want anything from you in return. I am not selling you anything. I just want you to hold on these ideas…and think about it.

Why am I doing this? ....well in a strange way that is what this message is all about.
It struck me recently that if I am going to stick to my goal of giving the industry the very best marketing and business success tips and advice, there is something very obvious that I have not told you about.

In the past, I have shown you the science of sports marketing, running through cases of how much money you can make by packaging promotions or tickets a certain way, how to drive revenue through sponsorship, or how to use email and the internet to your advantage. But there is another vital element to your business success that drives everything else.
I have been asked several times recently why I send out information to many of my subscribers that ask me for research, contacts and other information that is worth a great deal to many of you - for FREE. Some people think I am mad, some question what is in for me and some want to know what the catch is. There is no catch.

Only a handful of you will truly understand at the deepest level the method behind my madness and it drives me and the thinking behind embracing the opportunities of understanding selfless and common-sense marketing. It struck me that until you understand the thinking behind my marketing vision, you will never be able to reach the sponsorship goals that you deserve to help you reach and exceed your revenue objectives.

So here it goes…

As my personal gift to you, I would now like to unveil the principle driving force behind successful marketing in the 21st Century, not a re-cap of the best of the 20th Century. If you ask most team owners and sales managers what the deepest purpose of their business is, they will probably all say it is to make money and profits. However, I think this is a huge mistake and here is why.
Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to spend time with some of the world's great sports business minds. Both the famous names such as Mark Cuban, Jerry Jones and Mike Veeck, and the less well-known, but equally driven and successful sports business executives like many of you who read the Migala Report. When I had the opportunity to meet these individuals, I questioned them in great detail about what created their success.

I have taken the responses to my questions on success and something surprising soon became apparent:
Amazingly, the prime driving force behind their success is not the desire to make money. Making money is certainly one of the driving forces but it is not the prime driving force.

That might sound surprising but think of it this way. I recently read an article that showed that Microsoft currently has around $57 billion in cash reserves in the bank. Fifty-seven billion dollars!!!. Cash just sitting there waiting to be spent.

Do you honestly think that the prime motivating factor that gets Bill Gates out of bed in the morning is the desire to make some more money?

Of course not.

Here is what really drives all these people.

At some level, it is a deep desire to make a real difference in the lives of the people they reach; to impact them in some way or make a real difference in the communities they serve. For Gates, it is the community of computer users. For Veeck, it is respecting the notion that his teams sit on the front-porch of the communities they reside in. Do not get me wrong, they love money along with profits, but they are also smart enough to know that it was their passion for making a difference that brought in those profits in the first place.

What does this have to do with how you are going to package sponsorships in the future and embrace a sensible thought process of buying and selling?


Let me explain by using my own business experience as an example. When I discovered what I have just been discussing, it literally changed my business life and I essentially announced to myself in the mirror the Death of The Salesman in me.

Here is how:

As you all know, my primary work involves working with team and sponsorship executives and significantly increasing their profits by taking sports marketing ideas and sponsorship concepts and showing them how to make it brilliant.

But I used to have a bizarre problem in marketing my own services. The problem was that people simply did not believe it was possible for them to increase sponsorship revenues by 50% or 100% or more. I had spent many years and tens of thousands of dollars of my own money that I am still indebted to banks to on learning the most powerful marketing strategies in the world for small- and medium-sized businesses. I was able to work with business owners and managers and achieve 'remarkable' results. As time went on I built up case studies of sports executives who had made the decision to get in touch with me - and whose marketing had been transformed as a result.

So I used to launch my own ‘sales campaigns' to 'convince' people that I could do the same for them. I sent out brochures, I called people. I even became one of the first sports marketing “experts” to guarantee my results. I had a great sales pitch. If you were a team, I knew with such certainty that I could increase your profits I would call and say, "Work with me and I guarantee I can solve your “fill in the blank” sports marketing issue and substantially grow your business. And if I cannot, you do not pay a cent."

I did very well but still not as well as I wanted to. Something was not right. Then, one day, it finally clicked.
I decided, literally overnight to shift my emphasis totally. I decided to stop selling and start giving because I had learned the power to think rationally or even on a deeper level, more sensibly.

If you can truly understand this paradox, then this is your lucky day and I will expect you to quickly become one of the success stories of professional sports and be writing this article instead of me.
I made the prime purpose of my business to give, give, give.

I strived to add incredible value to the lives of people that I came into contact with. I gave to everyone who was interested, high-profile owners of teams to top-level sponsorship executives to those people struggling to find a job in sports, tons of great information on how to succeed.

I sent them information in the mail. I emailed them. I chatted with them on the phone. Some became customers, some did not. It really did not matter because I knew I was making a difference and the relationships began to strengthen.
Revenue was no longer the objective. Giving is now the objective and the revenue is now the result. And the result was bigger than the objective ever could be.

I stopped forever the "I can grow your business and solve your marketing problems, why do not you become my client" pitch. Within a few days people started contacting me asking me to work with them and I have not wavered since.
What has changed? Instead of trying to convince people that I could give them the knowledge that could solve their marketing problems, I just started giving them the knowledge anyway and let them decide for themselves.
I switched my focus from what I wanted to what they wanted.

I learned some profound lessons. The first is that in business, as in life, giving is a great experience and selling sponsorships is no different.

The second was that most businesses wait until a client or customer gives them money before they start adding value to that customer's life. Now I say 'Why wait?' Start adding value now and believe me, the customers will come to you.

Are you starting to get the idea?

If it can work for my business, I wholeheartedly believe the same will work for the way sponsorships are bought and sold in the 21st Century.

So here is my very strong suggestion to you.

Take this concept and try it out in your mind as to how you would use this thought when you are at work. It is the most powerful marketing concept on earth and yet it will cost you absolutely nothing. Now decide for a moment that the prime purpose of your job is to add incredible value to the lives of your customers and not your bottom line.

For a few days, forget about the struggle for money and profits. Forget about you and just focus on them. Step into their shoes and do whatever you can to enhance the quality of their lives. Surprise them. Shock them. Make them laugh. Give them something they were not expecting for free. Brighten up their day....anything that lets them know and shows them that their well-being is your top priority.

The result is that you will differentiate yourself so massively from the mass of mediocrity and selfishness out there, I think you may be surprised and quite possibly stunned at the results.

The phrase 'win-win' is very overused these days as all the other empty buzzwords that salespeople use but you are so much better than those empty words because you are now thinking with your hearts as well as your minds.

If you are willing to give it a go, embrace the phrase ‘selflessness to selfishness’. Trust me. I have and it has opened the doors to the likes of MasterCard and Motorola, to name a few who are now sponsors of projects I am working on. Without this attitude of thinking like a marketer, I am confident I would have been grouped with the rest of the dime-a-dozen salesman out there who make excuses as to why big companies do not spend money with their teams.

Your customers get an amazing and unprecedented experience from being in your newfound approach and your working day becomes a blast because everyone who interacts with you enjoys your company.

The message of this article is not that we have got it all wrong. We are so immersed in working out how to increase sales, grow our business and improve our own lives, that we are missing the obvious way to do it. The way to do it is right in front of you and the easiest place to begin is to give!

The irony is that if there is a secret to your success it is to stop worrying about your success and start thinking about the success of your customers and potential customers. Pay attention to their problems, their needs. Go out of your way to make their lives easier and put a bit of joy into their lives. Will the occasional one still treat you badly? Sure but who cares? The majority will be simply stunned by the way you are so different from the masses.

This presentation is all about you and that is the point. It is about the people you will encounter in your professional life. It is about the fans that will interact with your promotions you create with sponsors. It is about the taxpayers that fund your stadiums with their hard work. It is about the public officials who depend on you for more than just paying your monthly rent. It is about the people who will learn and work with you on your staffs.
All of this from just giving.

Who knew?

Giving is a great way of doing business. Actually, giving is a wonderful way of doing business. Have you any idea what it is like to wake up in the morning and know that you are going to make a difference in people’s lives? There is no getting out of this because we are in a fun business to begin with.

In addition to this obvious advantage, even if you did regard your job as mundane or boring, the purpose of you going to work has now shifted from 'paying the mortgage' or whatever, to enhancing the lives of the people around you. So if this message has meant anything to you, please take action now and let the giving, the fun and success begin.

Now go give to your clients and organizations…

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