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Steve DeLay's picture

"We do business with people"

This was a quote from Paul Danforth, the Head of Global Sales at CAA. He said it at a recent Sports Business Journal conference.

He was on a panel with Sam Kennedy, President of the Red Sox, and a few others talking about the advent of technology in sales. Kennedy added, "You're not going to make a sale over text message or Twitter."

Now before everyone gets in an uproar over how millenials buy stuff and that phone calls are obsolete (I hear you Troy Kirby), or that you've sold plenty of stuff via email or text message or social media, think about this. Just about every executive in the sports world that's at the top got there because they had sales skills, or at least people skills. They could communicate, talk to people and lead. Those skills come from picking up the phone, meeting with people, interacting with people. Sure, quite a few ticket sales come via the web these days but to truly grow your career, you have to be able to talk and write.

How many of us have friends who live and die by text message? I have one who sends me streams of text messages, that come through 5, 6, 7 at a time. I then have to read and respond to all of them. I hate it. Just pick up the phone and call me. It will be shorter, more effective and more successful. I won't have to send you a flood of text messages back and forth.

Blog ImageDo I sound like a grumbling, mid 40's old man? Sure. Are Paul Danforth and Sam Kennedy in their mid 40s also? Most likely. Are we dinosaurs? I don't think so. Danforth and Kennedy are at the top of their profession. They got there because they could communicate and talk and sell things. By the way, they are also the ones who are the final decision makers on whether you get hired to work for them. Make sure you have the skills they want to hire.

Steve DeLay is co-author with Jon Spoelstra of "The Ultimate Toolkit to Sell the Last Seat in the House" and "The Ultimate Toolkit - Sponsorships", complete strategy, tactics and training systems being used by more than 175 teams and colleges around the country. He also consults for numerous teams around the country. You can reach him at and follow him on Twitter @SteveDeLay2.

Check out past Ticket Sales Thursday posts on The Migala Report.

Check out past Ticket Sales and Service articles on The Migala Report.

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