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Growing Into Sales Like Detroit Tigers Director Of Ticket Sales Andrew Sidney Did

Andrew Sidney | Director of Ticket Sales | Detroit Tigers

Sales weren’t something I fell in love with immediately, it took me about 6 months to truly understand what it was, why I liked it and more importantly, why I was good at it.

Andrew Sidney

Director of Ticket Sales

Detroit Tigers

× The interview with Andrew Sidney was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Tell us about your role as Director of Ticket Sales for the Detroit Tigers. What does a typical day look like for you?

My role is responsible for overseeing all new ticket sales for the Tigers. We have two teams that are focused on generating sales, our new business team and our group sales team.

While our salespeople sell all of our products, the new business team’s concentration is on selling package sales and memberships to consumers and businesses through face to face appointments, phone calls, emails and other avenues.

The group sales team concentration is selling large outings to areas such as schools, churches, businesses, non-profits and youth sports.

A typical day right now is a little different than what we’ve all been used to.

With COVID-19, our world has been adjusted but we’re rolling with it.

Right now, my day-to-day is filled with phone calls and virtual meetings. Our sales and service team has a call at 830am where we go through the key points of the day with the entire team. From there, we’ll have various meetings/training sessions with our teams.

Daily calls at 11am and 1130am with our new business and group sales teams help us recap the morning, and prepare for the afternoon.

Throughout the rest of the day and prior to our 5pm wrap up call with our staff, many of my days are filled with rep conversations, helping coach through specific sales or service situations and meeting with the rest of our leadership team to make sure we’re all locked in on what we need to communicate to the staff.

Were sales always something you were interested in, or did you grow into it?

Sales were definitely something I grew into! It’s funny, a lot of the students or younger reps we interview for sales roles now have the opportunity to be recruited and almost choose where they want to start their careers.

They get a full rundown of what a day looks like, what goes into being a top salesperson and they get to interview with many teams to find the right fit.

That wasn’t the case for me, but luckily I was surrounded by incredible mentors and experienced salespeople that helped me along the way.

Sales weren’t something I fell in love with immediately, it took me about 6 months to truly understand what it was, why I liked it and more importantly, why I was good at it.

Prior to working for the Tigers, you were Director of Group & Inside Sales for the Houston Rockets. How do these two roles differ, and what do they have in common?

My role in Houston was an important part of our Ticket Sales team. Recruiting, mentoring, hiring and coaching younger salespeople who were fresh out of college was fun but, it was a challenging role. We found many reps who had success and kept on with the Rockets and were promoted to more senior-level sales roles.

The group sales team was responsible for selling those larger outings and creating programs that would be year-in and year-out opportunities for group sales.

There are similarities within the jobs in terms of managing salespeople, oversight of specific departments and hitting goals.

The major differences in my role with the Tigers are overseeing our senior-level account executives on the new business team and trying to sell more seats!

The Tigers are not in the same spot as the Rockets in terms of on the field or court play, so having an opportunity to build something here in Detroit and be a part of that growth was an attractive situation.

What are the top three skills you believe are crucial to success when working in sales?

  1. Listening – Most people naturally believe you have to be a smooth talker to be good at sales. Being a smooth listener will help you more in the long run. If you’re able to truly listen to your clients, you won’t have to talk much to make an impact and explain why a product makes sense for your client.
  2. Curiosity – Have a passion to get better at sales, read books, articles, listen to podcasts. Be curious about different industries and what is going on in the world today. Most importantly, ask your fellow salespeople what is working for them or not-working. All of that will help you become a better salesperson.
  3. Open to Coaching – Be a sponge! This is a big piece of the process. You aren’t going to know everything coming into this role and the best way to learn is to learn from those who did it before you.

Hayley Michie Hayley's Final Thoughts

Our paths in the sports industry are often unclear until we find our fit. In Andrew’s case, he started out in coaching, public relations and stadium operations internship roles before finding his fit in sales. Pursuing different roles is a great way to see what you like and don’t like in the sports industry. After all, I’m sure everyone can agree they want a job that never really feels like work. Although Andrew didn’t fall in love with sales immediately, he grew and pushed himself to understand sales more, ended up liking the process and realized he was actually great at making sales. With that being said, make the most of your opportunities; you never know what you might like.

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