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The relationship cannot stop at the point of sale, much like how a transactional selling model would. Retention is critical to our business model to help us continue to sell out games, so the relationship is very important to both sides of the ticketing business, selling and retaining.

Matthew Schroll

Director, Business Development

Houston Dynamo & Dash

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

1Tell us about your role as Director of Business Development for the Houston Dynamo & Dash. What does a typical day look like for you?

Typical is a relative term now, but my day, in short, consists of making sure all of our representatives are in the best position to succeed.

During this Work from Home time period (which we are still working from home), we’ve managed to continue to sell and service at a high level, which is awesome. But we’ve also found that we had an opportunity to continue training our team at a high level every day.

The ticketing team is in an even better position, prior to COVID, due to the extra training, and it shows on our sales reports!

While every day is generally much different than the last, I work with our VP and management team to try to create the best plan and strategy to sell tickets and provide the highest value to our ticket holders.

2In the beginning of your sports industry career, you tried your hand at roles in Community Relations, Sports Media and Marketing before getting into Sales. What encouraged you to try out different areas of the industry and when did you realize Sales were your fit?

My internships with the South Bend Silver Hawks and the Fieldhouse basketball facility were both labelled as “marketing” internships, but being that both were smaller staffs, I had the opportunity to experience a variety of parts of the industry.

When I was able to experience the sales and sponsorship side during my internships, I fell in love due to the competitiveness and ability to positively affect your career growth through your output. Since then, those two things (among others) have fueled my passion for sales.

3What are some tools you and your team use to identify and develop new business opportunities for both the Houston Dynamo and Dash?

We use several tools, but some of the tools we use more extensively to identify new opportunities are ZoomInfo, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, as well as the Houston Business Journal. All three allow us to stay on top of the local B2B scene, in addition to our sales representatives prospecting on their own.

We also conduct a robust email campaign for thousands of companies in Houston to help “warm up” opportunities for our sales representatives to pursue on both the Dynamo and Dash side.

4In a role like Business Development, how important is relationship-building? What is your approach to both developing and retaining relationships with clients?

It’s huge.

There’s two ways to look at sales: transactional or relationship-based.

Transactional selling

Transactional selling is usually a hard-lined, quick sales process (generally, you see this when selling a commodity).

Relationship-based selling

Relationship-based is obviously a little different, and sells based on problem-solving, discovery, and learning about how our product (Dynamo or Dash tickets) can improve their current setup. And the entire last sentence sums up the concept of building a relationship.

The relationship cannot stop at the point of sale, much like how a transactional selling model would. Retention is critical to our business model to help us continue to sell out games, so the relationship is very important to both sides of the ticketing business, selling and retaining.

5The Houston Dynamo and Dash will be reopening BBVA Stadium for fans to enjoy games live and in-person. Considering only 3000 fans (13.6% capacity) are allowed in-stadium, how did this effect your sales strategy? What is the new process for securing tickets and enjoying a game at BBVA Stadium?

For our first match where we were returning with fans, our approach was to take care of our Members first, based on their Loyalty Tier within our fan base (essentially, how long they’ve been a Member with the Dynamo and Dash).

Our team worked to clear out any seating inventory that was not possible with local guidelines and League guidelines, and they began to create a socially-distanced seat manifest, with two-, three-, four-, five-, and six-seat “pods.” The pods were only available together, to ensure only one person was sitting with their own family/friends.

Tickets were priced in alignment with our previously-planned 2020 games, and then gave Members the option to get discounted ticket pods, before going on-sale to the general public. All sales were online and required a filled-out waiver to inform/ensure safety during the match.

6Now that you’re in a role in which you motivate and oversee others, set goals and of course, create new business opportunities, what do you think are the essential qualities and skills that can help someone thrive in a business development role?

The main things we interview candidates for, experience or not, revolves around what we believe are essential to success in a sales role: passion, competitiveness, coachability, attention to detail, and organization.

We put a heavy emphasis on training and development with our staff, so we recruiting and hire based on a lot of those traits, among a few others.

So whether it’s someone breaking into the industry for Day 1 or an experienced seller that is ready to make the move to the Business Development team, those continue to be qualities that provide a great opportunity to succeed in sales.

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