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How do you sell more tickets to your annual show?

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Society Music Specialist Mike O’Neill, has submitted a short compilation of great tips for selling more tickets to your annual show:

Is your annual chapter show a sellout every year?  Is there someone in your chapter that is a wizard at selling 50-100 tickets without breaking a sweat? What are the tricks of the barbershop ticket selling trade?  Discuss some of your success stories and help others around the world of barbershop have successful tickets sales to their annual shows.

Below are two examples of proven methods from the Nashville, TN chapter:

Submitted by Charlie McCann:

My campaign is done mostly by mail.  With a cover letter hyping the virtues of the show, I send a show flyer and an order form.  The order form includes my address, my phone number and how to order by credit card if they choose that method.  This gives the option of ordering by phone or by mail and payment by check or by credit card.

I have built a data base of over 170 names and addresses over the years.  These are people who have bought tickets in the past or have expressed an interest in being put on my mailing list.  I try to get my first mailing out 3 weeks to a month before the show.

Depending on the response, I might send a second mailing to a select list to arrive about 10 days before the show.  I keep a record of those who have bought tickets each year.  My select list comes from that group.

Submitted by Dave Mensel and Clyde Perkins:

We maintain a list with addresses and phone numbers of people who might be interested in buying tickets.  We both also have on the list the names of people NOT to call (that way we don’t aggravate folks who are not interested).  I use Microsoft Access to maintain the database and have columns for who bought what for each of the last several years’ shows.  If someone said they were busy or out of town but want to be called in the future, I note that as well.  Having the phone numbers on the schedule along with the names makes calling people easy.  With names and address in a database, it is also easy to do a mail-merge if you want to send out postcards or a letter letting people know you have tickets available.

And here’s another idea.  If you are uncomfortable selling tickets to people for whatever reason, consider buying a few tickets and offering them to people on a complimentary basis.  It costs a bit but once someone has heard us sing they may turn into paying customers the next time around.  This has worked for me.

The initial issue, however, is how does one populate such a list?  I started with the rosters of my church and my clubs and went through them, jotting down each person I thought a possible candidate.  I also considered who I know from business and my neighborhood.  I’ve found the list grows by 20-30 people a year.  Not all of them are prospects.  Some tell me they really don’t want to be called again.

I am usually able to sell 40 to 50 (sometimes more) tickets for each show, with the investment of only a little time, using my on-going list to guide me.

What do you at your chapter that works?

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