Process-Driven Systems Produce Predictable Results: Discussing Sales With Matt Goodman

Process-driven systems offer key advantages that can help push your business to greater heights. Systems such as these not only make identifying areas for improvement easier, they also help make formulating resolutions a snap. Lance Tyson’s guest in this episode is Matt Goodman, COO and CCO for New York City Football Club. Matt strikes on the need for a repeatable process to produce a predictable result, managing and coaching a diverse group of salespeople, and the need for an ongoing training process. This episode is packed with information that can be your roadmap to enhancing your team’s performance.

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Against the Sales Odds Review Process-Driven Sales Systems With Matt Goodman

I have been in a lot of spots with this next guest. He got interesting spots with some different brands. Brands he influences as a consultant. Also, a brand where he was thrust into a tough situation with an organization that wasn’t on a big winning streak. I’d like to welcome Matt Goodman. He’s the COO and the Chief Commercial Officer of NYC FC. I’m excited to have you on. My first MLS team here. This is great stuff.

We’ll take it. Thanks for having me, Lance.

Matt, let me start off. Everybody has different titles. A lot of words and letters between the brand and your title. What is Chief Commercial Officer? You hear that a lot, especially European clubs. Talk about your role and what rolls up underneath you.

You’re right. Chief Commercial Officer is a little bit more UK based. We’re part of the city football group, Manchester City and the ten clubs that we own across the world, specifically to NYC FC. I own ticket sales, partnerships, marketing, business intelligence, and youth programs. All the things that speak directly to our members, customers and corporate community. Those are the areas in which I impact.

I didn’t realize you had marketing, but also youth. Out of all those roles, give everybody an idea of the size and people power your organization.

Our business org is 125 people, of those 125, I’ve got 55 of them. Rough math, 20 to 25 on ticket sales, 15 to 20 in marketing, another 5 to 7 on the partnership side, BI is 5 and youth programs is 3.

As I talked to executives like yourself, you look at their careers and what people prepared themselves for. I’ve known you one as a consultant in the NBA. Working for a team in the NBA, we’ve done a lot of work together when you were at the Browns and you own the partnership piece there.

Don’t forget the first one, Madison Square Garden.

By the way, at MSG. I wouldn’t say in pandemic, when you were selling at MSG, it was the financial meltdown and you were selling the most expensive product in the world at that point.

That is correct.

When you look at that org chart right now, which one do you gravitate naturally to? Which one is that comfort zone edge for you?

The ones I gravitate towards the most are tickets and partnerships. Those are the two things as a salesperson I gravitate towards. The stuff that’s either we’re dealing with brand or we’re dealing with season ticket holders. The hardest is probably the business intelligence side. When you see how the sausage is made, that is coding work, not a secret work that’s work I don’t know how to do, but I know what the output provides and the value that it has to our club into our business.

They use programs piece that in and of itself is such a grassroots ground and pound. It’s a matter of having relationships with those that organize large leagues across the tri-state. We’ve got roughly 7,500 kids in our youth programs universe. That’s a fraction of what the tri-state has to offer. The three-person team there, we know we have a huge upside, but the part that is the most challenging is the marketing piece. That’s because marketing means different things to different people.

The most challenging part is marketing, and that’s because marketing means different things to different people.

When you get under the hood of what that means to a smaller team, by smaller I mean, we’re arguably the youngest pro team in the New York landscape. This is our seventh season. We’ve had a fair amount of change at the top of the organization since its inception. Frankly, the marketing piece has been a challenge for us historically because we don’t have our place to play in terms of our own standalone house.

In Yankee Stadium and then ultimately having times throughout our life cycle where we’ve played in different buildings, that in and of itself creates a bit of a challenge when you’ve got storyteller under the club. You’ve got changes to the roster. Roster dynamic is different. Then you’ve got different voices who have been at the top of org. We’re not going to sugarcoat this. We’ve seen an erosion in our base of season ticket members from when this club started with 18,000 season ticket members. Now we’re down to eleven. That’s a function of a number of things.

It is. Ironically enough, I was doing some work with the Columbus Crew, and they won it this year, 2021. This is my opinion. This isn’t anything I’m sharing internally in their company. I was sitting getting my hair cut. My barber is a season ticket holder. She loves the Crew. She talks about it all the time. I talk to her about it because I do stuff in pro sports. She was talking about winning the cup. The guy across from me getting his hair cut. He goes, “Wait. The crew is still here?” She’s like, “They never left.” The guy goes, “They won the cup?”

To me sometimes, with major league soccer in the US, a little bit what you deal with in some areas. Does that mean that the product’s not exciting? I go to these games. They are great. It’s fun, but a little bit, like you got that whole marketing trying to penetrate. You got the people that love soccer. It’s getting to everybody else.

Breaking through the clutter. I know it’s cliche, but you’ve got the youngest league of North American Pro Sports. The MLS last season was the 25th season. You compare that to 75 years of the NBA, 100 at NFL ,125 in baseball. It’s a young league. It is not the best league in the world as those other leagues are in terms of their sport. There are natural challenges. We’ve got a challenging TV deal right now. All of that to say, there’s a lot to overcome there.

A lot of work to do.

That’s why this was exciting. Not anybody can sell suites at MSG.

As you were talking about MSG, I have one of the entrepreneur that I enjoyed reading about his P.T. Barnum’s autobiography. His original circus was at Madison Square Garden. That’s how far back that venue goes. It’s amazing. If you think about what Matt is saying number one, he’s about 50% of the whole staff, the organization. He has some functionality reporting to him that he’s a sales guy first or he comes from sales first.

Marketing is the natural friction to things you’ve got to embrace and understand that it’s a different thought process. It’s more long-term. It’s not ready, fire, aim. Sales is more ready, fire, aim. One of the premises with this whole thing I’ve been doing with these interviews is how a lot of these sales execs get from where they start to all sudden being an executive and they’re leading through sales. Matt’s a great example. Matt, let’s go backward. Where are you from? First sales job? How do you break into this? You mentioned once before you were about 25, sports weren’t your first thing.

I was and wasn’t. I grew up in Dallas. I went to the University of Arkansas for school. I went there to be a Journalism Major. I wanted to write for the newspaper. I wanted to be the voice for St. Louis Cardinals. That was my goal. I wanted to be behind the mic one and to write the newspaper. I liked being in front of a camera, the idea of Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon that was the very beginning of them. We had mainstream, like old school newspaper sports guys start to transcend mediums. To me, that was interesting. I went to school for that.

I got the opportunity to start calling games for Lady Razorback volleyball, soccer, softball and hoops. I’m traveling all over the country getting the chance to do this. The athletic department put me on full-time staff as an undergrad. When I was finishing school, they said, “Why don’t you stay? Get your Master’s. Why don’t you sell sponsorships? You’re clearly a salesperson.”

During school, I worked for Sprint selling cell phones. I worked for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette selling newspaper subscriptions door to door, knocking on people’s doors to sell some newspapers. I come from a family of salespeople.

ASO 35 | Process Driven Systems
Process-Driven Systems: Passion for the product is critically important.

It wasn’t hard what you did.

It’s genetic. When I talk to friends whose parents worked in finance, they talk about it at the dinner table and they’re talking about finance. We think the storytelling wasn’t the Goodman family dinner table at night. My dad selling industrial chemicals and industrial maintenance supplies, so like water treatment plants and city managers, you’re talking about some interesting character.

Did you get your Master’s?

I did not. Instead of taking that opportunity, I had secured an opportunity as an inside sales intern for the Dallas Cowboys shortly before I graduated college. This is old Cowboy Stadium in the basement. This is 2002, the director of sales he’s like, “What do you want to do?” I said, “I want to be the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals.” He’s like, “What does that mean?” I was like, “I want to work in media relations and then get into the broadcast.” Verbatim, he goes, “If you want to be successful in the sports business, you put assets in chairs.”

I was like, “Okay.” He’s looking at me and he says, “How do you feel about making 100 phone calls a day?” I said, “Selling Cowboy season tickets?” He said, “Yes.” I go, “Fine. Piece of cake.” He’s like, “You think so?” I was like, “I do.” Mind you, they come off at 2-5 in 11 seasons. Dave Campo has just been fired as the head coach. I grew up in Dallas. I’m used to making phone calls. I’ve had all types of retail sales jobs. He thought 100 phone calls a day was going to be an intimidator. I was like, “That’s fine.”

Sure enough, I started. It was the Tuesday after Memorial Day in 2002. He showed me where my desk is and there was a list printed off on the desk of either past single game buyers or people whose bonds from the original Texas stadium, bond holders who had lapsed on their bond. It was like, “Go.” That’s it. There was no onboarding, no training, no nothing. I was sitting next to two other guys who couldn’t care less than I was even breathing, let alone sitting within three feet of them. I picked up the phone and I’m like, “Here we go.”

How long did you do that? I did not realize you’re with the Cowboys.

I did that job for six months. The director of sales came by my desk one day, stood there and watched me close a cold call for seasons. He high-fives me. It’s a big day. A lot of the young people in our business now and the same was back then, I went to school for a number of years, graduated, have this seemingly high-profile job as an inside sales intern. I made $400 a month.

I had gotten an opportunity to be a sales manager for a hotel and make $35,000. It was like, “This is a real job,” versus the one I had. I talked to him about it. He’s like, “I understand your decision.” You will get a full-time job here. You clearly have an aptitude to be successful, but I can’t tell you when that’s going to be and I understand you’ve got to do what you got to do.

That’s where it started left. I left the Cowboys. I went and worked for this hotel. Ninety days into that job, I was like, “This is not it.” I was working for Wyndham. I was like, “I need to train. I want real legitimate training. I have the intangibles that much I know. I want training.” Fast forward, a few more months and there’s a new Minor League Baseball team in North Texas.

In that year period between the Cowboys and Wyndham, you realized what’s the starting thing because you changed jobs twice. You already had sold in college, a little bit. You had some stage time. You realized what in that year?

I realized that passion for the product is critically important. The fundamentals of sales, which are building rapport and asking for the sale, are two things that I’ve always been very comfortable with. The best way I would articulate this, the difference between being a white-collar seller and a blue-collar seller.

Makes total sense, you’re in Frisco now. Who owns that at the time? To me, this is an interesting part because of the crew that you’re with and what has come out of this former organization.

No two salespeople are the same.

I’m going to belabor this, because there’s a story that got me into Frisco. A friend of my dad from St. Louis from when they were kids, he’s talking to his childhood friend who says, “A guy that used to work in my baseball card shop is now living in Frisco, working for this Minor League Baseball team.” My dad says, “Give me his name and number, Matt needs a job.”

My dad gives me this guy’s phone number. I called his cell and left him a voicemail that was three minutes long, articulating how I got his number and the relationships associated. “I know you used to work for Howard. He’s a friend of my dad,” The guy calls me back. He’s like, “Can you have lunch with me tomorrow?” We go and we sit down and have lunch, after a two-hour lunch. He’s like, “If you have some time, I’d like you to come back to the ballpark with me and meet my boss,” who was my boss.

Stehlik?

Yes.

If you’re not in pro sports, the people that Matt’s going to talk about are the people he worked with the inside of this organization. Brent Stehlik, who is part of RedBird Capital and also the CEO of OneTeam Partners and formerly with Browns, Mike Drake, who is essentially the Chief Revenue Officer of the Atlanta Hawks. My own Vice President of Business Development, Gina Beltrama, she came in later. Then Marcia Steinberg and I’m missing somebody else.

We have, who is now top dog. He’s been around quite a bit. That was in Frisco.

Rockledge, who’s at Baltimore Ravens. He worked at the Dayton Dragons.

He was in Dayton and he was in Frisco. Raquel Burgess, who’s with the Cowboys. I hired her in Scranton and another one of your people.

I’ve trained her at Cowboys. I’ve done a lot with her. I did not know Raquel worked for you there. You’re there at Frisco, beautiful ballpark Mandalay, at the point owned and operated that. One thing I know about the Mandalay people, they were always highly-trained, rock solid killers.

Howie Nuchow, who is now at CAA. He was the CEO of Mandalay Baseball. The training was what the whole thing was about. It was a rigor. You had to make 60 calls a day. You had to book fifteen face-to-face appointments a week. We had the big white board. We had to write down the company and the title of the person of were meeting with.

We had training on how to make the call, how to schedule the appointment, how to overcome objections with gatekeepers, to get to the decision maker to get the meeting scheduled. We had a whole script in terms of how we went in and how we presented our ticket offerings. It turned it into a business development tool.

Like anything else, predictable process yields, a predictable result at the very least, whether it happens the way you’re trained or not, you have the confidence to deal with most situations. When my organization goes into a trance, we find most people can’t make the right decisions because they haven’t thought past the next move. Your training is probably boating you well moving forward. How long are you at Mandalay? What’s that look like?

ASO 35 | Process Driven Systems
Process-Driven Systems: We were in the bottom three overall in the league in terms of partnership revenue. We had to make substantial changes in the way that the partnership group operated; we needed to turn all of our sellers into business-focused sellers.

I was six years at Mandalay total. I did three years in Frisco. I did year and a half in Scranton when we launched the Yankees, AAA Affiliate moving on from Columbus to Scranton. I did a year as a team person within Mandalay. I finished up back in Frisco before I got the opportunity to move to New York to Madison Square Garden.

It sounds like at Mandalay when you’re a Frisco, that’s when you started to break into sales management. Matt Goodman as a salesperson. What would Matt Goodman as a sales leader not stand about Matt Goodman as a salesperson? You don’t have the freaking opinion. It’s not like you have an opinion or anything. You’re a wallflower a little bit.

Matt Goodman, the sales manager, would not appreciate that at times. Matt Goodman the seller, especially early, did not have the operational rigor, whether it’s salesforce or providing the full debrief of the intricacies of the meeting to my manager. As a lifelong seller, the subtle nuances that are hard to communicate in a recap of how the meeting went, whether it’s body language, things in the office, the things that you do as a seller, that’s the stuff as a seller I wouldn’t communicate to me as a manager. As a manager will be like, “I need the whole picture,” because as a seller who now manages, I understand all that.

Would you say back then CRM for Matt, the salesman was somewhat optional?

Matt, the seller, we got to use Excel spreadsheets, that I can do. When we launched the salesforce platform at MSG, the biggest complaint that I made was every time I’m finishing a call, I got to stop my momentum and go in and fill in all this information, but I’m cooking. I’m on calls. I got a flow, but that’s stuff you got to learn.

Let me ask Matt, the seller. Would you agree on Matt as the sales manager has certain rules and processes for salespeople?

Yes.

Would you agree that Matt, the seller, could articulate the importance of rules? They mattered for everybody else, but for Matt the seller, “I’m a high performer. I want to be managed by exception about the rule.”

I don’t want to sit here and talk about the challenge or sales book like that. There are certain aspects of Matt the seller that Matt the manager does not jive with.

This might have to be a second interview because this is the best conversation in history. I want to tell you something. Lance, the CEO and Lance sales leader, has rules for people. Whether or not Lance, when he becomes a seller, is involved with those rules, it’s a different conversation. It’s hard to look people in the eyes sometimes because “I’m with you. I’m moving. I’m an artist. I’m making stuff.” You’re in my way. You understand I’ve got movement here. You start as a leader, what starts emerging about your philosophy or your strategy?

First and foremost, no two salespeople are the same. One of the things that I’ve benefited from being a little bit older when I started in this business was my appreciation for that. It also comes back to growing up in a sales environment. The way I manage one seller was very different than the way I’d manage another seller.

The way that you recruit and hire people, sometimes you got sure things or you think you got sure things. Sometimes you get wallflowers that turn out to be phenomenal sellers and their different attributes about them in the interview process that led you to landing them, because you want to create a diverse mix of people on your team. Then you got to manage them differently.

Somebody told me a long time ago, “We all sign our name, but we all signed it different.” That signature is what you’re going after. You can develop core competencies off that. You start to recognize that difference and then you make a move to Madison Square Garden. You have gone from Cowboys big stage for a hot minute, Frisco Minor League, Mandalay’s a big platform, but manages a lot of Minor League properties, now you are going to the show.

Competition on the court is one part. But the collaboration across the business is what makes the NBA great.

Ironically enough, as we speak about this, I’ve been asked several times about the pandemic and how to sell it. My biggest experience came with working with Matt Goodman or Mike Ondrejko, Scott O’Neil at Madison Square Garden when they made this big investment into the stadium. All of a sudden, the financial crisis slams in. Very natural people that they would go after to sell these suites and hospitality are the ones getting hit the most, Wall Street, banks, mortgage companies. You get thrust right there, my whole book behind me, Sales EQ. There’s a whole example of Mike Ondrejko managing his EQ at Madison Square Garden. I have an affinity for this. You get hired, to do what there?

To sell the most expensive, premium suite inventory in the history of sports at the time, associated with this $1 billion transformation. I literally started early April 2009, 2-1 2009, in the midst of an economic meltdown. Biggest economic meltdown we’ve had since the great recession.

You’re in the epicenter of it, New York, ironically enough. New York is the epicenter of both.

It was TARP Funds. Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, two of the bedrocks of the finance community, had literally gone out of business. Pick any major financial institution and we’re going in and we’re telling them, “Here’s what we’re doing. Here’s the story. Whether you’re an existing client or a new client, here’s what it costs.” It was like I had a person in a bank who literally told me that I was crazy.

I can remember this was the first time. I wasn’t training. I was consulting because I remember we were on hot seat calls. If you have ever listened and you did a hot seat call with me, we’re going through deal momentum, deal process, little things that are hanging stuff up, and pre-negotiating as much as possible. We’re dealing with objections. We were breaking deals down. It was just advice. The only value I drove was the fact that I didn’t have the emotion of worrying about getting a commission on something. I was coming in agnostic, but that’s a lot of our experience together. We’re doing some training, but then it was mostly a lot of deals.

When I heard the term prisoner of hope associated with one of the deals that we were working on, it was one of those moments of clarity. I’m like, that’s 100% where I am right now.

What Matt’s talking about is this ramming your head against the wall, and you’re hoping you get pushed off, and you become a prisoner of that. Are you there for about 3 or 4 years?

I was there for four years.

I came in as director suite sales. When I left, I was running the sales group as VP of Corporate Hospitality.

You had seen the organization through because a lot of the players left, and you got promoted up, and you were running that group. You saw the group through the transformation and through that disaster.

I started in April of ’09. I left in February, March of 13, 2009. We had seen the economy turn around. We had sold through the majority of our mid-level suites and the more traditional. I was at a bit of a crossroads when the opportunity came knocking.

You were managing about how many millions in sales at that point at the tail end of that, what was the total nut for that?

ASO 35 | Process Driven Systems
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

If you’re talking about in terms of obligated income, we were north of $500 million.

$500 million a year in the fiercest market and coming out of a meltdown, for all of you reading, selling hospitality in New York with some of the sharks in there and sharks respect sharks. That is tough going. As Al Guido says, “Very sharp elbows.”

It’s a two-way street. Many people would say, “When you’re selling ocean front property, you’re selling the perfect venue and the perfect location. How hard can it possibly be?” If we priced it as such and it was at a time when the market was where it was and the people, we were negotiating with they were the top of the class.

For everybody, we’re talking about contractually obligated income, especially as it relates to selling hospitality. There’s a clear floor. You are negotiating with parameters. You’re not selling a partnership deal sometimes where the walls are low and you can free form. It’s playing hockey with no walls and playing in an open pond or playing hockey with boards. You got boards, when you’re selling this, it’s tough going. You got to control the momentum. It was about that time, is that when you get the opportunity at the Browns?

That’s right.

He goes from one metropolis to definitely the center of the universe, Cleveland. You get an opportunity that’s much different than the one at Madison Square Garden. Talk about that.

We started talking about Brent Stehlik. He becomes the CRO at the Browns. I had an opportunity to run the partnership groups for the Browns. To your point, making that transition from hospitality and suites to partnerships is very different. Bill Sutton told me many times, “There’s a difference between selling black and white inventory, suites and tickets to selling gray matter, which is partnership business.” That still rings true. At the end of the day, those things can be learned. The relationships that I had built with my customer base in New York are what put me in a position. First and foremost, who can you call to have real conversations at the right level to move the product?

The other thing too, people have to realize you’re now going from an extremely recognizable brand to, I would say the Browns some point distressed, your competition in town as the Cavaliers who were going to title games with LeBron. It might’ve been a downturn with LeBron at that point, but he was in and out from all three. The Browns stole the Browns, and they were struggling winning, and they’re going through a transformation. You had to reshape that whole team.

We were the bottom three overall in the league in terms of partnership revenue. We had to make substantial changes in the way that the partnership group operated such that we needed to turn all of our sellers into a solely new business-focused seller and take away their books of business. As everybody knows, that comes with real heartburn, but the fact of the matter is we weren’t delivering our revenue goals because everyone was focused on renewing existing deals. Our net new revenue numbers weren’t there.

I had to make the decision our activation and partnership marketing people can focus on their existing deals or their existing clients and drive rules. We got to be focused on driving new revenue and creating an inventory. That was the other part of the puzzle this notion of what is new inventory. We went through a $125 million renovation, but then there were no bells and whistles on that stadium when we got there.

Matt’s career at this point, he’s gone from different types of properties, selling different types of products to a landmark product, to reshaping how they’re going to sell. Tickets and suites are pretty much you get what you get, not a lot of work. Now, you’re having to bend inventory. It’s a very fluid situation selling big partnership deals. You guys did under a lot of big deals. That’s when you did the university hospital deal was done there and the naming rights on the stadium.

Naming rights was before, but we did university hospital, big deal with Ford. We were there with a new owner with all the executive teams. There was a lot of newness, which is both good and challenging because you got a bunch of people from all over the place, trying to bring their own set of processes and policies in and all having to meld together. It was amazing. It was another great group of people assembled. It was the notion of how we changed the way that we talked to brands. We didn’t go in talking about spot and dot or going and talking about signage, or going in and talking about backlit and talking about tickets.

We went in and we started operating under the model of first, we have to bring the right type of people from our side to the meeting. We bring somebody from partnership marketing and digital side. That would be like meeting three. Meeting one was all about them. Walking in and understanding, what’s important to the brand? What’s important to them right now? Based on whatever ad cycle they were in. More broadly, what’s important to them from a community and social responsibility?

Everything is a relationship business.

We wanted to do as much asking as we could and set the expectation that when we come back for the second meeting, we’re going to regurgitate a lot of what we heard. What we’re going to ask for our third meeting is who are the other people within the organization that are going to help execute based on some of the ideas that were going to come back.

Predicated on digital advertising, traditional advertising, hospitality, and entertainment, and signage. We wanted to understand what was most important to them in terms of driving business for any particular brand and then come back to that third meeting with subject matter experts. As a sales person, talking to all these other people, they all know that they’ll think we’re full of crap.

After this learning experience in a different way to sell, approach a strategy, plus you had a lot of great thinkers there, like Alex and Brent, and learning to negotiate with Joe Banner might be the single best negotiator I’ve ever met in my life. He’s an unreal negotiator. I heard somebody say about him one time. It was an exec from Turner construction. I mentioned Joe’s name and I’m not close to Joe personally, but I got to watch from a safe distance. The only person that made me cry in business, Joe Banner. In a good way, he’s a tough negotiator.

I had a major brand tell me. “We’re happy to talk to you, please don’t bring Joel Banner to me.”

You get an opportunity to do 180 and you get a chance to get in the consulting division with the national basketball association.

Going to TMBO is like getting your doctorate in the business. The understanding and appreciation for the impact that true strategy and analytics can have on data driven decision-making. The value of what that group means and the construct that makes the league what it is, under the notion of that competition on the court is one part, but the collaboration across the business is what makes it great. The partnerships from the Heat, I can pick up the phone call, had a partnership with the box, and there’s immediate connectivity.

They’ve known each other for a long time and there’s trust there. That’s a big part of it, the focus on understanding best practice, across any area of the business, tickets, suites, partnerships, marketing, digital campaign, food and beverage delivery, early entry, late departure and all those things that’s a tapestry that you can’t find anywhere else.

The way the NBA teams make decisions and the league with data, the right talent, and human capital there, it’s so important. To explain this, Matt’s essentially working at this point for the Accenture, the McKinsey of the National Basketball Association. They are the Boston consulting group. He’s giving advice to a group of clients he has internally. The way I always see it, you’re still working in the business to working all the business, which has a different perspective on things. How did that change your leadership to get to where you are now?

It made me better-versed in areas of the business that I was not versed in prior. I was there five and a half years, so it wasn’t surface level. I got to a point where I was well-versed in areas of business that I wasn’t versed in before. I managed a number of NBA teams, client direct. I also manage our team of account managers whose role and responsibility were to do a similar job with the GV and WNBA teams. Those challenges are incrementally different than those with the NBA.

From a management style perspective, I had to manage my own clients from an NBA standpoint and then I had to manage our clients and our people who were facing with what we would call challenger brands. The issues that the President of the Santa Cruz Warriors deals with are different than the one with the President of Golden State Warriors. They’re materially different, but you got to be able to go all the way across the line.

The interesting dynamic that I always think is phenomenal, especially when you’re working with that, what people don’t realize is an NBA team is a small to mid-size business, same with an NFL team. It has small to mid-sized business issues, talent issues, and customer issues. NBA employees is not a monster number employee. It’s a large brand from operating a company, but the brand is a mega brand. You’re dealing with mega brands, but small to mid-sized business issues. When you take the mega brand and the size of the business, it is extremely challenging.

That’s the hardest part of what any team does, it’s definitely to your point like I’m back in the business. The resource restriction that we deal with as a function of a business to communicate and to show what our platform can be from a brand partnership perspective as a vehicle for brand partnership is harder because we have fewer resources.

You are part of a bigger brand in soccer with all the teams that you guys have worldwide. At the end of the day, as many social programs and the obligation that I look at that a sports team has to meet certain social parameters that I as a small to mid-size business do, but necessary not compelled to do or have a spotlight on me to do it. At the same time, you go back to Peter Drucker, the business of businesses to make money. Now with 55 people back to where we started. Fifty-five souls or belly buttons to manage, you have to meet. There are priorities and there’s profitable action. It becomes a different dynamic.

ASO 35 | Process Driven Systems
Process-Driven Systems: The resource restriction we deal with as a function of a business, to communicate and to show what our platform can be from a brand partnership perspective, as a vehicle for brand partnership is just harder because we have fewer resources.

That’s managing people. It is people and P&L.

Sometimes they don’t jive. If anybody has experienced doing this, you certainly do. When we started to talk, and I totally had forgotten, that’s how we entered the door together. Matt, this has been an awesome conversation. The third party, Matt salesman, Matt sales leaders, is an all-time classic on the show. We’re going to have to do this again.

Final three questions to bring this bird down for landing, number one, it’s always the voice in your head. You’ve done a lot of big deals. You’ve sat with a lot of salespeople on deals. I got on with the Columbus Crew, and I played a 1991 song, Black Sheep, The Choice Is Yours. I go, “That’s one of my top three sales songs.” Your sales song is?

AC/DC’s Back in Black.

Matt the father, Matt the uncle talking to a 6 or 7-year-old. They say, “Uncle Matt, Dad, what does it mean to be successful?” Matt says?

People first. Everything is a relationship in business.

I don’t know how much you gift books but this is my Tim Ferriss question, if you have to gift one book, what book are you gifting?

It’s The Checklist Manifesto.

That is the whole triage of how you treat a knife wound.

How to treat a knife wound or how to build a building, you have to have a checklist in order to be successful. The best sales people I know are the ones who are 100% greater.

Great conversation. It’s easy to interview somebody like you with the experience that you have and, on top of that, a great storyteller and make me laugh. Thanks, Matt, for being on.

Thanks, Lance. This is awesome.

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