You know what I did today? Tried to buy tickets to my shows.
One of the greatest challenges for Producers is that we don’t control the distribution of our product.
We are required to put the sale of our tickets into the hands of agencies (Telecharge, Ticketmaster, etc.) as well as brokers, group sales agents, etc. and, of course, the ever important box office.
While there are major benefits to being associated with these companies, it does require us to give up some control . . . which is very difficult for control-freaky Producers like me.
You can’t hire your sales force. You can’t train your sales force. You can’t require them to sample your product. You can’t learn from your sales force.
You have to trust . . .which is very difficult for control-freaky Producers like me.
So, every 6 months or so, I get to relive my childhood and play Doctor as I give my third-party sales team a little check-up.
And today was the day.
I’m fortunate enough to have 5 shows running right now, so I called Telecharge, Broadway.com, Theatremania, as well as a few random group sales agents and asked a bunch of questions about each one.
I pretended I was Joseph from Ohio (Yep, a Joe-The-Plumber reference), and that I was looking to buy about 8 tickets to a show or two for the upcoming holiday season.
I asked about price. I asked about performance schedule.
I asked if the operator would recommend the show or not . . .
The good news about this month’s check up? No one hung up on me, and I got accurate information from all of the operators, even if it seemed a bit by rote.
The bad news? Of all the of places I called, only one person had seen only one of my shows.
I could spend the rest of this blog ranting about how sales people aren’t really sales people unless they truly know first hand what they are selling, but I won’t.
Because going to the doctor isn’t about getting the diagnosis they give you. You can scream and yell to the heavens that you have a tumor, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to go away.
It’s about what you do once you get that diagnosis.
So, instead of wasting our time screaming and t-yelling (tyelling = type-yelling), I’m going to treat the tumor by making sure all my third-party agencies have invitations to come see my shows.
It’s a much better use of our time, don’t you think?
Have you played Doctor lately?
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.