Outbound Calls Can Grow Your Business

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In our coaching program, we teach how to do outbound calls and place a lot of emphasis on how important they are to grow your sales business. Inbound calls are a no-brainer. They are ours to lose. They are calling us, already interested, but outbound calls are different. Outbound calls are made from a past list of customers or potential customers you want to do business with.

One Client’s Outbound Success Story

Here is an outbound success story from our one of our clients, Jasmine from Rebounderz Apopka,

“I called a party mom, and she told me how wonderful we did last year and that she doesn’t have any plans but knows all the information and will keep in touch. Just before we hung up, she stopped me and said she appreciates us so much. We are a great company, and she was shocked and really appreciates that, almost a year after her son’s birthday, we called to follow up, wish him a happy birthday, and check on the plans they have for this year. She also said that most companies don’t do this and she definitely wants to bring her son back.

This call inspired me and made me realize there are parents that appreciate us following up, and that outbound calls have a huge purpose. Even if we don’t get the business, we are still putting our company in their minds.”

That is the power of an outbound sales call! Here is how to get started with successful outbound calls.

Have Lists of Whom to Call

To get started, you need to have lists of whom to call. You know the saying, plan your work and work your plan. If you schedule a time to make outbound calls but don’t have a plan, you are going to spend more time searching than doing calls.

The easiest list to create first is your past birthday party list. Take all of your past parties, not just last year, but from all of your previous years, put them on a spreadsheet, and sort them by party date. Plan on calling them at least six weeks (or 45 days) before their birthday and be the first to wish them a happy birthday. It’s a great opportunity to talk to them about your party packages if you have made any changes to your parties, food, or center. Just like the story above, you may not always get the booking, but you are putting your center at the top of their mind.

For groups, we suggest making four different lists: youth groups, company and adult groups, churches, and fundraisers. Here are some ideas for each category:

 

Youth GroupsCompanies/Adult ParitesChurchesFundraisers
Elementary SchoolsHuman ResourcesYouth GroupsSports Fundraisers
Middle SchoolsDentistsSingles GroupsDrill/Cheer Fundraiser
High SchoolsAccountantsChurch PicnicChoir/Band Fundraiser
Sports TeamsChamber of CommerceVacation Bible SchoolLeukemia & Lymphoma Society
BandsRetail StoresWeekly Bible Study GroupsSusan G. Komen
ChoirsHospitalsChurch Leader MeetingsBig Brothers Big Sisters
Drill/Cheer TeamsBanksMothers of PreschoolersMarch of Dimes
School ClubsAdvertising/Media ServicesWomen's MinistryChildren's Miracle Network
Boys & Girls ClubCar DealershipsMen's MinistrySt. Jude's Children's Research Hospital
YMCAMechanicsCouples MinistryLocal Food Bank
Day CaresCollege DepartmentsBar & Bat MitzvahToys for Tots
Girl Scouts of AmericaCollege OrganizationsChurch ChoirWounded Warrior Project
Boy Scouts of AmericaHotelsSenior GroupsBatter Women's Shelter
Home School OrganizationsDoctors OfficesFellowship of Christian AthletesRoom to Read
FFARotary ClubMissions GroupsMake-A-Wish Foundation
4-H ClubJunior LeagueSunday School ClassesAmerican Heart Association
D.E.C.A.Red Hat SocietyParents without PartnersALS Association
Kindergarten GraduationPolice/Fire/EMSDress for Success
Booster ClubsLocal Government OfficesBowler's Veterans Link
PTO/PTA
Project Prom/Grad

 

Creating lists will take time and research, and during the research phase, you can gather information about the company. You will have a lot more power if you can hold a conversation about what the company does and how you can help them create the best event possible.

Set Weekly KPIs      

Now that you have a plan on who to call, you need to set KPIs (key performance indicators) to determine the success of your outbound call strategy. Our goal is to increase party and group events. Our coaching program focuses on three main KPIs for outbound calls: 1. The number of outbound reaches made. 2. Meaningful conversations. 3. Parties/events booked.

Number of Outbound Calls

Making outbound calls is all a numbers game. The more outbound calls you make, the more you’re likely to book. It’s that simple. Here is a formula we have created that works for increasing events. The goal is to make 100 outbound reaches per week. That is 20 contacts per work day.

You don’t have 100 birthday parties to reach? The plan is to call 45 days in advance and then have at least two follow up calls (unless they tell you to bugger off). Those follow up calls will help you fill your goal of reaching out to 100 people!

For groups, if you are a center without alcohol, spend your time like this: youth: eight contacts per day; companies/group events: six contacts per day; churches: four contacts per day; fundraisers: two contacts per day. If you have alcohol and a bigger attraction for adults, switch the companies/adult groups to eight and youth to six contacts per day.

Connections and Meaningful Conversations

A “meaningful conversation” has a next step. That means getting them for a tour of your center, a follow-up phone call or email with more information, an agreement or proposal to review, a not now but in the future response, or you actually booked the event. At least 50% of your calls should lead to meaningful conversations.

Booked Parties and Events

Once your outbound reach efforts have geared up, you should have an increase in booked parties and events. We see that for every 100 outbound calls made, you should book 5 – 25 events each week. We track the number of events booked to see the correlations between outgoing calls and meaningful conversations in relation to booked events. Almost all the time you will see the fewer outbound calls made, the fewer bookings you will have per week. If you are reaching your 100 outbound calls, have 50 meaningful conversations, and still see no bookings, it’s time to look at the process.

Have an Outgoing Call Script

Having a script is a great way to feel confident when you are on the phone. A script helps you retain information on who you are calling, follow the CQPC process, and remain consistent on all your calls. The script is your guide. It’s like having a checklist of all the questions you need to ask and the points you need to make. With practice, you will make the words your own and it will make selling easier.

Selling Resources

We have created two great resources to help our sales teams plan their work and work their plan. The first is our Reach Calendar. The reach calendar is your guide to whom you should be reaching out to each week. We take flows and trends and give you information on specific targets each week such as reaching out to community centers to start booking their spring break field trips or calling tax offices for team building or fun events after tax season is over.

The next resource is our sales planner. Our sales planner includes the reach calendar along with incoming and outgoing scripts for birthday parties and group events. These scripts are all located in one easy and convenient place for you to access. The best part is you can track your goals and KPIs. Each quarter you have a place to state your monthly goals, the top five groups you want to contact in each area, make daily notes and track your weekly reached, connected, and booked events. It’s been an amazing tool for our salespeople to s

FEC Marketing Made Easy

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I had an epiphany this week about how to make sure I bring you great content on marketing and how it can help your business. At the beginning of each month, I want to share information about what’s happening in social media, give you marketing ideas you can use, and answer questions about marketing in your FEC. Let’s look at what happened in January and plan for the future.

Facebook Changes Newsfeed

The first big news of the year was Facebook changing its newsfeed to bring people closer together. It’s a big change and it’s going to affect business pages a lot IF you haven’t been connecting with your followers from the get-go. The gist of the change is if you are not providing engaging content, your post won’t show up higher in the newsfeed. Facebook’s algorithm is looking for content that is producing meaningful interactions.

What is a meaningful interaction? Simply put, it’s more than just someone liking your post. It’s about getting into a conversation with your followers.

The alarms went up a little when Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner held a Facebook live session almost making you feel that the Facebook world was ending. But it’s not. Facebook was created to connect us and over the past few years that hasn’t been the case. Posts have been about click bait, bad memes, cat pictures, and, quite frankly, bad news stories. Now is a great opportunity for you to engage your community and tell your story.

First of all, it’s a great time to do a social media audit. Go back to your accounts and remove old posts and pictures that may not represent your brand anymore. Cleaning up the past is okay.

Secondly, go back and look at your analytics. What have you posted in the past that got people to engage more? Do your fans enjoy videos?Live streams? Yummy food pictures you serve? Find out what your followers want and give them that! Also look at the days and times you are posting and see when there are more of your followers on Facebook. Post during those peak times so there is a higher probability of your showing in their newsfeed.

Make a plan. There are times it’s fun just to post on a whim but planning what you put out there is best. You may find that all your posts are promotional and not engaging your audience. Break up the promotional posts with posts of your birthday parties or live video of the back of the house. Fans want to know that you are real and will engage with you more when they can relate. Here is a quick list of ideas you can implement into your plan.

  • Run a contest and have them like, share, and comment on the post
  • Showcase your customers
  • Do a live video showcasing a manager/party host/cook/mechanic and what they do in the center
  • Share pictures of your amazing food
  • Share content about other community organizations
  • Ask a question
  • Share a funny picture that relates to your center
  • Use our Reach Calendar that is filled with national holidays and all the fun national days to help you engage your audience.

The list can go on and on. Here are a few examples from some of our clients to help you get your juices flowing.

Instagram Now Has Scheduling

The second big thing in social media in January for me was that Instagram opened their API to allow scheduling! I have been using Schedugram to schedule Instagram posts. Yes, it was a leap of faith that they wouldn’t shut them down, but now it’s open. Instagram has been my favorite medium since its launch and it has slowly become the favorite of more people. Instagram has over 800 million monthly users and 500 million daily users. Those numbers are a HUGE jump from the 200 million daily users just a few months ago.

The biggest feedback I have heard from clients over the past couple of years regarding Instagram was that it was too hard to maintain because they would have to stop and load their picture. Well, now there is no excuse. Platforms jumped on this quick! HootSuite and Sprout Social are ready to go. All you have to do is connect your business account.

I will be testing out Sprout Social since we use that platform for all our other social media and analytics, but I like Schedugram. Since they have been doing this for years, they have listened to beta testers and have asked us for our feedback to create a robust system.

You can upload a lot of posts at one time without having to submit each post. It also gives you the option if you want it square or to fit the frame, edit your picture, or be the first to comment. My favorite feature is that you can add it to a queue, save it as a draft, or schedule the time and date immediately. I still like to post organically on Instagram, especially when we are at trade shows and conferences, but I like to fill up a queue of photos, so we post once a day. Having that queue makes it easy to make sure you are getting out there every day.

Don’t be scared to use Instagram. It’s fun and a great way to reach more people under the age of 30.

Marketing and Promotion Ideas

This past IAAPA I was able to speak at the Power Promotions session and it was fun to share ideas with everyone about what kind of promotions centers can plan for during the year. While you need to be looking at least 90 days out on big events or promotions, you can pull off some smaller promotions if you have someone dedicated to marketing in your center. Here are a few ideas you can implement into your marketing calendar over the next couple of months.

  • Facebook Valentine’s Contest: Run a fun contest on Facebook asking people to share stories about how they met their partner. Give them a deadline and have your team pick their favorite story for a free date on you.
  • Spring Break Photo Booth: Spring break will be here soon! Set up a fun photo booth with props for your guests to take pictures with. Post a sign asking them to use a special hashtag when they post. Be sure you are engaging with them by searching for the hashtag.
  • Wednesday, March 28th is National Laser Tag Day: Run a laser tag special to drive midweek business.
  • April 25th is National Administrative Professionals Day: Start reaching out now to local businesses and plan a fun lunch session to honor their admins.

I hope this helps you with marketing in your FEC. I’m looking forward to next month and how we can help you grow your business. If you have questions about promotions or marketing in your center, be sure to shoot me an email: rosie@trainertainment.net.

What causes sales?

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When I pay attention to the kind of activity that really gets results, I am certain the key metric to focus on is “meaningful conversations”. The TrainerTainment sales definition of a meaningful conversation is: An encounter with a guest or potential buyer that results in a solid “next step”.

Next steps are:

  1. A booking
  2. A follow-up appointment with a date and time
  3. New information that helps the sales representative understand who the decision maker is
  4. A tour or center visit is scheduled
  5. The buyer is clear that you should never call them again (my next step here is to either find someone else to talk with or simply mark them off my list)

So, if meaningful conversations cause sales, then I am going to be obsessive about reaching my meaningful conversations goal each day. It’s so important that I don’t want to look at it on a weekly basis. I must focus daily and I’m sure that I’m not that different than most salespeople. My ultimate goal in sales is to create new business. New business comes from knowing what the next step is with each encounter.

When it comes to group sales, I know you are fielding a number of inbound calls on a daily basis. Here’s the measurement tool that can keep you get on track to book between 15-25 group events per week. When you are relentless about making sure you create those next-step-conversations with at least three people per day, you can be in the good category (this might help you get by, but you’ll never thrive). At six per day, you definitely move into the “better” category. When you consistently reach the ten meaningful conversations per day, you will begin to see the 15-25 bookings per week that you are looking for.

I’d love to have your email at the end of each day with a subject line that says either:

  • Good (3-5) meaningful conversations today
  • Better (6-9)
  • Best (10)
  • EXCELLENT

Every day you are above ten meaningful conversations, you can move into the superstar category! Of course, I would also love to know the dollar amount of business you close each day as well.

It’s those tiny little habitual habits that make the biggest difference. Decide what category you want to be in each day… do whatever it takes to make sure you get what you want out of the day. Make one more call. I can’t wait to see what we do this year. I’m serious about sending me a daily email with the subject line of Good, Better, Best, EXCELLENT!

Reprinted from Pin Point© a newsletter published by Sparez Davie

Commitment, Priority, & Accountability: The BIG 3

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about these three big concepts. It’s logical to understand that nothing much gets done if there is no commitment to doing it. So, in my mind commitment comes first. However, I bet you’ve committed to do something you didn’t do. I know I have. That’s where prioritizing the commitment comes into play. Honestly, I thought that was it. I know now that public accountability plays a big role in accomplishing the most challenging things.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean. When I make a commitment to meet with someone on the phone, at their office, for lunch…I prioritize that commitment by putting it on the calendar. It’s very rare that I would not honor that kind of agreement.

In my mind, that strategy would work for anything. I decide what it is I want to do (commitment), put it on the calendar (priority), and then it is so. However, the reality contradicts that theory in a big way. In my lifetime, I have made a lot of commitments and scheduled many appointments with myself to do things like go to the gym, write the book, eat seven fruits and vegetables daily, make ten sales calls, send one thank you card three times per week, call a friend, connect with a family member who’s out of town, and so on, and haven’t actually followed through at all.

Those commitments and the priority of the obligations I made to myself aren’t always honored at the same level as those prioritized commitments I make to others. By now you are probably thinking of a therapist you want to recommend. Hang tight, though. I’m getting to the point.

I’m pretty sure I’m pretty human. In the last 258 days, I’ve learned a giant lesson regarding accountability. What I’ve found is that when you sprinkle a little “accountability to others” in with prioritized commitments, you wind up with a recipe for real success. This is fact. Over the last 258 days, I’ve adopted a “whatever it takes” attitude to make sure I get 10,000 steps per day in the first 100 days and 12,000 in the last 158 days. My experience is that if this had been a commitment to me only, then I could not have written the previous sentence. Honestly, I do not know what compelled me to post my daily step goal on Facebook. I do know that the results indicate that about walking, accountability to others motivated me more than the hundreds of times I committed to me only.

For me, putting something out there as a public commitment made a huge difference in my ability to perform. I’ve discovered that daily exercise is no easy thing. What is easier is honoring my word to others. Maybe I do need a little therapy about honoring my word to myself! Humans are wonderful justifiers, especially if the justification is just in our head.

So, in conclusion, if you know there is something that could make a big difference in your life, and you keep NOT doing it…I encourage you to make the commitment publicly, prioritize the commitment, and then be accountable to communicate your progress to someone else.

World Class Performance

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I don’t think anyone jumps out of bed and says, “Boy, I hope I’m mediocre today!” However, I wonder how many of us rise thinking, “I believe I’m going put in a world-class performance today.” And that makes me wonder why not?

Is it enough to just get through the day? I don’t think so. Life is short. I know every single person possesses something they do at a world-class level. I have a friend who is a world-class listener, another who completely gives everyone a clean slate every day, and a husband who has the world-class superpower of adapting to whatever situation he’s in and does it with a great attitude.

What’s your something? Maybe you’re not world class yet, but you are damned good at it. The Talent Code, a must read written by Daniel Coyle, suggests that mastery comes with deep practice. You’ve been doing something a bunch of hours. Maybe you bowl or play video games. Whatever it is, you have probably been doing it since you were very young.

I can remember my grandmother saying, “Beth, you a wonderful storyteller.” I think I was about 7 when we had that conversation. Turns out that was a significant conversation in my life.

What are you doing? How could you put in a world-class performance? I barely know Stephanie Bednar, but I suspect she is a world class mom. My friend Nancy Starr, who believes in pouring rocket fuel on potential, has impacted so many CEOs and business leaders in her life. The ripple effect she has had on all the people in all the businesses is beyond world class. My bowling coach and dear friend, Susie Minshew, is a world-class coach who uses bowling as a vehicle to teach others to be world class in their lives! My children perform, each in their own way, at a level that has world class written all over it… I know that sounds like the ramblings of a proud mom, but you should meet them!

I could go on and on because I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by others whom I’m pretty sure jump out of bed each day and insist on getting the most out of the next 24 hours. I hope you’ll do that. If you lead a team, I want to know what you consider world-class leadership. What would that look like?

If you are on the sales team, how will you determine you’ve had a world class day? Name it. Give it detail and then live that day every day. If you are the party host, how can you know you’ve delivered world-class performance?

Step one is deciding what “world class” looks like. Step two is imagining that is YOU. Step three is doing whatever it takes to be world class.

Share with me where you are. What step are you on? Most world class anything needs a coach. If you aren’t where you want to be yet, give us a call!