Gift card sales are always huge during the holidays. But what about the rest of the year? Here’s a great idea on how to sell more gift cards this fall!
This past weekend I spent a few days in Orlando with 2000 of my best friends. Okay, I’m not friends with them all but spending time with this amazing tribe of women was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
In my spare time, I sell Stella & Dot. This past weekend was my first time attending the yearly Hoopla conference. I had no idea what to expect, figuring it was just a fun weekend about women and, of course, amazing jewelry. Boy, was I wrong!
The weekend was full of learning on many different levels for me. I’ve been in sales and marketing for more than ten years and this weekend really made me realize how training can transform you as a person. No matter your age, gender, position/level, or years of experience, training motivates and inspires you.
When I started my journey in the FEC industry, I was super-motivated. I had never worked in a center before or created birthday parties, etc. It helped that I did my homework and read a lot about leadership and management, but I really craved attending conferences and meeting others in the industry who were going through the same struggles.
After I left the management side and started working with Beth, she took me to my first IAAPA. We walked the floor that year and I remember all I could think was, “If I could have come here as a manager and attend classes or go to conferences to receive training, I could have done so much more.”
That’s how I felt when I left this weekend from Hoopla. I saw women on a journey to get what they wanted. All the stories were different yet we were all finding our extraordinary. I took classes that gave me the skills necessary to achieve the goals I set, relate with others who were finding their journey, and meet people who would encourage me to aspire to do even more.
So, consider sending your staff to events that further their leadership, sales, or whatever skills you want to grow. We host conferences throughout the year that do those very things. We would love for you and your staff to attend them. You’ll be amazed how it will inspire them!
If you didn’t already know, last week we were at Bowl Expo in Las Vegas. It’s always a great week for us. We spend months planning since we have our quarterly leadership team meeting. We bring our entire team out for a week of learning, the trade show, and team building.
I have to say the week started off a bit rough. I arrived on Sunday and thought I was 100% over the jetlag of traveling from Jakarta to Los Angeles to Houston and then back west to Vegas. I was in for a big surprise when I got to the Mandalay Bay.
I’m a Type A personality. You know, I plan every minute if I possibly can and I had a plan to land, run a few errands with Nancy, check in, work a few hours, eat dinner, work a couple of more hours and get to bed for our leadership team meeting the next day. Things didn’t quite go as planned.
The check in line was longer than the lines I had just seen at Disneyland the week before! Yup, I’m sure you are nodding your head if you checked in to the hotel on Sunday. It took over three hours. I was tired and exhausted and I knew since they only had five people checking everyone in, they were probably as frustrated as we were.
When it was finally my turn, I wanted to be sure I went in with the right mind frame as I have worked in the hospitality industry for the past ten years. So, I asked the girl how her day was going, tried to make small talk, and just asked if it was usually long lines like this. Instead of just saying, “No, not usually. It’s because we are a little short staffed,” she says to me in her frustrated don’t you get it voice, “We don’t have enough people. We are coming of winter so we have all these people to train and they worked 12 hours today and had to go home. They can’t work more.” Of course, I wanted to say, “Chill! I just asked if it was normal” but I understood.
As we were completing the check in process and I said, “I know this isn’t common but is there any chance you could do something since I had to wait so long?” She said she could comp the resort fees or give food credit. I knew I wanted wifi and that was probably the best value so I took it. To my disappointment, I received the bill and they hadn’t removed the resort fees so now I have to ask them to refund those.
I’m sure it was a tough day for her and she probably had no idea that it had been a tough few days for me as well between traveling and caring for my father who’s battling cancer. We have to remember that we need to do what we say we are going to do and we need to keep in mind we never know what someone is going through.
Next time you have someone at your center who comes off aggravated or downright mean, be kind. Take a step back and recognize you don’t know what they’re going through. When you tell them you are going to do something, whether it’s sending a person to fix a game, or fill tickets, or make a fresh pizza, do it. Don’t wait. Do it immediately and make things right. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
I’m bubbling over with service stories in my head since my vacation cruise in the middle of May. Leslie, my oldest daughter, and I traveled to St. Thomas, Tortola, and the Bahamas on Norwegian Cruise Line. The weather was perfect, the company was terrific, and the ship was spectacular. Can you tell I had a great time?
My birthday was on the 17th of May which was the 3rd day of the cruise. We set sail Saturday evening and docked on Tuesday after being at sea for two full days. Leslie had arranged a wonderful excursion for us. We took a champagne catamaran cruise and snorkeled at a beautiful reef in St. John. Although we used lots of sunscreen, we were overly kissed by the sun sailing back to the ship but had a great time.
THEN the big surprise happened. When we returned to our cabin that afternoon, we walked into a room wonderfully decorated with happy birthday decorations, a cupcake, a big cake, and handwritten notes from the housekeeping and hospitality departments. I was so surprised! There were streamers taped to the ceiling, helium balloons floating above the bed, a towel animal with a balloon in one hand and a cupcake in the other, and a happy birthday banner strung across the balcony door. I was wowed! I’m giddy thinking about it now.
It made me wonder what we could do for every birthday child who has an event at our family entertainment facilities! You know it wasn’t so much “what” they did… it was the surprise of it being done. I’m pretty excited about the possibilities. I’ve been racking my brain for two weeks wondering what we could do that would surprise and delight a child, their folks, and the kids at the party. Can you imagine the traction you could get for your birthday program? I totally believe that other children would have to have their party so that the “surprise” could happen for them as well.
I want to put this out there to you and hear what you think we could do to create that “giddy” moment for every birthday in your building. Leave a comment below or go to our Facebook page and share your idea. Together, I bet we could come up with some amazing ideas that would really make a memorable difference for the parties held at your center.
Hope you have a great week and, if you are a bowling based center, I can’t wait to see you at Bowl Expo. Remember to claim your ticket to the Fab 5 party! It promises to be the hottest event in Vegas and I’d love to have you there… maybe there will even be a surprise or two for all of our attendees! Click here to register for your ticket. We only have a limited amount, so you’ll want to sign up soon.
Two years after being in Jakarta, I still don’t understand how cell phones work here. I typically spend about four hours a day in a taxi so, needless to say, I use a lot of data!
When we first moved here, our plan was to just put pulsa (money) on our account and then we would buy a data packet (texts and phone calls are charged per use). Simple enough, right? Unless you forget and run out of money on your account and then have to fill it with money again.
So, recently we changed to a monthly plan that gave us an amount of data, calls, and texts. There’s a bit of a language barrier and it turns out we had no idea how much data we were receiving or how to check and refill it. It’s not until mid-month when I can’t get any websites to work or it’s super slow that we suspect anything is wrong. This past week, I turned to a friend and asked her to call and translate for me. The company wasn’t able to upgrade my package but she did everything and didn’t show me how to do it.
After having her write things to say in Bahasa Indonesia to the clerks, I got brave and went in myself. The communication was hard but after two years of talking with people at the same location, one female employee, who spoke very little English, took the time and patience, to show me how it worked. She didn’t just do it to get it over with, she showed me how to check how much data I have and how to add more data. She showed me so I could do it myself. She empowered me to take control and fix the problem.
That’s what we need to be doing with our team. We need to take the time to show our leadership team, our team members, even our guests, how to fix the problem or handle the situation. I know it’s easier to take the game card from a guest and start swiping instead of showing them it needs to face a certain way or to just fix the jammed register tape rather than show the team member how to do it if it happens again. We are all busy and it takes time, but you will be amazed how empowering them to do things themselves will change how they try and fix the problem next time.
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