Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

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

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

5 Tips to Grow Group Sales

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We would all like to grow our group sales and see them become 20% of our center sales. Sometimes, we don’t even know where to start. Sales can feel very overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. This week our team put together our top tips for growing group sales.

Have a Sales Champion

There is nothing more important to growing group sales than a dedicated sales champion. A sales champion inspires the whole center to be the best to keep guests coming back time and time for events. Imagine calling your food purveyor to inquire about a new product. How would you feel getting someone on the phone who doesn’t know what they are selling and couldn’t answer your questions? Even worse, what if no one ever answered the phone?As a parent, when I call to book events for my kids, I am looking for a few things.

  1. They have to answer the phone. I don’t have time in my day to play phone tag by leaving messages and waiting for a callback. If I’m calling at that time, that is the time I have available to talk. So, if they don’t answer, I’m moving on.
  2. The representative needs to be clear and knows the product. If they aren’t knowledgeable, I lose the trust they will make my event great.

The sales champion may be one of the most important roles in the center. How do you make sure they are staying on track and increasing sales? They have to be involved with the goals and that leads us to tip number 2.

Get a Scorecard with KPI’s in Place

KPIs are Key Performance Indicators. It is your goal broken down into mini weekly goals. KPIs are what keep us on track toward achieving our objectives. A scorecard is a place where we put those goals and track them each week.

When I was a party manager, I didn’t know what a scorecard was, but I did know if I wanted to hit a million dollars in a year, I would have to break that goal down into weekly goals. I created a spreadsheet and made sure everyone in the center knew the goals and where we were each week. When you can look at it weekly, you can see when you are off track and get ahead before it’s too late.

Outbound Efforts

Are you waiting for calls to come to you? Don’t! There will always be clients who call the center to book events because they are already guests and know how great you are. Reach out to new businesses and expand your network! Plan each day with a power hour to kick start your day. Nothing is more important than to plant the seeds and watch the harvest come in. If we allow sales to come merely through inbound efforts, it will be too late to recover when the phones go silent.

Call everyone!

What do arcade games, laser tag, or bowling have to do with a dentist office or mechanic’s business? EVERYTHING! It doesn’t matter what industry people work in,  everyone has holiday parties. Even more have team building events, summer picnics, team appreciation, and more. If they don’t, why not put the thought in their head? Stay away from the temptation of thinking a certain business would never use your facility for their small, medium, or large events because you may just be surprised.

Get out in the center and talk to guests.

Our sales teams shouldn’t stay in an office all day. A great way to get a break and be productive is to get out of the office, into the center, and talk to guests who are already there.

Summers are a great time to be out in the center, too. Look for parents on laptops, for example. They may be working from home, and you could talk with them about what kind of events their company has and even get contact information for the person who plans the events. The point is, you will get loads of feedback about why they love your center, what keeps them coming back, and maybe even a recommendation to a friend or business.

Bonus! Get with TrainerTainment and learn sales processes that work!

Our sales coaching program has proven results that will grow your sales program. Our team has over 100 combined years of experience in the sales and the family entertainment industry. Our coaches will teach your sales team how to make the most out of group events and transform your team into a motivated and successful selling machine. Each week we will meet with your team to dig in. We’ll teach them new tools and techniques about selling, hold them accountable, and grow your group sales.

I hope these tips will help you. As always, I would love to hear from you and what you are doing to grow your sales.

Faith and Fear

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I’ve been thinking a lot about both of these words lately. Zig Ziglar said that FEAR is “False Evidence that Appears Real.” I get that. Fear is usually something we’re afraid might happen. I think about all the sales people we work with and how challenging it is to muster up the courage to walk into a building or into a networking event where you know no one. That sales person has to overcome the fear of feeling like they might not fit in, wondering if the door will be slammed in their face, rejection, and anything else that might pop into their mind.

How Fear Works

That’s how fear works. Stuff that isn’t real for this moment pops into your mind and, all of a sudden, there is fear. After overcoming through faith all the fear of a lymphoma diagnosis in 2014, we believed that we had conquered the Big “C” thing.  However, in the course of ongoing treatment, my husband relapsed this winter, and he/we are doing the chemotherapy dance again. I can tell you first hand that holding fearful thoughts at bay is no easy job.

We certainly have a lot more practice and even experience with this situation. Some things were easier this time around. For instance, the emotionally charged words like cancer, chemo, relapse, and lymphoma seem more normal and don’t create the lump in my throat like they did last time.

Clarity

I’ve gained a lot of clarity that fearful thoughts have a basis in negativity. I think this is true in any situation. Fear means you’ve allowed your mind to go to that place that’s wrapped in “What if I don’t get that sale? What if they laugh at my idea or think I’m stupid?” Look at how you can feel in an instant, and none of those thoughts are based on any type of reality. It doesn’t matter if you were rejected before. The reality is that what’s in front of you right now, today is a brand new situation and has the possibility of a brand new outcome. But the fear can keep you from knocking on the door.

Listen, I was scared to death of the thought of my husband’s chemotherapy. I had many fearful thoughts until we went for the first treatment and they said that he had to wait on insurance. In an instant, the fear of chemo was trumped by the great fear of what will happen if he doesn’t get chemo. This time around, he had a shot at going into a trial treatment with an immunotherapy drug. That seemed scary because of the unknown. As it turned out, he did not qualify for the trial, and so chemotherapy was the next best option. Immunotherapy now seems like a better option. See how that works? You are scared of the unknown in one minute, and the next minute the option in front of you seems better. Experience teaches me that taking the next step in faith trumps fear every time.

My husband is really GREAT at not fearfully dealing with things. I hope I can be like him when I grow up. He doesn’t worry; he does not make up stories that are steeped in negativity. He’s clear that he would like to live for a long time and so we do the things we need to do (difficult or not) to get the results we want to achieve. He’s pragmatic and optimistic.

He and I were sitting together this spring at a Subway Sandwich Shop waiting for an appointment with the oncologist. There were a ton of unknowns, and he and I were both pretty scared but had brave faces for one another. My beautiful husband looked up and said to me, “Well, honey, I’m going to die someday, but it’s not today.” I think there is so much wisdom in the way he does life. I’m lucky to have him.

Faith is Opposite of Fear

It strikes me that faith is really the true opposite of fear. Like fear, it is intangible, a belief in things that you can’t touch or feel in reality. Unlike fear though, having faith in you, in others, or in a higher power, casts a situation in a more positive light and affects how you feel and behave in a much different and better way.

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. If you could, for just a minute, imagine how it might feel to lose the person you love the most. For me, my shoulders immediately sag, all the air goes out of my lungs, tears come to my eyes, and I think I can feel my heart stop. And yet nothing has happened. It was only a thought. JD is alive and well. This kind of fearful thinking creates all that physical and emotional reaction in a second. It stops all the good stuff. It is paralyzing and can keep life at bay.

Does the thought of a sales call that “might” have a bad outcome fill you with immediate symptoms of fear? Think about how that might impact your ability to do what you want to do to be successful.

Take a minute and rehearse in your mind what an awesome outcome would look like. You are walking into the decision maker’s office, your shoulders are back, your head is high, you have a ton of faith in what you are able to provide to this new prospect. Think you could get a better result? Of course, you could.

It matters what you think about and how you choose to live. For me, I pick faith. I’ve always thought I was a very positive person. In the last three years, I’ve learned that I have much more to learn about staying positive. Fear lurks around and can show up in the oddest places. I encourage you to have conversations and deal with people who are interested in talking about how good things can be. There is always a choice in how to think, act, and believe. Since fear is wrapped in all that is negative and faith gives us hope for all that is positive, the choice is easy for me.

I hope you’ll face this next week full of faith in yourself, your business, your family, and even a little faith in others who might be able to help you.

Much love,

Beth

Vision for the Next Quarter and Beyond

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I just love ending the 1st quarter and going into the second quarter of the year, it helps you see your vision clearly. Last week our leadership team had our quarterly meeting. During this meeting we revisit the goals we set for the year, look at how we did with our first quarter goals to help set our goals for the second quarter, and see how the first quarter set the pace for the rest of the year.

Get a Vision of What is Possible

It is the time you get the vision of what is possible for the year. I remember as a young party manager, we had just finished our first quarter of birthday party sales, and I had a vision of what could be. It was really at that moment I realized, “Oh my gosh…we had a great quarter and I think we could do a million dollars in birthday party sales.” Yes! One million dollars! That’s when the vision began, and I knew it would have to be all hands on deck if we wanted to make the vision a reality and we did.

I shared that vision with Beth and our corporate team since we were in the sales coaching program. I knew sharing the vision was the first step and I also knew we couldn’t stop there. I had to share that vision with my birthday leadership team and then with every single person in our center, and that’s what we did.

Set Clear Goals

Our little birthday team was very young with just a couple of years of birthday experience among us, but we knew what we wanted. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, so we set very clear goals. Our first one was to figure out how much in revenue we would need to average each week for the rest of the year to hit a million dollars. Then we looked at average revenue for each party we had in quarter one to determine the number of parties we needed to have each week to get the million dollars. W kept a very meticulous spreadsheet to update where we were and what we needed to do.

I think the real game change occurred when we shared the vision with our entire center. We became very transparent about our goals and the numbers associated with them. Every Monday, we would update the big white board in our sales office. We broke down all of our goals for people to see. At any time someone could come in the office and see how many parties we had to date, how much more we needed that month, how much in party sales we had, how much more we needed to do, and so on.  They always knew the magic number left to hit a million dollars. It didn’t matter if you were a party booker, cashier, game room operator, cook, or dishwasher; you knew what our goal was.

Be Transparent to Get Buy-In

I know most owners or managers don’t want to share those numbers with their entire staff. We knew, for everyone to see the vision clearly and have 100% buy-in, we had to be transparent about the goals and where we were. Once it was clear, we had to relay “how” each team member was an integral part of this vision.

We had quarterly center wide meetings, and I remember doing a team building exercise to show how every person in our center affected someone else and how it impacted our birthday parties. It was a great illustration that something as simple as being five minutes late could play a major impact and could be part of what made a party great or not.

That’s what I hope for you as we close out the first quarter of 2017. Reflect back on what you have done, see what you can do, and share that vision with every single person in your center. Once every person sees the vision and feels part of it…..that’s when the magic happens.