Archive for the ‘Sales Ideas’ Category

Getting to Know TrainerTainment’s Mary Southwick

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What do you enjoy most about working with our clients?

It is fun to talk shop and share your experiences with other people. I find I learn so much from all our clients, so my takeaways go straight to my tool box to share again. I enjoy going onsite, too. It is interesting to see and experience the regional differences in the FEC world and how they interact with their communities.


How long have you been in the FEC industry and in what roles?

Well, as we all know Beth brought me into the bowling industry in the late nineties (don’t do the math for my age) as the bookkeeper for the facility she was managing. I worked at two locations for Schumaker & Company as a bookkeeper. From there, I learned the operational side of the bowling business. I also started bowling leagues and found that I enjoyed all the people you meet. Then I went on to work part-time for Trainertainment as the bookkeeper and onsite trainer. Ten years later I left my job of teaching 5th grade to become the Director of Training with Trainertainment, a shift for me in the content of what I share but still being in service and teaching others.


What is the most significant thing you have learned working in the FEC industry?

The most significant thing I have learned is that most all the people I have met are “good” people. They are all working hard to better the industry, keeping in mind that they are in the business of providing fun entertainment to their guest. I love smaller venues that are in the process of growing into the FEC world from traditional bowling centers and watching their transformation and growth.


Which of our core values resonate with you the most?

Being in service to others – I worked in education for 20 years. I get gratification helping, sharing, and interacting with other people. I’m a people person and rarely meet a stranger. I am a big advocate for great guest service and love to share with others when I have experienced great guest service.


What are your favorite movies? Comedy? Drama?

I don’t watch many comedies, but my favorite comedy would be Christmas Vacation, which is a classic. I love realistic/historical fiction. The last movie I watched was The Light Between Oceans. I loved that it was in the post-WWI period. I especially enjoyed watching it from the deck of a cruise ship.

How would you spend a billion dollars?

Well, you know Mister would not let me tell a soul until we had everything in order. Money doesn’t make my world go around, but I would buy property and get my bed and breakfast up and running. I would have a working ranch where I could raise cows and have horses, with huge trees and a house with a wraparound porch. I would move to an easier way of life, low key and back to the basics. I would take care of my family and friends to make sure they were in good shape financially. I would find some way to give back – a veteran’s organization or low-income schools would be my focus.


You Can’t Eat Chit Chat

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We have ample doctor time right now, and I had a GREAT opportunity to watch sales in action (well, maybe inaction). I’m always interested in learning. JD and I were hanging out in the infusion area of the doctor’s office. Okay, I was hanging out. JD is doing the cancer-busting work.

My Sales Coaching Hat

A couple of pharmaceutical representatives walk in doing their ‘thang.’ This is fun for me. put on my Sales Coach hat and begin to watch the play in action. In my mind, I’m always looking for what someone’s sales process is. If you have any TrainerTainment exposure you know, we think Prospecting, Connecting, Qualifying, Proposing, & then Closing is THE Sales process. So I measure others by that standard.  Here’s what I saw…

The Sales Process

Connect – The lead sales guy introduces himself and the guy that’s with him to the nurses. It looks as if he might be training that guy. He begins to build rapport. I’m thinking, this guy knows what he’s doing.  But then he keeps chit chatting. They talk about spring break, what are they going to do for Easter, and …and…and…

Qualify – I think he may have asked if they had any patients using a specific type of drug (I’m assuming that’s the one they sell).

Present – No

Close – Well, no. I don’t think so. It was about a 5-minute interaction. The nurses were receptive but not decision-makers. The rep shakes hands and says, “I’ll check back in a couple of weeks.”


I nearly went crazy. Honestly, I almost shouted, “WHY?” What would you be checking on, May flowers? I wanted to help. I thought about running out after them and inquiring about what their objective was. Maybe they simply had the objective of meeting the nurses. That seems like a weird reason to spend time prospecting in that way.

I think they could have learned so much more if they had asked questions like:

“How do you decide who to buy this particular drug from?” The nurses would have information about who they buy it from and why they buy it from them and maybe if they were happy with their service or had any reason to change suppliers. Wouldn’t that have been helpful? This could have helped them understand who their competition is and potentially their focus on the budget or if that is even an issue.

“Who does the ordering and how often do you typically place orders?” That would have helped them get closer to the decision-maker or at least the decision-influencer.

The Lesson

The lesson for me is that you have to make your chit chat matter. There needs to be a purpose to the call that goes beyond meeting people in the office. They could have turned the chit-chat into a meaningful conversation because they would have learned something! With every encounter, you need to ask for something to make the call worthwhile. That’s closing.

I thought about chasing them out the door so that I could at least have the answer to my question about their original objective. Maybe he was just introducing the new guy. Instead of chasing them out the door, I started rattling off my concerns to JD. He always takes the high road and suggested that the guy already had the answers to those questions. He is so good at assuming the best.

I felt like they wasted their most precious asset (time). I hope his trainee gets to ride along with other representatives. Maybe we need to get a PCQPC script written for the pharmaceutical industry. Could be “just what the Sales Doctor ordered!”

Set Aside 20 minutes each day to…

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I am amazed at how many self-help books have been written, You Tube videos produced, blogs poured over by a late night blogger or well-meaning author about what we should do with our time, our talents, etc. It has to be in the bazillions!

What I’m MORE amazed at is how little we actually implement ANY of what we read. For example, if we implemented just some of the Christian Biblical principles over the past 20 years alone, we’d look and act like a very different society, wouldn’t we?

Apply This One Simple Principal

You don’t have to even be a Christian to apply this one very simple principle that says, “Don’t try to take the splinter out of another (person’s) eye when you can’t take out the very plank in your own eye.” Meaning, don’t try and help someone with the problem they are trying to solve when you may be challenged with the very same one.

My hope for all of us in the fun industry would be that we not force or make ourselves do this, but that we would welcome, yes, welcome, setting aside 20 minutes each day to ponder the last thing we read we know we should practice and figure out how to act on it.

For some of us in this fun industry, it may be standing in front of a mirror and practicing the suggestion of turning that frown upside down. I mean it. We are supposed to be fun people in this business, ambassadors of fun, right? How many have you encountered in your places of business, conferences, and lunch get togethers that look as though they were weaned on a dill pickle?

Find a Quiet Place for About 20 Minutes

So, for the next ten days, put down that “How to Conquer the World” book and find a quiet place for about 20 minutes. Match the quietness of that place with the quietness in your head, your heart. No cell phone, no tablet, just you and air. Breathe then let that thought pop in your head of, “Yeah, I’ve put that off too long. When I read it I knew then it would help me with _____ if I would just do it.” Then, go do it.


Getting to Know TrainerTainment’s Phil Showler

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Phil Showler, Vice President of Sales

Over the past few years, the TrainerTainment team has grown leaps and bounds! Once a month we will get to know a TrainerTainment team member. First up is Phil Showler, Vice President of Sales. Phil joined the TrainerTainment team in June of 2016 and brought tons of industry experience. Phil has been an incredible asset to our team this past year, and we know he will be in the years to come! So without further ado, meet Phil Showler.


What do you enjoy most about working with our clients?

  • Knowing that our services can authentically help them grow their people, challenge themselves, and do so in a very personal way; truly being a coach.

How long have you been in the FEC industry and in what roles?

  • I have been in the FEC industry for 21 years, mostly involved in sales of capital equipment, then sales management, then being an advocate for education serving on ed committees and speaking at national shows and regional events.

What is the most significant thing you have learned working in the FEC industry?

  • Strip away all of the games, attractions, food, and what you have left are people! The “people business” is what I love about this and it’s what is behind the organizational structures and the reason they exist. It’s all about the people and people searching for stress relief and fellowship. It’s kinda like church!

Which of our core values resonate with you the most?

  • Being in service to one another is a passion for me. I love making someone’s day better than they thought it would be, whether through personal life coaching or a timely joke. I know if I can do that, it helps make whatever seems so overwhelming seem less overwhelming, even achievable. I’ve always tried to stick to the tried and true principle of doing unto others as I would like them to do unto me.

If you could take only three items with you to a deserted island, what would they be?

  • My Bible, picture album of my family, and WATER!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

  • I would want an anti-sadness touch! Many people I encounter through my work and ministry deep down are sad, anxious, offended, angry, depressed, and we all cover it up well. Can you imagine if I were able to just walk down 42nd Ave of NYC and literally just touch thousands on the shoulder as I strolled by and BOOM, they’d be free of all of it? Maybe it’s not an anti-sadness touch, but more of a JOY touch!

Our Favorite Birthday Party Add-Ons

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Right now your center is probably busting wall-to-wall on weekends with birthday parties. Are you maximizing your chance of additional revenue for your birthday parties? Add-Ons are a fantastic way to take your birthday party ticket average up at least $20 or more, and the great thing is many items can be added the day of the party, too! We wanted to share our favorite add-ons that will help you increase birthday party sales all year long.

Our Favorite Birthday Party Add-Ons

  1. Lanyards

    • We love lanyards! Often times a sad child comes to the front counter to say they have lost their game card. It can be especially devastating when it’s the birthday child. Lanyards are a great solution for attaching game cards and become a reminder of your location every time they use them. This add-on can be a HUGE lifesaver for you, parents, and a busy child who won’t lose their game card. They’re available in many colors. Be sure you customize them with your logo!
  2. Additional Game Play or Attraction Credits

    • These two add-on options are great for the center and a super bonus for the parent planning the party. It can be as simple as our favorite 5-4-3 program ($5 in game play for only $3) or a value price for an attraction add-on that might include additional games of laser tag, mini-golf, a go-kart ride, and more!
  3. Goody Bags

    • No kid wants to leave a party without having a fun goody bag in hand. Make it simple for mom. The day is all about the birthday child, and it’s a no fuss, no muss, leave it to us experience. Creating custom bags are simple and inexpensive. Remember to include a customized insert with a special offer for a return visit. Redemption Plus is our leading partner and has created some amazing bags for our clients!
  4. Glow Party

    • Glow parties are exciting and fun for all ages! If you have a private party room, install a few black lights and use glow paint to create a custom glow themed room. Offer packages that include glow necklaces and bracelets, light up sporks, cups, and centerpieces, too. This is a small investment with huge returns!
  5. Special Stations

    • Thanks to Pinterest, parents are becoming more and more creative with their parties. Lack of time or space makes it hard to bring their creativity to life. Research some of those ideas and implement them at your center to provide that unique experience moms are looking for on Pinterest. One of our favorite ideas is to design your own cookie or cupcake station. Instead of having a fun game or activity in the room, have blank sugar cookies with various bags of frosting so party goers can decorate their own cookie or cupcake to take home. Check out our Pinterest board to get some ideas.
  6. Logo Merchandise

    • Everyone wants more branding and visibility. What better way to become a household name than to send kids home with a fun colored cup with your logo! It’s handy for kids, parents, and your party hosts. If you have a mascot, you may want to consider commissioning a small stuffed version to give to the birthday child as a gift they take home and love forever.
  7. Additional Food Options

    • Parties are more than just pizza and hot dogs for the kiddos. Parents want to be able to attend a great party and enjoy food and beverage, too! Chicken wings, quesadillas, gourmet salads, and specialty sandwiches are great for adults. Platters work best since a parent can order a couple to snack on during the party.
We would love to hear from you! What do you think you can implement in your center? What are some of your favorite add-ons? Type in the comments below!