Archive for the ‘Sales Ideas’ Category

Tools to Overcome Objections

Posted by

How many times, when booking a birthday party, have you heard one of these phrases?

  • Let me talk to my husband.
  • I’m just shopping around.
  • I need to think about it. Can I call you back?
  • It costs too much.

These are just a few of the money objections I have heard during my years of booking birthday parties. Objections are very common during the sales process and there are ways to handle them that will get you further in the sales process and close more sales.

Let Me Talk To….

Let me talk to my child, husband, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, or dentist is one of the most common phrases used when booking a birthday party. A great response would be:

“I’m so glad you told me that! We always want to be sure that our party is the best choice for you and your child. May I ask what do you think your husband will think about having Susie’s party here?”

When asking this type of question, you are gathering more information about what it will take to book the party. You are finding out what the customer’s needs are and how we can meet those needs.

I’m Just Shopping Around

When a birthday caller tells you, “I’m just shopping around,” it’s the perfect opportunity to sell them on why they don’t need to shop around, that you are the only and best option for Susie’s birthday party. Don’t let this question derail you from using the BDSQF. If they call and say they just wanted to see how much your birthday parties are, your response is to jump right into the BDSQF and reassure them they have called the right place.

During closing, the caller is likely to say, “Thanks for the information. Like I said, I’m just shopping around.” Be prepared and know your competition! “I understand. Maybe I can save you some time. We have details on other parties in the area. I’m happy to share that information with you.”

Use this as an opportunity to keep them on the phone with you, showcase your center and its incredible value, and convince them you are the best place for birthday parties.

It Costs Too Much

To overcome this obstacle, you need to know your competition and truly believe and understand how you are more valuable than going somewhere else. Be sure you focus on the conversation and answer their questions but follow the script. Remember, don’t give price first! If you do, it will ALWAYS be too much.  When the caller asks, “I’m calling to get the price on your parties,” acknowledge they want the price and jump right into the script. You can help combat this by wording it this way.

“I’m so glad you called. We have the best parties in town. Let me get you the prices but can I get a little information first to be sure we get you the right party so you have the best time?”

We have learned that 7 out of 10 times, this will go away if you follow the BDSQF and the closing process by asking one simple question: “Of these parties, which party do you think Susie and her friends would enjoy the most?” Using this question during the closing process will make the focus all on Susie’s happiness and her birthday rather than the price.

I hope these tips will help you overcome objections during your sales process. If you would like to learn more about the BDSQF, send Kim Wheeler an email at kim@trainertainment.net and she will speak with you about the process and get you a free mystery shopper report to see how your center is doing.

I Didn’t Even Notice I Reached My Goal!

Posted by

During a recent daily walk, I noticed I had gotten all the way to Starbucks (about 2 miles) and nearly back home and had not checked my Fitbit once to see how many steps I’d taken. It was fascinating because I used to be pretty obsessive about checking how many steps I had for the day and how much more I would have to walk to reach the goal. Was I getting the job done? What else will it take?  How much more time would I need to put in? Obsessive is the right word. I never do anything a little bit.

It was interesting, though, because, after 165 days of being pretty relentless about making sure I got the job done, I found I didn’t need to check to see where was. I had the confidence to know what I was doing would give me the results I was looking for. I know what I have to do to spend the time it takes to make sure all the steps are made. I know what happens if I don’t take care of it early in the day. I still have to get the job done but it’s a lot harder in the evening.

This got me thinking about the correlation between my walking life and real work. At our company, you know we’re focused on helping the people we work with sell more and lead their businesses at a high level. When coaching others, we are obsessed with having the right score with the right measurements to understand if and when the job is getting done. Are we taking the right steps to get the results we seek? (Pun intended!)

In selling, one of those big daily steps winds up being how many meaningful conversations you have with a potential buyer. A meaningful conversation only counts when you have a next step with someone. Next steps are defined as:

  • You set a follow-up appointment with a time or date.
  • You booked an event.
  • You learned you weren’t talking to a decision-maker but got the right name and set an appointment with yourself to follow up.
  • The potential buyer told you to buzz off so you marked them off your list and added someone new.

When you figure out your ultimate goal (how many events you need to book in order to have the sales you want), you can better understand how many meaningful conversations you must have. By the way, you also have to understand what your close ratio is. It’s simple math. When I have X number of meaningful conversations, I close Y number of parties/events which = $XXXXX.XX.

So, the BIG goal (the ultimate sales number) is like my 12,000 steps each day. In order to make that happen, I have to put one foot in front of the other 12,000 times. It doesn’t matter if I run or walk or stroll or get up every hour and make sure I move. I have to take it literally one step at a time every day.

If it takes you 50 meaningful conversations in a week to book 25 events (50% closing ratio), then you better be having NO less than ten or more meaningful conversations each day. I personally would bump that up 20% (12) just to be sure. AND I would get that done earlier in the day since everything is harder late in the day. I promise that sometime after 65 days in a row of being relentless in your pursuit, you’ll look up and think WOW! I didn’t even check and I’ve already reached my goal for the day!

When that happens, maybe you can break for lunch and walk to Starbucks and also reach your step goal!

Encouragement

Posted by

Buy something from a kid!

I encourage you to make the difference in the life of a young person this week. I was at the grocery store yesterday, and a young man was offering food tasting in the organic fruit section. I rounded a corner, and there he was with a table full of oranges.

He had three different kinds of citrus. He made eye contact with me and said, “Would you like to try my oranges today?” How could I say no? He told me about the fruit. (Did you know there’s something called a blood orange? It’s red, by the way!) Then he said, “Of the three, which one would you like to try?” That was clever. From a sales point of view, it was an amazing move. It required commitment on my part and exclusivity!

I picked one, and I liked it. It was yummy as a matter of fact. I asked him which oranges he liked the most. With enthusiasm, he shared that he ate halo oranges every day. I also got some background on why they are called halos. Interestingly enough, his choice was not the choice I had made. Nonetheless, I trusted him. He wasn’t just telling me what he thought I needed to hear.

And then he did the best thing a good sales guy can do. He asked, “Would you like to buy some of my oranges today”? I loved how personal he made it and, of course, you know my answer. Without hesitation, I said, “I sure would!”

I picked the oranges I tasted. He reached out and began to pick up as many oranges as he could hold. He didn’t say, “How many do you want?” He assumed I wanted several. I didn’t argue. He grabbed a bag to put them in and then he said, “Would you like more?” I loved the upsell! I let him know I was pleased with the current amount and thanked him.

Sales at a High Level

Although this young man looked a little awkward alone at the end of the fruit aisle, he understood his job that day. He did several “sales” things at a high level, and I feel certain he’s not aware of the “sales process.”

  1. He absolutely connected with me by not passing up the opportunity that arose because we made eye contact.
  2. He qualified me by finding out if I had any interest in trying his oranges.
  3. He presented beautifully…I didn’t even realize there were so many types of oranges. I love to learn new things.
  4. He closed the sale by asking me to buy the oranges.

I have no idea if this young man will grow into a superstar salesman. What I do know is that I want to encourage others. His behavior was spot on! He was doing his job at a high level that day. I know that I’m not his boss but I am the buyer…… oh wait….the buyer is the boss!

Anyway, my point is that when we have the opportunity to encourage others, we should take it. You can always find time to encourage your team, your kids, or your friends. Pay attention to when they are getting it right and encourage them to keep doing that!

Orange you glad you took the time read the article this week! I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me an email: beth@trainertainment.net

Holiday Marketing to Drive Business

Posted by

This time of year I can’t even tell what holiday I’m supposed to be decorating for! The moment you walk into a store nowadays you are confused about what holiday is approaching. Fall items are next to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations. I gotta tell ya; I’m at a loss on what I’m supposed to be buying.

While I can’t decide what holiday to decorate for yet, I know one thing for sure; everyone should have their marketing calendar ready for the rest of the year and have promotions to help drive business. We shouldn’t just create marketing promotions and events because it’s the holidays; we should be doing them to help drive our business.

We know everyone doesn’t have crazy big budgets for marketing and we want to give you some ideas that will help you win in the 4th quarter and drive business not just during the holidays, but for next year.

Create a special holiday video

Show the fun and personal side of the business. We are always looking for ways to connect with our community and this is a great way for people to see how fun and wonderful your center and team are. Who doesn’t want to host a holiday party, birthday party, or fun family night in a great facility with a great team? Share it on all your social media channels to show off your business and make a connection.

Offer free holiday cards

Kids have parties for every holiday. Imagine one kiddo taking a card with a free coupon from your center to every person in their class. How many people do you think you could reach for free? Yeah, that could be a lot of kids! It’s very inexpensive to get cards printed and could result in a big return. We use www.spinnprint.com where, for just $140, you can get 1,000 full-color postcards printed and that could result in thousands of dollars in revenue.

Sell gift cards

Gift cards are a guaranteed way to drive people back into your center. They are great to give as gifts, stocking stuffers, or donations to local organizations. The holidays are a good time to run a promotion for buying a gift card and getting a certificate for an item (with a redeem date of  January – February when your center may have a slow day). Be sure your sales department is offering bulk gift cards to schools, churches, and other companies that can be purchased as holiday gifts.

Show love to your fans

Social media has made it easy for us to show love and appreciation to our community. The holidays are a great time to have a contest on Facebook. Winners can get great prizes and be sure to give a bounce-back coupon for every person who participates. Not only will they be thrilled to have the chance to win free items, it will also help boost engagement on your social channels. When you show love to your fans, they will be more likely to come back and visit your fan pages and more likely to plan a visit to your center.

Launch an email campaign

If you haven’t started your email marketing list, now is the perfect time to collect emails as people come in your center. If you have been diligent all year collecting emails and haven’t sent any out, now is the time. From now till the end of the year, share your holiday calendar, information on holiday parties, special offers you are running in your center, your center’s holiday video, even a special letter from the president or general manager. Emails help you stay top of mind as people decide where to take their kiddos during all the school holidays.

These are just a few things you can do to help drive sales in your center. Last year we shared a long list of holiday marketing tips of various events you could host in your center during the holidays. There is still time to plan and execute events, so don’t be discouraged if you haven’t started already.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me anytime at rosie@trainertainment.net.

IAAPA Benchmark: Despite Diversity There IS Much to Be Learned from Fellow FECs

Posted by

 

IAAPA has just published our new IAAPA FEC Benchmark Report. The report is based on FY 2016 data and covers demographics, admissions, attractions information, guests, parking, and financial such as pricing. The results are broken out by FEC location, attendance, and type (indoor, outdoor, mixed). The report concentrates on metrics you can use when reviewing your own operations.

As expected, our results show a very diverse marketplace. We found that 42% were pay-as-you-go, 41% were pay-as-you-go with some attractions ticketed separate, and the rest (15%) were pay-one-price. When looking at type the two largest respondent types were indoor/outdoor FECs at 39% and 36% identified as all indoor FECs. 45% of respondents are from single FECs, but the average number of facilities owned is 4.5 showing many FECs are part of a large company.

All the complexity in the market can make it difficult to compare facilities. One of the metrics we found effective for comparison across all facilities was pricing. We asked for typical pricing for a series of activities at FECs. We found the average pricing for individual activities was between $5 and $8 with a bumper boat ride the lowest average at $5.81 and an hour of a ropes course being the highest at $7.64. The two most common activities were one game of miniature golf and a single laser tag game, which averaged $6.63 and $7.36, respectively.

We asked about which individual activities generated the most revenue based on a list of the top 28 activities found at FECs. Arcade games, laser tag, outdoor miniature golf, and go-karts generated the most revenue for the FECs surveyed. We also found that birthday parties remain the most lucrative special events.

Staffing is another common metric for all FECs despite any size, activities, or format differences. All FECs struggle with staffing and we found facilities are seeing only a 50% retention rate on an annual basis on average. The average age for all employees is 25.7 years with 65% of employees between 18 and 30 years old. The facilities with a smaller staff tend to have a higher ratio of full-time employees to part-time compared to facilities with a larger staff. Staffing is also a large investment for FECs with payroll being the largest expense for FECs averaging 33% of total expenses. FECs also reported 1% of expenses going towards training of staff on average

Guest demographics are very important to successful marketing and for planning market expansion. We asked FEC a few key questions about their guests. On average, the respondent’s guests come from 25.6 miles away with most coming from under 10 miles away. The average length of guest visit is 2.7 hours, the average guest age is 20 years, and guests visit 2.8 times a year.

There is much more detail about the metrics covered in this overview and about other metrics in the report. The report is available to IAAPA members as part of their membership and non-members can purchase it. More information is available at www.IAAPA.org/Research. Or email research@iaapa.org with any research questions.