Posts Tagged ‘goals’

I Didn’t Even Notice I Reached My Goal!

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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!

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.

5 Easy Ways to Increase Party Sales

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5 Ways to Increase (1)I managed a million dollar birthday business.

More specifically, I managed birthday parties at a large FEC for six years and helped turn it into a million dollar a year birthday business. Yes, I was in Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, but that also meant that we were competing with lots of other businesses in the same industry. I get asked all the time, “What was your secret?” It was very fortunate that we were clients to Trainertainment.  I received weekly training and coaching from Beth through her Sales Coaching program. I was also working for a really great facility, where I had the best party team anyone could ask for. We still had to get creative and work really hard to build our program.

I want to share with you five easy ways things we did to increase our party sales that you can use, too!

1. Upsells

Upsells are a huge reason we were a million dollar a year party program. There were only so many party times available; even if we packed them all in, we could only do so much, so we relied heavily on upsells. We sold logo cups with lids, which parents happily purchased so that all the sweet 4 year olds in the party wouldn’t spill their drink. They could also refill it later. Lanyards were by far the biggest hit! We learned quickly that with a game card system kids lost their card easily. Well, why not put it on a lanyard that they wear around their neck?! This one was so easy. All we had to do was have the parent think about their child losing their game card and having a meltdown! Goodie bags – an item that mom doesn’t have to run to the store and think about. It was a no brainer to buy them. The great thing about working with people like Redemption Plus is that they customized our bags for us! We created artwork with our mascot and a bounce back coupon for their next visit. Upsells such as 3 for 5 gameplay, additional bowling time, food options, and theme parties are just a few items you can sell.

Our biggest secret….shhhh….don’t spread this one too much: When we cashed the party out we would create two receipts; their actual receipt reflecting their package pricing with add-ons, and an itemized receipt as if they had purchased everything a la carte. The parent could see the totals side by side and realize hey, it’s not as much as I thought. I would say we were able to upsell 7 out of 10 parties that way.

2. Birthday Party Club

I was a client of TrainerTainment before I came to work for them as Marketing Director, and each week my sales team had to report how many outbound calls we made to customers who had parties with us in the past. Yes, making those calls does work to get bookings, but sometimes I was frustrated to hear “well we did it there last year, we are going to try somewhere else this time.” I was always shocked because we were the BEST at birthday parties, and I knew they would be disappointed going somewhere else.

We started a Birthday Party Club to take advantage of the many people walking through the center on the weekends, who weren’t necessarily ready to book a party. Every Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday a party host set up a table and decorated with a sign that said “Win a Free Party.” All parents had to do was sign their children up to be in our birthday club. For their birthday they would receive a special postcard in the mail with an offer to come and visit us for their birthday. We used this information to call them six weeks ahead of time and said, “I want to be the first to wish Jordan a happy birthday! Have you thought about where you are going to have his party yet?” Parents loved it! We planted that seed in their head that they needed to get their planning started. We were willing to do all the work for them!

The first year we collected well over 1,000 names and the great part was that we already knew they loved our center because they were past guests!

3. Having that “WOW” Factor

Adding that “wow” factor is what sets you apart from other facilities near you. I would say most FEC’s have the basics down; you have activities, food and drinks. How good your center is compared to the person down the road is some of what makes you different. I truly think the differences are the smaller details and guest service.

If you have the best guest service, I am definitely more likely to come to your facility. But as a mom, I want to see the host going above and beyond the call of duty to make our party a memorable experience.  I want to see that every person in the center is telling my son happy birthday and giving high fives. I want to see that the staff is knowledgeable and interacting with the people I invited. I want to know that they are truly happy that we have chosen them over everyone else. I want the center to be clean. I know it doesn’t sound like much but I can tell you firsthand that I have been places that didn’t do this, and I definitely told my friends not to go there.

That “wow” factor is what is going to have your party parents and their friends telling everyone on social media that they HAVE to have a party here. When they do and have rave reviews, advertise those! Publish those rave reviews on your birthday party page with a link so others can see that yes, we are amazing, and the best place in town to have your party.

4. Think Outside the Box

Parents can really go out all for birthday parties. Thanks to Pinterest, moms get ideas about how to customize their parties in very creative ways. Just think; a movie-themed party with cupcakes that look like popcorn buckets, actual popcorn buckets, movie tickets as invitations, and a concession stand with all your favorite theater candy. For some parents, the very idea of doing all that work makes them anxious (I am one of them, did it once and never again!). Why don’t we think of how we can create something that is over the top and outside the box?

It is really easy for us to have storage containers on-hand with boas, rockstar hats, glasses, inflatable guitars and microphones, and include a lanyard to hold their game card (which is now their VIP pass), to have the ultimate rockstar party. Some of this can be a one-time investment, while others can be built into your package for them to take home. Now we have really become the one-stop shop, from beginning to end it is no fuss, no muss, just leave it to us! All you have to do is bring the cake!

5. Online Booking

I cannot stress enough that an online booking system such as Party Center Software is an absolute must to increase party sales. Parents today are so busy that they need to have easy access to book at any time.

Let me paint a picture: 6:30 am out the door to take the kids to school, drop them off and get home around 8:00, work till time to pick up the kids at 3:00, soccer practice for one, baseball practice for the other. Rush home at 6:45 to cook dinner. After dinner it is time for showers and homework. Then 8:30 pm rolls around, and it is time for the kids’ bedtime stories. 9:00 lights out. 9:01, mom and dad with a glass of wine laid out on the couch ready for bed. 9:05 rolls around, you sit straight up and say “Oh my gosh, Jordan’s birthday is in two weeks and I haven’t planned his party!” If you are shaking your head and giggling (as I am while writing this), you know exactly what I am talking about.

While I have been part of thousands of birthday parties over the years, and roll my eyes every time a mom calls three days before to book their party, I also feel for them. There is so much going on in my busy life as a mom that I need to be able to do it on my time, not theirs. Online booking is perfect! Parents can get online any time, day or night and book their party right then.

After we implemented our online booking system about 70% of our parties would book straight through the web. Think about before– how many parties were lost because someone else had an online system that they could book right away?

I hope these will give you great ideas about how to increase your party sales in 2015. I would love to hear your feedback and any ideas you have, too!


Cruising Right Along!

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167     I’m Shipping out on Monday for 5 days in the Caribbean sun. I’m looking forward to sleeping as late as I      want (that probably means all the way to 7:30 a.m.)! I plan to exercise, gamble, go to art actions, drink some margaritas, learn to salsa and make salsa, and hopefully find some news things that make birthday parties great. (Of course this is a business trip! I’m obligated to do “entertainment” research, right?)

Seriously, I’m paying close attention to all those things that I do, that get in the way of all the things I mean to do. You know what I mean? I encourage you to make a list or at least become aware of what happens on those days that you look up and wonder, “what the heck did I do today”! You felt busy but hardly anything is checked off your list.

I don’t think it’s possible to get beyond the cruising stage if you don’t have some sort of map that lays out what the journey really is. I have a set of great questions, compliments of my “CEO Brain Trust Group” that set the stage for reflection and planning for the new year. We also use a Goals Grid that ask you to simply state the 3 primary goals this year for your work, health, and personal life. It’s not too much to stop and complete this exercise. It could be the most significant 30-45 minutes you spend this week.

Click here to download your copy. If you are brave enough to make commitments or need to declare them publicly then click the blog link below and share away.

As always, I’m so pleased that you take the time to stop in and read our newsletter. We have so much happening this year. We’ve got an AMAZING Bowling Promotion that I can’t wait to release. We participated in a TX BPA education event this week in Houston and gave them a sneak peak. If their reaction is any indication about how this promotion will work… Well let’s just say, I’m pretty darned excited! We will release this product in San Antonio at the BPAA Bowling Summit.