Getting to Know TrainerTainment’s Laura O’Neal

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What do you enjoy most about working with our clients?

Even though we are all in the entertainment industry, I appreciate the diversity of each client. In Social Media, each of our clients has a unique voice we try to capture when representing them. From a Business Coaching perspective, I love helping them unravel the complexities of their business and use their talents and individual strengths to take their businesses (for a lack of a better term) to the next level.

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

I have ridden Beth’s coattails on this one. I’ve been a coach since the beginning of Trainertainment, as well as an outside trainer, business coach, and SMM manager for many of our clients proudly for 11 years.

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

Not to sound like a broken record, but I have learned the people in this industry are amazingly hard working, kind, fun, and did I mention hard working? To me, all the rest of it beyond the people can be taught or trained, but the backbone of this industry are its owners and staff.

Which of our core values resonates with you the most?

FUN. The reason I say that might be obvious, but for me, FUN isn’t always in the forefront. I have to work at it because we all work so hard and do so much. The greatest thing I get to ask myself is…”Wait, is this fun? If not, Beth would not approve.” How great is THAT????

If you could use technology to do one thing, what would it be and why?

I would use technology to obliterate technology. You think I’m kidding.

Would you rather explore a new planet or the deepest parts of the ocean? Why?

The ocean. I’m afraid of heights and fish are cool. What I really want to explore is the human brain. There is a movie about this and the name escapes me, but a little rocket ship goes inside a body and putters around. THAT would be an adventure that would be FUN and I would sign up for in an instant.

Where’s the Party At?

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Though not a nationally recognized holiday for most, a birthday lands somewhere ahead of Christmas and the candy-filled, colorful costume celebration of Halloween as a kid’s favorite day of the year. From toddlers to teens, a special event where all the attention is on them, calls for putting a spotlight front and center on an experience that’s truly second to none. For a Family Entertainment Center, a birthday grants a golden opportunity to get your customers back in the door as a group, sharing the experience of a grand extravaganza and later spreading the word all over. Before you blow out the candles on the cake, follow a few simple best business practices below with a goal of repeat revenue on route to becoming the best birthday party location around.

Collect Birthdays Anyway You Can

Whether at point-of-sale or through an online marketing software such as FetchRev, collecting birthdates by the bunch is the first step to reaching your customers when they’re ready to spend. For example, sending out an email requesting your customers’ date of birth in exchange for an incentivized gift serves as an equal trade that pays dividends down the road. Putting their information directly in your birthday database allows you, as the business owner to promote your various birthday packages and discount how you see fit to get the party (no pun intended) firmly in place for all the fun.

Put a Focus on What Makes You Fun

Have the biggest trampoline park West of the Mississippi? How about the fastest go-karts in the greater metropolitan area? Perhaps, people come from far and away to enjoy those Instagram-worthy insatiable ice cream sandwiches from your on-site cafe. Whatever the best parts of your business are, identify the money-makers and crowd pleasing perks and promote your birthday party packages around them for best results. Not only are you giving the familiar guests what they want, but you’re earning all new fans of your features as well.

Check-In for the Celebration 

Encouraging social media check-ins during, and online reviews after, their birthday experience is a winning way to spread the good word on a great time out at your center. Try promoting a fun hashtag that incorporates the name of your business on Instagram, or offer an exclusive day-of-party addition such as a complementary two-liter of soda for every 10 check-ins on Facebook from an individual party. For every positive review online, reach out to the reviewer and personally thank them for choosing your location for a birthday celebration. For each unfavorable review try to understand and rectify where expectations fell short in a respectful manner. As always, social media can be an invaluable learning tool for assessing your current birthday strategy and optimizing your special offers for best results.

FetchRev’s automated platform makes collecting birthdays and following up with revenue generating purchasable and claimable campaigns simple. Click Here to request a demo or give us a call at (877) 394-2410 today.

Coaching Leads to Success

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This week has been an amazing leadership week for me. Do you ever have weeks where you think, “I got this!”? Yeah, they do happen, and I know there are times where we just feel like we are failing at everything. I’ve felt both the winning and failing this week and the week isn’t even over!

This past Sunday a friend and I got into a wonderful conversation about work. He has been with his company for the past year and recently was transferred to another department. During training, he felt like his trainer was going a million miles a minute and he was trying to capture everything she said. For the most part, he felt pretty confident until she popped by to see if he could do it on his own.

With the pressure standing over his shoulder, he felt paralyzed and made a couple of mistakes. What happened next is where I saw the difference between a great trainer and coach and one who will not be the next person to help someone succeed. She asked him if he took good enough notes.

As a training company, we realize people are going to make mistakes, especially in the days just after training. When a team member isn’t doing well, we take a step back and look to see how we failed in the training process and then coach them on how to do it correctly and be more confident for the future.

His next statement made me realize how important it is to have a trainer and coach. He told me he wants to know what he is doing wrong, how to improve, and what he can do to move up but is scared to ask because he doesn’t want to seem incompetent. Then he hit me with this, “I should know how to do so many things because I learned them in my days as a baseball player but it seems like I can’t implement any of them.”

That’s when it clicked for me. I asked him, “What is the difference between when you played sports and working now? You had a coach to guide you and teach you.”

I’ve written about this many times before. I have spent most of my adult life looking for a mentor or coach. So many of the most successful people in the world have a mentor or coach to guide them and that is why as leaders it’s important for us to take on that mentoring, training, and coaching our team members to be successful.

Imagine if, from day one, my friend’s supervisor went to him and said, “We are excited to have you on the team. We want to make sure you succeed. When you succeed, our team succeeds. I’m here to be your leader and coach.”

Having a coach has been such an amazing blessing for us at Trainertainment. Every week our coach Nancy has an amazing and important part in coaching us leaders about how to run the company. She always asks all the hard and right questions for us to succeed.

Part of what got me riled up during our conversation was that this is what we do! We coach owners, managers, supervisors, leadership teams, and sales team about how to grow their people through coaching and training. I believe every business has the potential to be successful and, with the right coach, I think even more can be extraordinary! Are you ready to become extraordinary? Call us and we will help you get on the path to success.

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.

Getting to Know TrainerTainment’s Rosie Salas, Director of Marketing

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What do you enjoy most about working with our clients?

Being able to see them grow! It’s always amazing to see how much joy people have in those “ah-ha” moments of learning something new and using that to help them meet their goals.

 

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

Wow, I can’t believe it has been 13 years since I started in the entertainment business. My first “real” job was with the Albuquerque Isotopes baseball club in 2004 working in media and community relations. After a few season there, I moved to the casino industry doing marketing and special events. In the fall of 2006 I joined the FEC industry with iT’Z Family, Food & Fun. I joined their team at their first location in Albuquerque as their party and front of house manager. After a year in Albuquerque, I moved back home to Houston to help them open their second and largest location, again as the party and front of house manager. During my time there, I gained heaps of operational knowledge stepping in for temporary roles in the kitchen, game room, and store manager. I spent the next five years at iT’Z in Houston and assisted in opening their next three locations. I’m proud to have built a million dollar a year birthday party program at iT’Z Houston. I’ve been the Director of Marketing for TrainerTainment the past five years.

 

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

 I think the most significant thing I have learned working in the FEC industry is that we have really important roles. From leadership to a team member, every role is important. It doesn’t matter if you are a party host creating a special memory for a five-year-old, a person in the dish pit making sure each person gets clean dishes, or a manager leading your team to greatness. We touch so many lives on a daily basis and that’s pretty special!

 

Which of our core values resonates with you the most?

For me, our core value of intentional learning is super important to me. I have always had a desire to learn and with marketing constantly evolving and changing, I get to keep up with the times. Learning doesn’t only benefit us. We also share the things we learn with our clients.

 

What country or place would you tell every person they must visit before they die?

This one is really hard for me. We have done so much traveling and seen so many amazing things, it’s hard to narrow it down. The first I would say is go to India and see the Taj Mahal. Most people think India is really dirty and all you see is poor. Yes, you do see that in pocket areas but it is really an amazing country. The food, the history, the people, and there’s a lot of green space, too. Seeing the Taj Mahal has been on my bucket list since I was a teen. It was even more amazing in person than I imagined! It literally took my breath away and I was just overcome by emotion. Don’t let negative misconceptions of India deter you from going to this amazing country.

 

Who was your favorite artist or group when you were growing up?

Mariah Carey. I was obsessed and had her Emotions cassette. I would play it over and over and sing at the top of my lungs in my room. Who am I kidding? I still like to do that today!