If you have read about my rants on building summer revenue through indoor picnics, fund raising, team building events and field trips for day care centers and “rainy day programs” for day camps, here is another untapped way to get to a sales force that can grow your business geometrically.
Have you overlooked the professional "Party or Event Planner?"
Most towns, cities and counties have people who specialize in coordinating a party or a special event for a group, an organization, a company or even a family occasion.
These folks know many venues where an event can take place, where to get specialized music requests, flowers, linen, invitations and many other accouterments (I thought you’d like that wordJ) to make their clients parties and events successful.
But do they know about YOU?
Do they know about your center and have you invited them in, either individually or as a group to educate them about what you can offer.
In the past I have not only invited them as a group, but have personally called on them in their offices or invited them and an associate to visit Happy Lanes. Lunch is on me.
After the normal and customary introductions, I always start out with a presentation; either on my laptop or similar device. One note of caution: If you are going to use a PowerPoint presentation, don't use bullets and don't read from the screen, please!!
The presentation is organized around the assumption that the person I am chatting with knows very little about bowling as “an event venue.” I assume that because, during my phone conversation, I ask some questions about their experience with bowling centers as an event space, if they bowl or know anything about it.
My presentation is organized as follows: From a national point of view, how many people bowl and compare it to golf (only 26 million played last year) and tell them that bowling is America’s number ONE pay for play activity.
This is followed by the demographics of bowling with emphasis on the fact that bowling's appeal cuts across many demographic levels and represents the American landscape. That's why one 1 out of 4 Americans went bowling last year.
The next step is to emphasize the fact that 70% of those people who casually bowl are under the age of 35; bowling is youthful, it's dynamic; it's growing and it's cool :)
Now it gets personal; I get into the history of my center and its contributions to the community from sponsorships to education to fund raising and the special needs community that the center serves; my vision for what the center means to the residential and local business community; what I offer (specific examples) and how I can customize any type of event they want to build for their clients.
After that, they will see You Tube videos of real parties or great photos of parties. They will read or hear as many testimonials as I can get my hands on and then I end with the “what’s in it for them?
My structure is 10% of the gross when they schedule a client to have a team building event, fund raising event, corporate event or any other kind of event at Happy Lanes. But you can decide on your own incentive package. Just make it enticing enough that your center moves up on their "brain-list."
This same presentation format is used for a "group sale." After the presentation, they bowl to the music and light show while I serve them the best food I can possibly provide...and then recruit them to be part of the team.
If you follow this plan and are successful, you will now have another sales organization that can be called upon to grow your business. Just before they leave, I give them their sales (tools) package and let them know how happy I am that we will be working together. Not a week will slip by, where I don't call them to give them some new information and to stay in touch.
And if they want elephants that bowl, I’ll get that for them too!