I have spent some time this week working with clients via my “eyeball to eyeball service” Its either a phone conference or skype meeting for an hour or two per week and its working pretty well. That’s not the point of this blog. Selling you something never has been. The point is: everywhere I turn, new clients are telling me, emailing me, skyping me that their open play, to be blunt, “just sucks” and in fact “there is no predictability to it.” In some instances, rainy Saturday nights are worse than cool calm and clear Saturday nights.
If we tear apart some old assumptions (which I love to do as you know) maybe we can find the answers.
Assumption #1: “Warmer weather kills open play and with all the competition out there and things to do, people don’t want to go indoors.”
Really, what about movies, eating out inside and playing video games, watching Netflix movies. So there goes that assumption. If people are willing to stay indoors, then why won’t they go bowling in the summer? Answer: Because they don’t know about your offers and they have other choices. Why aren’t you a choice?
Assumption#2: “No matter how you price it, you cant give it away in the summer.”
Really? The Kids Bowl Free Movement proved that isn’t true. With more than 1.3 million Moms signing up over $1.8 million kids, almost 1,000 bowling proprietors will tell you that just isn’t the case. So there goes that assumption.
Assumption#3 “Summer bowlers are basically winter bowlers and they just can’t afford it.”
Really? Its been shown that if you offer OPEN play bowlers the opportunity to bowl in 6 or 8 or 10 week programs and get them a bowling ball in the process, you will be able to convert a fair percentage of them IMMEDIATELY to another 6,8 or 10 week session. So there goes that assumption.
Assumption#4 “Customers only want cheap pricing. That’s the only way they will bowl.”
Really? Then why is open play down given all the low pricing out there? Reality is IF NOBODY knows what you are offering, who is going to take advantage of your offer. And if you think you can do it just on email alone, you are dead wrong. Less than 15% of all emails are opened. And with over 250 billion emails being sent a day, 200 billion are found to be spam. And did you know that GM just pulled out of Facebook and pulled back $10 million dollars worth of advertising to put it on cable TV? How long will you remain invisible and still blame “the product”? So there goes that assumption.
Assumption #5 “People will only bowl in the summer when it rains.”
Really? Then how come company parties and fund raisers can be big in the summer if you go after them with themes like “indoor picnics”, donating $X of the center’s money towards a fund raiser or marketing family reunion parties or camp/field trip parties? So there goes that assumption.
Tear the assumptions down. Build new paradigms for your center. Test new ideas. Look at other entertainment industries; what are they doing to promote their business? Go get a blank sheet of paper. Start now. Please.