The answer is either yes or no and my guess is YES. Otherwise league bowlers across the country would be growing, not atrophying.
I mean if 72 million people bowl and 2+ million bowl in a league, you must be looking in the wrong places to get new people…cause after all these years, you would have had more by now, right?
On the other hand, maybe you are finding them, but you are losing more each year then you are replacing. But that is a whole other blog or chapter or even a book.
Here’s what I think is going on in a lot of centers across the country. You and or someone on your staff comes up with a new idea for a league or you “borrow it” from some other center, whatever, that’s cool.
And then you build a flyer, homemade perhaps, even a little funky; you put it on the service desk and send it out as an email. Maybe, you even get some people in the center to talk to existing customers about it like this: “Hey, want to join our new league? No? Whatever! It’s not my business.”
What happens? 4 out of 5 times, you come up with a zero.
So the next time you come up with a great idea, guess what you do? The Same Thing!!! And Guess What You Get? The Same Results!!
Fred Rule #112: Stop Looking To Existing League Bowlers Or Random Open Play Bowlers (Everybody Is Not A Target) To Form Your New Leagues.
How many league bowlers really want to join a second league? And how many open play bowlers want to make a commitment for a bazillion weeks? Even 12 weeks sounds like a lot to them!
First, decide when you are going to build a program? (OK Tuesday at 9 pm).
Second decide who is available for that slot (People who are probably single between the ages of 18 and 34).
Third, is there a commonality you can identify? (Retail workers, restaurant workers, auto dealers, school teachers, people who like to party and drink, shift workers, people who have tattoos) OK let’s go with tattoo people.
Fourth, how do I reach them? (Go to a popular tattoo parlor in town and find out if the owner has a data based and would he be willing to email his customers for more business. If he isn’t brain damaged, his answer will be a resounding YES.
Fifth, create an absolutely irresistible offer (Get $100 gift certificate for bowling during our winter session, X# of weeks and get your first beverage included in the price. It’s not A FREE beverage, it is included and YES you can do this. It is legal in every state because the customer is buying the drink).
Sixth, email your customers who are 18 to 34 years old (Oh I forgot, you may not have ages; never mind – just put it up on your site –) Don’t want to be emailing Mom with two 8 year olds about tattoos do you? If you have a blog, then blog about the popularity of tattoos in the 21st century, talk about the history of tattoos and then make your offer at the end of the blog; with a suggestion that it is for people over 18 or whatever your state laws mandate.
Seventh, distribute on college campuses, retail stores, and local restaurants.
Eighth, make sure Tattoo dude sends out several emails or postcards. Offer to pay for at least half of the cost of mailing.
Ninth, train staff to ask your late night Friday and Saturday bowlers about joining the tattoo league.
Tenth, find someone you or your staff knows who is into tattoos and offer them $100 tattoo gift certificate for every two teams they bring to the program.
And that’s how to look for bowlers in all the RIGHT PLACES!