11 League Action Steps You Can Take To Get More League Participation In October
Many of you are starting your league season in August and many more will be starting after Labor Day. However; for those of you who are planning mid to late October starts (usually the best month of the year, especially for short season bowling) here’s a quick step by step guide of what you need to do:
- Remember you are selling short season programs that will end before Christmas (8 to 10 weeks; 11 if you push)
- Develop an in-center flier you can display for your open play bowlers on around September 15th (start your October leagues the last two weeks of October) and then a YouTube video about the leagues that you can send out as a Facebook post or via email. Videos and photos always get better open rates, so why aren’t you using this tool more. Let your smart phone do all the work. Doesn’t have to be great, just needs to be a little funny. Be anything. Be authentic. Just don’t be Boring, please!
- Update your website and be sure your emails drive people to the landing page about these new SHORT SEASON PROGRAMS
- Identify what leagues you started last year, number of teams, start dates, etc. and their contact so you can reach out to them via phone, email, Facebook, etc.) and ask if they are coming back and IF THEY CAN RECOMMEND FRIENDS TO ADD TO THE FUN
- NOTE: Make sure you tell a story about the upcoming program; maybe a story about why you are bringing it back and how many people told you that the best part of it was _______________
- Don’t just tell me what the features of the program are, tell me the benefits inside a story
- Be sure to email them the details of the program immediately (again tell me a story) or while you are speaking to them so you can get them to sign up over the phone
- Go back to people you had company parties with last year and ask them to join an every other week program culminating in their company holiday party for which you will give them a “very special price”
- Go back to your dropouts. Use BPAA’s “Customer Connect program” to identify them, email them or direct mail to the last two years’ worth of dropouts inviting them in for a free bowling day (which sets up a potential sales situation to recruit them into one of your NEW short season program). Tell THEM a story about what one dropout or several dropouts told you about why they came back to bowling (i.e. they missed socializing with friends; having some time for themselves and just getting out of the house are some examples.)
- Be sure to create a digital media campaign that focuses on these leagues for two to three weeks and are targeted against specific segments. Be sure to build your content in three (3) steps: get people to know about your program and your center; get them to like your program and your center; and finally; get them to trust your program and your center so they will buy. Use testimonials; tell stories; offer extra value in the program. NOTE: If your list isn’t segmented, then you will have to blast this out about twice a week; not a great tactic, but…
- You can set up a Facebook ad campaign that will help you target specific segments; it’s a little more costly, but definitely worth it. This link will take you right to Facebook’s how to create and manage your Facebook advertising instructions:
- Touch the tables; make sure every employee who sells goes down to the lanes and asks people if they are interested in joining the specific short season program. Caution: to be effective try to match the prospect with the league. For example:
- if a family is bowling, speak to them about an adult child program
- If younger adults 21 to 30 are bowling talk to them about a pizza pins n beer league
- If groups of older adults ask them about a boomer short season program playing music from the 60s, 70s and 80s
- If ladies or men from an office or group are bowling, ask them about a women or men bowling with wine program or a “Christmas club program”
- If you see people who have no idea how to bowl, ask them to join and 8 for 8 program where they get their own bowling ball
- If mixed couples, ask them about a craft beer league
- Obviously, you have other programs; just try to match the program to the prospect. The question you never want to ask is “would you like to join a league”;
- 98 people out of 100 will say NO because they don’t know what kind of league it is, when it starts, how long it runs, how much it costs and if you have to be good at it.
- So of course they’ll say NO. They have no idea what you are asking them.
- Try to find out what they like and then see if you have a program that fits their needs.
- And finally, keep asking people. Set goals for signups every shift. Have a 5 minute shift meeting to agree to sign up 5 to 7 people per shift.
- BONUS TIP: And Remember If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get. So Ask In Person, Ask On Facebook, Ask On Your Website, Ask Via Email and Ask Via Direct Mail Using Every Door Direct Mail from The USPS
For More Detail on Specific Programs, Tasks And “How To’s”, Just Give Me A Jingle At 516 359 4874. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be Happy To Help