This one is a little longer than usual, but I humbly assure you, it will be worthwhile. Please stay with it to the end.
Call 10 or 20 bowling centers to get information about their birthday parties. I almost guarantee that you will get one of three answers.
- Uh, can you call back later and speak to the manager/owner/supervisor)?
- Hold on, let me get someone who can answer that (wait 5 minutes, come back to the phone). Guess what? Customer is gone!
- Sure we have three parties and let me tell you about them? Read from brochure on the desk, never stopping to ask a question). Customer asks questions, maybe a sale is closed. Maybe.
Obviously, none of these approaches work really well with the first two being death. The third, a feeble attempt at offering information is just barely scratching the service.
So I thought I would give you a sure fire way to almost guarantee that your birthday party sales get stronger and your close ratio higher.
But first, a little philosophy.
Realize that people are calling you about your most precious asset: their child. And they want to feel that you or your staff is really interested in their child as a person and them as a parent. So your attitude on the phone is a dead giveaway as to whether or not they want to entrust you with their MVA (Most Valuable Asset).
RULE #1: SHOW SINCERE INTEREST IN THEIR BIRTHDAY PARTY INQUIRY.
And you do that by asking questions and asking questions until you can provide Mom or dad with information that meets THEIR needs
MOM: Hello. Can you tell me some information about your birthday parties
You: I sure can. May I get your name? And what is your child’s name and how old will he or she be?
MOM: Amanda Jones and his name is Johnny and he will be 8
You: Well, Mrs. Jones here’s wishing a happy 8TH birthday to Johnny from all of us here at Happy Bowl. Do you have a date and time in mind for his party?
MOM: Yes March 15th . Oh, probably around 3pm
You: Great we have that time available and I am sure Johnny will have a fabulous time here. Now about how many children do you plan to invite
MOM: about 10 or so.
You: Great: I am sure you will be so happy having his party here, we do lots and lots of them and all are special to us. Now Mrs. Jones, do you have a planned budget in mind since we do have several options to choose from and I wanted to make sure that we meet your requirements.
Rule #2: GIVE THE PROSPECT WHAT SHE WANTS NOT WHAT YOU WANT
MOM. Oh probably around $150.
You: Great. I think I have just what you are looking for. Our “Striker” party includes (blah blah blah) and will be $14.95 per child so for 10 children you are right at your budget. May I reserve that spot for you
RULE #3. ALWAYS BE CLOSING?
Mom: Well, let me think about it and call you back?
RULE#4: OVERCOMING OBSTACLES
You: I completely understand that. I would want to do the same thing if it was my child. Other Moms have said the same thing. Is there any one thing I can clarify?
RULE #5: FIND OUT THE OBSTACLE(S)
MOM: Well, uh, uh, do you have anything cheaper?
You: We certainly can accommodate that. We have our Spare package. It’s only $11.95 per child but doesn’t include (blah blah blah)
RULE #6 (SEE RULE #3)
You: I can reserve that day and time for you right now, OK? Would you like me to reserve that for you?
MOM: Yes, yes, that’ sounds better.
You: OK you are all set and I just know that Johnny will have the time of his life and you won’t have to worry about your house getting messed up. We’ll do all the work and your son will have all the fun. May I have your credit card # so we can hold a $XXX deposit for that space?
At that point you also want to get the customer’s email so you can send a confirmation and a happy birthday card to Johnny about 3 to 4 days before his birthday.
The whole point is not to necessarily have a script, but to have an attitude of gratitude that someone wants to entrust you with their MVA and you take that responsibility seriously enough to do everything you can to find out what Mom wants.
And then give it to her…with some love!