Krista Estes and Sonya Terry Join Our Growing Team of Sales Specialists

Krista Estes and Sonya Terry Join Our Growing Team of Sales Specialists

Krista Estes

TrainerTainment is pleased to announce that Krista Estes and Sonya Terry have joined the company as sales specialists.

Krista comes to TrainerTainment after eight years with Walmart as a talent manager and trainer in its Academy Operations training center. She is a third-generation amusement industry veteran, having started her career as a teenager working in her family’s Cowtown Bowling Palace in Fort Worth. Her father, Jay Trietley is a 40-year veteran of the bowling industry who taught her the essentials of customer service.

Krista was a competitive youth bowler and began her college studies on a scholarship from the Youth American Bowling Alliance. She graduated college with a B.S. in fashion merchandising from Texas Women’s University and a M.S. in organizational leadership from Northwood University.

Sonya Terry

Sonya Terry joins TrainerTainment after more than 16 years in the laser tag industry as a trainer, general manager and area manager in Texas for Leisure Entertainment Corporation of Canada. The company’s Laser Quest is one of the first manufacturers and operators of laser tag arenas. Sonya has extensive experience in training and motivating young, first-time workers in the amusement industry, which is one of TrainerTainment’s specialties.

Prior to Laser Quest Sonya worked for more than ten years in fashion retail, where her responsibilities including developing policies, procedures and best practices for Boot Town, a chain of 17 western wear stores.

“Krista and Sonya know from experience the training and operating practices that lead to the success of an amusement center,” says Beth Standlee, CEO of TrainerTainment. “They are also accomplished sales professionals who are ideally suited to helping our customers grow
their sales and service teams and make their businesses thrive.”

Motivation to Finish the Year Strong

Motivation to Finish the Year Strong

Motivation is a tricky thing.

If you are a parent of more than one child, you know that each of your children requires a different method of motivation. The same is true for your staff.

The real key to motivation is to pay attention to how motivated you are. Your team pays more attention to what you do than what you say and are motivated to perform accordingly. They watch your attitude, the pep in your step, (or not) and they follow. Management is about treating everyone the same even though people are not the same. Leading others and inspiring them to do the work is far more motivating than making sure all the boxes from your SOP (standard operating procedures) checklists get checked. Many times, “management” is not very motivating.

Leadership IS about motivating others to get the job done “willingly.”

Motivation shows up in a lot of forms. I like to read or listen to what other great leaders have to say. We don’t have to make it up for ourselves every day. There are a lot of great tools easily available to help us get motivated. Here are my three best ideas to help you get more motivated today:

  • I love Success Magazine.</.strong> It’s a great motivational resource. The articles are short. I think that’s important in our busy world and they include a free audio CD with amazing interviews in each issue. If you have even a little commute, I promise this CD will be something that will absolutely inspire and motivate you.
  • Find other owners, sales team members, and assistant managers and create your own “mastermind ” group, so that you have a network to utilize as a resource when you need that extra motivation.
  • Finally, tap into the TrainerTainment website, blog, or Facebook. We are full of great ideas that are sure to motivate you, help you train, and make you more money (which can always be motivating). 
Building School Fundraising Programs

Building School Fundraising Programs

In our sales coaching program, we teach sales teams to break up their time calling various target markets. We break it down like this:

  • 40% Companies and adult groups
  • 30% Youth groups
  • 20% Church groups
  • 10% Fundraisers

People often ask how to host a successful fundraiser. If you have a student in your house, you know that almost every week there is some spirit night at your local Chick-Fil-A or the band is selling overpriced kitchen gadgets. My least favorite of all is the PTO getting students to sell $20 rolls of wrapping paper or bad cookies so they can make a whopping $2 back for each one sold.

Next up in our back to school series we want to give you five ideas about how to host fundraisers in your center that will bring business to you and to the schools who can make more money!

Fundraising Night

Allow schools or organizations to pick a night Monday – Thursday to host their fundraiser. Set specific hours and give them a percentage of all the sales during those hours. It makes it easier than reminding them they need to bring a flyer or tell the front desk what group they are part of. Work with your POS client on pulling reports or creating special buttons the front desk can use during that time. The goal is to drive weekday business and help the school make money and this is an easy and simple way to do both.

Discount Cards

Discount cards are wonderful and easy. As a parent of three boys, I will purchase a discount card over anything else anytime! There are several ways to do it – give one discount they can use one time per visit per year or create a punch card. The punch card can be good for one offer up to a specified number of uses or create various offers for one-time use. Give the discount cards to the school to sell and they can set the price point. Your return comes from keeping the offers simple such as BOGO offers, special packagings such as a family four pack, or discounted entry. More often it will be families that come in that will need to spend more to cover everyone or purchase additional food or gameplay. We love to work with spinnprint.com for all our printing needs where you can purchase 500 postcards for just $80.00. That’s just .16 cents each with you getting a big return! You can custom design a card for each group and personalize it just for them.

Online Fundraising

If you have an online reservation system, create a special link that goes to a direct fundraising page. Set the page to sell gift cards, packages, or pre-paid items such as buffets, drinks, or game cards they can redeem in the future. Allow them to run the fundraiser for a week so they can reach their family, friends, and neighbors through email and social media. The school or organization would then receive 20% back on anything purchased with their unique link. It’s easy to track and easy to sell. Talk with your POS client to get it set up in your system.

Pizza Party Fundraiser

Another great way for schools and organizations to fundraise is through food. Most can’t make lots of pizzas but you may. Have discounted prices for whole pizzas the organization can order and sell by the slice at their next event. You can cover your costs, get your name to families in the community, and they can set the price per slice. Make it a no-brainer by adding a small delivery fee and deliver to them.

Pre-Paid Game/Gift Cards

Pre-paid game cards or gift cards are a way to make sure organizations have some skin in the game. Pre-load cards with a specific amount of money and sell them to the organization for half the price. They can then turn around and sell them for full price! For instance, sell a $10 card to the PTO for $5 and the organization sells them for $10. When they come into your center, you know they are going to purchase more, and the school can make a great profit.

We hope these ideas help you with fundraising in your facility. Leave a comment, question or reach out to us at marketing@trainertainment.net. We are here to help!

Top 5 Tips to Grow Group Sales

Top 5 Tips to Grow Group Sales

Want to grow your group sales? Don’t even know where to begin? Sales can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. This week, we put together our top tips for growing group sales.

Have a Sales Champion

There is nothing more important to growing group sales than a dedicated sales champion. A sales champion inspires the whole center to be the best to keep guests coming back time after time for events. Imagine calling your food purveyor to inquire about a new product. How would you feel getting someone on the phone who doesn’t know what they are selling and couldn’t answer your questions? Even worse, what if no one ever answered the phone? When booking events, parents say they look for these things:

  1. Someone has to answer the phone. In today’s busy world, parents don’t have a lot of time, if they call now, answer now, or if not, they are moving on to the next venue on their list.
  2. The person who answers the phone needs to be friendly, know the product, and be knowledgeable or they lose trust.

The sales champion may be one of the most important roles in the center. How do you make sure they are staying on track and increasing sales? They have to be involved with the goals and that leads us to tip number 2.

Get a Scorecard with KPI’s in Place

KPIs are Key Performance Indicators. It is your goal broken down into mini weekly goals. KPIs are what keep us on track toward achieving our objectives. A scorecard is a place where we put those goals and track them each week. Make sure they know what their goals are,  and have them tracked. It’s easy to see when you are off track and get ahead before it’s too late.

Outbound Efforts

Don’t wait for business to come to you. There will always be clients who call the center to book events because they are already guests and know how great you are. Reach out to new businesses and expand your network! Plan each day with a power hour to kick start your day. Nothing is more important than to plant the seeds and watch the harvest come in. If we allow sales to come merely through inbound efforts, it will be too late to recover when the phones go silent.

Call Everyone!

What do arcade games, laser tag, or bowling have to do with a dentist office or mechanic’s business? EVERYTHING! It doesn’t matter what industry people work in, everyone has holiday parties. Even more have team building events, summer picnics, team appreciation, and more. If they don’t, why not put the thought in their head? Stay away from the temptation of thinking a certain business would never use your facility for their small, medium, or large events because you may just be surprised.

Get Out in The Center and Talk to Guests

Our sales teams shouldn’t stay in an office all day. A great way to get a break and be productive is to get out of the office, into the center, and talk to guests who are already there.
Summer is a great time to be out in the center. Look for parents on laptops, for example. They may be working from home, and you could talk with them about what kind of events their company has and even get contact information for the person who plans the events. The point is, you will get loads of feedback about why they love your center, what keeps them coming back, and maybe even a recommendation to a friend or business.

Bonus! Learn Sales Processes that Work!

Our upcoming August Advanced Sales Conference is a great way to get your team on the right track!  We are getting together with a bunch of extraordinary people just like you on August 21st & 22nd at Jake’s Unlimited in Mesa AZ.  (I know, it will be HOT), but fortunately, all the work we will do is inside Jake’s beautiful facility!

Bowl Expo 2019

Bowl Expo 2019

We are so excited that Bowl Expo is coming up in just three short weeks, what about you? TrainerTainment will be exhibiting at Booth #145! Bowl Expo has so much to offer. In addition to catching up with old friends and making new ones, Bowl Expo features:

  • Sunday: 4 Boot Camps
  • Monday: New Breakfast Event
  • Tuesday: Great Education
  • Wednesday: Aaron Rodgers!
  • Thursday: BVL Breakfast and Trade Show
  • Thursday Night: Club XPO Barenaked Ladies

We hope you can stop by and visit us and reconnect! We’d love to hear about what you’ve been up to this past year. Hoping to see you in Las Vegas, June 23-27th! Haven’t registered? Click Here to Register.

Connect with us – CLICK HERE to schedule a meeting.

5 Ways to Get Past the Gatekeeper

5 Ways to Get Past the Gatekeeper

A good salesperson selling corporate and team building events knows the importance of presenting their product to the decision-maker of a company. It’s the decision-maker who will have the final say that leads to closing the sale. If the decision-maker is in an executive role, there is most likely an administrative assistant or executive assistant who is screening calls, visitors, and information before passing some of it on to their executive.

Administrative professionals in that role are nicknamed Gatekeepers. So, here you are, ready to sell your corporate and team building product and have an executive with a Gatekeeper. Your goal is to close the sale as soon as possible by speaking directly with the executive. Sounds like a challenge, yes, but it is not impossible if you know how to approach the Gatekeeper. Here are 5 ways to get past the Gatekeeper:

1.  Understand the Gatekeeper’s role.

A Gatekeeper has an important role in the organization and serves many functions. The Gatekeeper is strongly connected to everything and constantly has their fingers on the pulse of the company. They handle complex projects from start to finish and the executive’s goals are the Gatekeeper’s goals. A key function of the Gatekeeper is to shield the executive from incoming information that can be handled by either the Gatekeeper or other team members. The Gatekeeper is highly trained in time management, which includes managing their own time and as well their executive’s time, and in using good and quick judgment to determine whether the information is worth passing on.

2.  Conduct research about the prospect.

Research the company before you speak with the Gatekeeper. This way, you will have information and know details you can use in your conversation to connect with the Gatekeeper and start a meaningful conversation. Look for things such as how many years they have been in business, how many locations they have, or if they’ve won industry awards.

3.  The meaningful conversation with the Gatekeeper.

If you want to have a meaningful conversation with the company’s executive, you need to have a meaningful conversation with the Gatekeeper first. Now that you’ve researched the company background, start your conversation with the Gatekeeper about the company’s great accomplishments. For example, say things like, “Emily, your company has been in the architect business for 19 years and won the best-architect-in-the-USA award two consecutive years. Congratulations! What a great accomplishment!” Opening the conversation this way plows the path to connecting with the Gatekeeper and you are well on your way to having that meaningful conversation. Each Gatekeeper is proud to hear about their company’s great achievements. Avoid cheesy-sounding opening comments such as, “Emily – that’s a wonderful name!” or cheap tricks to directly get through to the executive such as, “Emily, is Beth in? She knows me. I need to speak with her,” or “Emily, Beth and I met at a recent networking event. Is she available?” If you try to start your conversation that way, you’ve lost the opportunity to sell to this company. You cannot trick the Gatekeeper!

4.  Be concise.

Time management is extremely important to the Gatekeeper and every minute counts. Once you have started your conversation with the Gatekeeper, give as much information as needed to present your product while keeping it short and comprehensive. State the purpose of your call clearly and in just a few words. The Gatekeeper wants to spend only minimal time to determine whether your offering is of benefit to the company. Make the first 10 seconds count. That is the time it usually takes for the Gatekeeper to determine if they want to continue to listen to your offer. If you get too wordy, the Gatekeeper will cut you off and you could either lose the meaningful conversation or worse, lose the possibility of achieving any sales with them in the future. It may sound harsh, but the Gatekeeper assumes you will be just as long-winded and wordy with their executive as you are with the Gatekeeper, and they will not allow that to happen. The Gatekeeper will do everything in their power to prevent their executive from spending time on something or someone they have determined as “unnecessary” or, bluntly spoken, “wasting time.”

5.  Convince the Gatekeeper.

Point out the benefits and impact the event you are offering will have on the company. Be concise as you continue your conversation. “Emily, I have something to offer that will grow the productivity of your team. You and your team are working so hard all year long – how nice would it be to treat everyone for a fun team building event at our center? We have a boardroom in which you could hold your annual planning meeting and afterward you can enjoy great food and a few games of bowling. You could work and play, all at the same time!” That will catch the Gatekeeper’s attention, especially the word “productivity” used in the first sentence. The Gatekeeper always looks for new ways to help with team building and creating an environment that nurtures productivity. If you can convince the Gatekeeper their company needs this event, you are halfway to closing the sale. Why? Because if you convince the Gatekeeper, the Gatekeeper will convince the executive.

Even though you do all five things right, the Gatekeeper may still not let you speak directly with the executive. However, the Gatekeeper may speak with the executive on your behalf and recommend they invest in the presented team building activity at your center and then communicate the decision to you. Leave your business card and check back with the Gatekeeper a few days later if you haven’t heard back. Be sure and wait a few days before you follow up. Executives are extremely busy and often, the Gatekeeper waits for the right moment to approach the executive with the topic. This can take a few days. Be patient and continue to follow up with the Gatekeeper without appearing pushy.

Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get to speak with the executive or decision-maker on your first sale to the company. Instead of going “past” the Gatekeeper, you are going “through” the Gatekeeper on your first sale with them. Rest assured, if the first team building event in your location is a success and a great experience for this company, they will be back for more. When it is time to sell to them again, you may be able to get “past” the Gatekeeper and speak directly with the executive.

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