Tips to help teams be ready with the right language to present your offerings with confidence.
In family entertainment, I think we all aim to help our guests, both new and returning, experience our entertainment venues in the most meaningful ways possible. And of course, we hope that by doing so, we can build relationships, encourage them to become loyal and increase revenue. As your front-line sales team, admissions staff are your welcome committee, your information station and (should be) your sales ninjas. But often they see themselves as no more than order takers, letting guests tell them what they want, taking money and moving on. This kind of thinking doesn’t achieve goals. Only a well-trained, committed front-line team wows guests and earns more revenue. But it doesn’t happen by chance.
We’re living in what’s becoming known as the “Me Revolution” where many of us see ourselves as the star of our own movie. In a recent episode of Ian Altman’s Same Side Selling Podcast, his guest mentioned that many sales people are focused with their sales lens in selfie mode, only focused on themselves and their goals or quotas. It makes sense considering that’s how we spend so much of our time and energy these days. Savvy managers, however, are adept at teaching front-line staff how to turn the camera around and focus on connecting what you sell with why your guest should want it. To do that, front-line staff need to become fluent in common selling points so that they can begin to position your offerings from your guests’ perspective. We’ve put together six common selling points that can help you sell virtually any offering. As you read each, consider which of your offerings might be best presented using this point, and how you’ll help team members be ready with the right language when it counts.
1. Make your experience bigger and better!
Think about an individual offering. Does this item give your guest a bigger, better experience? Of course it does, so the trick is getting teams talking about how. For example, perhaps you have a scratch kitchen that allows you to provide the freshest dining options in the area. Or a 10-ingredient burger voted the best in the state. Or that your one-of-a-kind ninja course allows guests to unleash their inner warrior. Or maybe adding a game card, attraction or even a large order of fries to really ramp up their fun. What’s important is to help your team members have go-to ideas for how and why your guests might get a bigger, better experience by choosing an offering or upsell.
2. It’s about what you save, not what you spend.
Many people think that talking about value means discounts - not so! Chances are you have upsells and unique packages that add value for your guests. Do your team members know what they are and the real value of each? Add up all the retail value of the individual pieces of your birthday party package including: attractions, food, room rental and supplies, party host time and anything else in your package. Most likely there is some value that could be leveraged in a sales conversation.
Let’s say your team member takes an incoming birthday party call and does a great job talking about your birthday parties but the caller still experiences some sticker shock. It might sound like, “Oh gosh, that’s expensive. I had no idea it would cost that much to hold a birthday party.” At first your team member might feel the urge to start apologizing or trying to discount the party, which suggests your offering isn’t priced right. Instead, what if the team member was ready with the retail value and could respond to the objection with, “I can understand how that might seem pricy, but when you add up all of the food and fun along with your personal party pro to handle all of the details and make Jimbo’s party amazing, that actually would cost over $XYZ, so it’s a pretty big savings if you go with the package.” And then of course they could have off-peak priced or smaller options in their toolbelt if the caller isn’t prepared for your peak priced item.
You could also use the value approach by talking about how little the upgraded version of what they first choose is. Perhaps it’s 30 more minutes of jump time for only $5 or a large Pepsi instead of a medium for just $1 more. Bottom line, team members need to have this knowledge ready and at the forefront of their minds to be able to deliver your sales language with confidence and ease.
3. Act fast before time (or quantity) runs out.
Creating a sense of urgency can be a great way to motivate people to buy, but ONLY if it’s the truth. Less scrupulous sales people create false urgency, telling buyers that if they don’t act now, the deal will be gone, so it’s essential that you only use this selling point when it’s true or you’ll damage your credibility and your organization’s reputation. But if you’re running a birthday party special that gives guests an added bonus or perk if booked or held by a certain date, that would be the perfect opportunity to leverage this selling point. Also, if you link it with a “bigger and better” or a “value” selling point, you’re setting yourself up for a happy guest and boosted revenue almost every time.
4. Be the first to be our guest.
There is a reason that people camp out the night before a new iPhone release – people love to be first to do something. Be sure that you’re leveraging this unique selling point every time you have a new menu item, drink flavor, attraction, etc. Many of us are creatures of habit but often all it takes is a nudge to get us changing up our routine.
In practice that might look like a couple at Admissions and one turns to the other and says: “Well Marjorie, what did we do last time, that laser tag and pizza combo? You want to just do that again?” You could just accept and take the order OR you could hit a home run if you responded with, “You know, if you did laser tag and lunch last time, why don’t you try out our brand new all access pass? It includes laser tag, a session of bumper cars as well as a game card for our game room with over 80 awesome games. Then you could finish off in our café. We just added several new craft burger options in addition to our pizzas. What do you think?” This could be great because it also showcases what’s new, exciting and different as well as inviting guests for a bigger, better experience.
5. We make it so easy for you to sit back and enjoy.
Offerings like multi-attraction passes, birthday party packages and monthly memberships make it easy for your guest to do business with you. Consider how your business makes birthdays a bash by taking care of all the details – from the invitations to the goody bags all the way to the thank you notes – and have this selling point ready in the event a guest mentions how busy they are.
Similarly, offering packages or memberships helps guests when they are feeling indecisive and want to make sure they are making the right purchase. Ongoing memberships that include parking, lockers, or food and beverage are a no brainer for this unique selling point because they often have a lower cost of entry, making them appealing to value and experience seekers alike.
6. You’re helping others with this purchase.
Think of the alpaca sweater you purchased made by hand by blind nuns in the Andes. Didn’t you feel great? Any kind of specialty item or event with proceeds going to a charity makes guests feel good, so have this one in your back pocket when needed.
Many of your offerings can be presented using one or more of these approaches, but the key is that you help team members connect with why your guest should care about what you have to offer. By getting on the same side of the table, you’re able to upgrade their experience as well as their ticket. Is your front line staff fluent in your sales language?
Have other ideas about unique selling points? Share them with us in the comments or on Twitter.