I know that’s a funny title. Usually you hear about “buyer’s remorse,” but neither is good. Buyer’s remorse happens when the purchaser feels like they’ve spent too much money or didn’t get what they paid for. A guest with buyer’s remorse might cancel their party or worse yet, slam you on social media.
When I think of “seller’s remorse,” I remember the group of 200 brownie scouts and their dads that I booked on a Friday night early in my career. Now, you may be wondering how that could be a bad thing. I was so proud of this booking until my manager pulled me aside on Monday morning. He said that as much as he loved my sales-womanship and valued the groups and parties I brought into the business, that I’d be needing to look for another job if I ever booked 100 7-year-old girls and their dads at a “field trip” rate on a Friday night. The “seller’s remorse” concept is getting clearer, right?
I learned such a valuable lesson that Monday morning. I thought that the big number of people was the most important part of that sale. I didn’t take into consideration that Friday night business was typically done with young adults. Heck, we even changed the lighting in the facility to give our “after six” crowd a more swanky, hip feel. If I’m honest, I have to admit that I was a little miffed that no one seemed to appreciate my hard work, and I was equally remorseful that I didn’t have the sense (experience) to “sell” them into a smarter part of the week. My manager certainly wanted the $2,000 the group sale created for the center, plus all the other money they spent on games and food, but he wanted it on a Sunday afternoon or a Saturday morning when the rest of the crowd looked like this group. I got it.
Listen, I definitely believe in making the experience everything we can make it so that memories are made and the guests can’t wait to come back. But what I’m talking about here is when we go too far outside of what we can do well, or we make a significant financial consideration to really give someone a break. More often than not, this can result in certain disaster for the seller.
I can see you nodding your head up and down now. I bet three events just came to mind. You did everything in the world to take care of this client. You opened early, you gave them a giant discount, and you even included some free game play. And then what happened? Nothing went right. You can’t make the person in charge of the event happy no matter what you do. Often, the person you did the planning with isn’t even at the event!
You know seller’s remorse has happened when your first thought is, “I’ll never do that again!”
I think seller’s remorse is most often a direct result of discounting. I encourage you to consider not discounting for at least the next 90 days. I challenge why you would discount in the first place. Usually, you have packaged products that have great value and you have regular pricing. If you believe in your pricing, then sell the value of your product. Never talk with the buyer about price until the end after you’ve found out what they want and have presented a package that best fits their needs.
Now, you may be thinking, “Beth, if it’s a Tuesday during the day and no one is in our facility anyway, do I care what they pay? I just want them in the building.” Again, I’m going to stress that if you believe your price points have integrity, and are based on value, then why would you need to discount? Seller’s remorse also happens when you are feeling desperate.
I think most leaders and owners of family entertainment centers want to provide fun and entertainment for kids and adults of all ages. You want to do that in a way that you can take good care of your guests and make money at the same time. If either of one of those two things is sacrificed, I know that seller’s remorse is in your future. You have to have the financial resources to hold events at a high level. I can honestly tell you that I’ve rarely seen a time when an FEC really capitalized on a free or near-free event. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do promotional events, or take on philanthropic initiatives like “The Incredible Birthday Party” program, which donates a free party for an under privileged child (see the separate story in this issue). What I do want you to think about is how undervaluing your product is potentially a setup for you to feel remorseful about your choice...and for good reason.
I’ll close by asking you to commit to honoring your gut when you start to make some type of concession regarding a party or event. You know what I mean by gut? It’s when that “seller’s remorse” angel who sits on your shoulder whispers, “You shouldn’t do that. You’ll be sorry!”
I hope you have a tremendous selling season during this last quarter of this year and if you want to keep the conversation going or have a comment, please go to our blog at www.trainertaiment.net.
Beth Standlee is the CSO and founder of Trainertainment, a sales training company dedicated to great guest service, party development, and ultimately bringing more money to your bottom line. Beth can be reached by email at email@example.com.
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