A Time of Planning and Reflection
By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment
Happy Holidays. I hope your next few weeks are filled personally with family and your business is filled with fun. This is a high season for indoor locations that will hold many group events; birthdays are on the rise and will flourish through the New Year. When it comes to group and party sales, this can be that “selling season” where we get a little lazy. That may sound contradictory to “bring on the business,” but here’s what I mean.
When the business is naturally high, the sales team gets comfortable. This may mean you let up on your outbound calls. Busyness can cause short cuts. Before you know it here comes February and you may be wondering where did all the group business go? You could be behind on your birthday party outreach.
With that in mind, here are three tried-and-true exercises to help you finish the year well and start 2017 with a BANG!
1. Stay consistent. Keep making outbound calls. Even if you have all the business you think you can stand, look for a way to book one more event. Commit to connect with all of your past events. Look 45-60 days out and call all the groups you’ve had in the last 3-5 years. Depending on your market and the business, try looking at the past three years 21-30 days from now to book birthday events. Reach these folks no matter how many calls it takes! They already know and love you.
2. Reflect on 2016. You want to go into 2017 with a great plan in place. I would encourage you to not wait until January to begin the 2017 planning. I absolutely believe that you must reflect on the lessons learned in 2016 in order to create the best plan for the New Year.
Here are some of the questions I answer for myself and my business in order to get my head in the game. Whether you are the business owner, a manager or in a sales role, each of the questions below deserve your attention and you will definitely set yourself up for great things if you follow through. Block off 30-45 minutes. Go to a quiet place. Get your notebook out and thoughtfully answer each of these questions.
• What is your role now?
• What will be your role next year?
• What do you want to do differently next year?
• What do you want to continue doing?
• What do you want to be most proud of in December 2017 personally?
• What do you want to be most proud of in December 2017 professionally?
• What is the most important thing those around you can do to help you achieve your 2017 targets?
• What tool(s) are you using to plan and track your business goals for 2017?
• What would you tell yourself a year ago to make 2016 even better? (Example: Deal with a staff issue you are letting slide.)
3. Set goals and plan for the BEST year you’ve ever had. Goal setting can be a tricky thing. There’s a delicate balance between what you want to have happen and what’s realistic.
For years I struggled because I am a “pie in the sky” thinker. I subscribed to the notion that it was better to shoot for the moon and miss than aim for the gutter and fall right in. However, I’ve learned by working with lots of sales teams that it’s important to have a sense of accomplishment. Everyone wants to win. That said, I don’t think you should simply look at what you’ve done in the past and put an arbitrary increase like 10% growth. I believe you need to look at what’s possible, what resources you have now, and what level of commitment you and your team can make to win in the New Year. Make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Sensitive).
At TrainerTainment we set goals for the year and then break those into 90-day objectives. There is a ton of evidence that people can only focus for about 90 days at a time. Each quarter affords you the opportunity to hit the reset button about the focus for that quarter. When you go into the New Year with a solid plan, you’ll be in a perfect position to set and reset those 90 days goals! Try it. See how great 2017 can be for you and your team.
Beth is the CEO of TrainerTainment LLC, a training company devoted to the family entertainment and hospitality industries. Beth and her team are focused on helping the companies they serve make more money through sales, guest service, leadership and social media marketing training. Training products and services are delivered in person, through books and DVDs, and virtually with e-learning courses, webinar development and 24/7 online access. Visit her company’s website at www.trainertainment.com.