Party Professor – June 2023


Are You a Salesperson or a Reservationist?

Beth Standlee 0319

Beth Standlee

By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment

There’s nothing wrong with being good at taking orders. However, if you want to really drive group and party sales, then expanding your skills is an exciting opportunity. Scan the QR code below to see where you are today in your sales ability.


I believe everyone can up-skill the way they deal with a guest. Most retail businesses are transaction based. The guest comes to the counter and says I’d like to have a Pepsi, or purchase a game of bowling, or buy the food and fun package. The counter person says, “Great, that will be $XX.XX,” takes the guest’s money, and hopefully says, “Thank you.”


Some team members may be a bit more interactive. Real interaction with the guest is a step up and creates a significant opportunity to up-sell. Interaction can be quick, which can be an important part of the experience since no one likes to wait in line too long. A quality interaction transcends the simple, customer-led, transactional encounter and includes these three simple steps.

1. A Greeting: “Welcome, we are so glad you’ve come to play today.” (Pick your own words that sound authentic to you.)

2. Sales Qualification:

a. “How long can you and your group hang out with us?” With this simple question, the team member has a better understanding of the kind of product that could most meet the guest’s needs.

b. A secondary question allows the team member to best serve the guest and it might sound like this: “Are you and your friends planning to eat while you are here?” Now you know if the food and fun package is the best. Also, the guest is likely to tell you what they are most interested in doing which gives the team member more information about what product or package to serve the walk-in guest.

3. Purpose and Close: Now that you have good information about how this guest can have the most fun, it’s time to recommend the best package and ask for the money. Can you see how this process might result in the guest spending more money or at least wind up with the best experience possible?

Consultation – Selling Group and Birthday Party Events

The above approach happens at the front desk, the laser tag counter or the snack bar area. The consultative sales approach goes deeper when you work with party or group event sales. Let’s talk about how to take your sales game to the next level. Get ready to rock your new consultative selling approach and wow your guests with a customized experience that is sure to blow their minds!

Connect – First things first, you want to get to know the guests.

Qualify – Ask open-ended questions to uncover their vision of the perfect event at your center. Are they looking to party like a rockstar or just hang out with their crew and have some laughs? Show them that you’re not just a sales pro, but rather their partner in planning their special event. We often coach sales teams to think of the client as their sister or best friend. Now the guest knows how much you care!

Once you know their needs and the real WHY of their BUY, it can be very easy to offer some creative solutions for an experience their friends, family, or co-workers will never forget.

Propose – Be unafraid to take their experience to the next level knowing that the guests will be raving about your establishment for days. There’s no better marketing than a raving fan who sells your center for you!

Never be afraid to upgrade and charge for additional experiences that take an average birthday party or group event from good to GREAT! Ideas may include:

• Creating exciting add-on adventures like an extra game of tag, or an attraction not normally sold in a package.

• Offering a balloon arch that makes a great selfie station.
• Making sure all the monitors welcome or feature the logo of an incoming corporate group.

There are many financially rewarding upgrades that cost money and some that add tremendous value. Have a brainstorming session with your team and see how you can easily upgrade the experience for your guests.

Close – Never be afraid to ask your guest to invest in the full value of the experience. If you rise to the level of sales pro, asking for the deposit and closing the sale will be easy. The consultation process is all about building relationships and providing unforgettable experiences that keep your guests coming back for more. Use your smarts and expertise to make personalized recommendations that are sure to delight your guests. With your flair for fun and your guests’ love for adventure, you’re sure to create an event they’ll always remember.


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 to 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



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