Party Professor – September 2018


Past Party Outreach

Jumpstart Sales of Future Events Now!


Beth Standlee

By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment

One of our favorite clients created the term PPO as the acronym for their past party outreach. I love it. Past party outreach seems like a logical thing to do, but I get a lot of blank stares when questioning others about their PPO efforts.

You know, it’s a lot easier to retain a client than to obtain a new one.

Existing guests already know and hopefully LOVE you. Call them today. I suspect you may have a PPO program that relies more on email rather than phone calls. While you may be relegated to voicemail when you place that phone call, you are more likely to engage with a guest because the phone is much more personal. If you really want to improve your chances to reconnect with a past guest, why not drop in and say hello.

We are coming up on a giant group selling season. Follow these five simple steps and crush your group sales goals.

1. Check your records for the last five years and create your best past party lead list.

2. Rank that list in highest dollar order, placing your biggest parties at the top of the list.

3. Prioritize and block your PPO time first. Make it non-negotiable. Nothing gets in the way of your PPO time. Put whatever system you need in place to assure this time is sacred.

4. Start calling past guests. Thank them for having their group party at your center in the past and let them know how interested you are in helping them with their next event. Instead of pitching, first ask what they are planning to do this year. Find out how they will make a decision about where to go. Be interested in helping this valuable past guest.

5. Set up a time to stop by with some ideas, or better yet invite them to come to the center to look at the possibilities for a future event.

Be prepared to bump into “obstacles” like finding out that the person you dealt with in the past is no longer in charge of event planning. This doesn’t have to be a problem. Simply find out who plans events today. You may find out the past group was disappointed with the previous experience. What a great opportunity to learn what you could have done better. Maybe they are ready to give you a second chance to knock their socks off.

Most of the time, I find people to be very receptive to a call that is for them. What I mean is, when you make it all about helping the guest with their next event rather than selling your next party, then past party outreach becomes really fun … and successful! After all, I’ve always believed that great selling is really about helping others.

Take a chance. Get hyper-focused and call everyone you’ve done business with in the past five years. Call, stop in and be relentless in your pursuit. Get started today by making your list and set a goal about how many bookings you will complete based on it.

I’d love to hear how you do. If you would be more comfortable with a scripted approach to these contacts, write me at beth@trainer and I’ll send you a copy of our PPO script. By the way, PPO works great for birthdays too.


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


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