Small, Bite-Size Pieces

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Why it is best to not display all pricing options at once Our guests can get overwhelmed if they are presented with too much information, too quickly. Presenting all your pricing options for all products above General Admission at once can easily backfire. Faced with so many options, and unsure of what would be best, the guest becomes overwhelmed and shuts down – “Can I just do General Admission?” is the frequent response to this inundation of information. It is human nature to prefer that information be kept simple. This does not mean that you must keep your product lineup overly simplified. Complex product lineups can be very powerful. It […]

Connecting with Arriving Guests – Find Common Ground

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“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” – Amelia Earhart As we have previously mentioned, it is important that our Ticket Agents build trust with guests during their sales transactions. One easy way to connect and build trust with arriving guests is to find something in common with them. Five Star Sales Associates know to look at articles of clothing, including ballcaps and shirts, to find characters, sports teams, Universities, etc. that guests like and to use this knowledge to connect with the guest in front of them. For example, if a guest is wearing a hat with LSU on it, the Sales Associate might say […]


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Praise “Praise in public, punish in private” I grew up professionally hearing this phrase. I like the first part, but I would modify it to read “Praise in public and in private” because it is appropriate and should be done in both settings. We learn, grow, and thrive best when we are supported by others, especially our leaders. Case Study: While implementing our Five Star Sales programs with a South Florida client we set up a system to manually track daily sales. In addition to being the easiest process for tracking admission, it was a wonderful way to laud Sales Associates for a good sales day! We would also use […]

A Richer Guest Experience

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lose your eyes. Think of your favorite zoo, aquarium, museum, theme park, or attraction – the one you love the most. Now, imagine taking your family there and you get to oversee planning their day. Money is no object and you can purchase the passes/packages, services, experiences, and any ancillaries that you feel will make the day wonderful. What will you choose to do? Now that you’ve have formed the picture of what the day will entail, imagine that you’ve spent the entire day with your family. You got to see and do all your favorite rides, shows, and experiences. You are in the parking lot walking to your car. […]

Putting the Tickets in Their Hands

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What is there more kindly than the feeling between host and guest?”- Aeschylus I love Broadway musicals! The Grand Finale number is frequently a high value affair that ends the show with a last, memorable tune that tends to stick in your brain like taffy to your fingers on a warm summer day. It is the final note that typically leaves you in a great, high-flying mood as you leave the theater. When you think about the last moments of a Five Star sales interaction between your team and guests, shouldn’t the arriving guests walk away from the ticket area feeling the same way? A Five Star sales interaction starts with […]

The Value of Experience

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“Begin with the end in mind” Stephen R. Covey I love roller coasters! From classic wooden coasters like the Giant Dipper in San Diego to flying coasters like Manta at SeaWorld in Orlando, I enjoy them all. One of my favorite coaster parks is Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. The park is bursting at the seams with amazing coasters as well as other thrills from A to Z. In fact, I will never forget my last trip there when I rode Raptor. It was the summer of 1994 and I was visiting relatives in the Toledo area. Any time I made a trip to Ohio, I insisted that we take […]

Hasta La Vista, Baby! Why you must terminate your Kiosks today.

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Hasta La Vista, Baby! Why you must terminate your Kiosks today. “No fate but what we make” – Kyle Reese, Terminator 2: Judgement Day Kiosks are the ruin of an effective front gate. They process only the most basic of transactions, they fail to maximize revenue, and as a result they leave a tremendous amount of money on the table. Even the best, most intuitively-designed kiosk can never hold a candle to the effectiveness of an engaged and well-trained Sales Associate. The reason for this goes to the heart – quite literally – of what it means to be human. As humans, we care, we love, we commit…in other words, […]

Down with Upselling! — Why it’s always better to start at the top!

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Down with Upselling Why it’s always better to start at the top Upselling is exhausting work. It’s like starting at the bottom of a huge mountain and tediously working your way to the top. Even though you know there is likely to be a great payout for your effort…the view from the top will be amazing…getting there can be an incredible ordeal. When I decided to propose to my wife, I took her to Yosemite (which I lovingly refer to as God’s slice of heaven on Earth). I planned to propose the her at the top of Half-Dome; but to get there we had to make an 8-mile hike with […]

re:Member-ing the Value — Four Keys to Building Value-Level Memberships

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re:Member-ing the Value Four Keys to Building Value-Level Memberships “Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller Membership is a billion-dollar business. In the United States alone millions of people sign up for or renew at least one form of membership each year. It might be for a local zoo, museum, or aquarium; perhaps it is an annual pass for a theme park; or maybe it is as simple as a membership to Costco…regardless of which specific option (or options) we choose, membership is truly valued by many of us. But in the public sector (non-profits) I have noticed a disproportionate emphasis placed on […]

Ask a Stupid Question

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Ask a Stupid Question How asking the wrong question leads to mediocre sales. “If I had asked them what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Henry Ford The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Yet at ticket counters all over the world…from zoos and aquariums to museums and theme parks and every type of attraction in between our Ticket Teams continue to say five little words that can actually hinder our sales. What are these words? They are “How may I help you?” At any ticket counter where there is complexity to the admission offerings – packages, upgrades, […]