Creating Documents for Sales

This post is from when I was working at my previous job doing Sales and Marketing. This was written in the past, a few months ago.

This will be a run through of the different documents I needed to create.

I didn’t realize how many things we did not have. The only thing we had was a contract for events, and it is very basic. Since we already have that I will leave that to the last thing I do, updating it. I need to focus on the things we don’t have first and then improve upon what we already have. While I am in the process of creating these documents and forms I am also selling to guests who inquire on their own, so this is a balancing act for me.

The very first thing that I need is pricing and packages. I called around to different companies that are similar to mine and pretended to be a guest booking a birthday party. I wanted to see what packages they are offering and the cost. What I found most from this process was that I didn’t get relies back. That surprised me. Out of all of the companies I contacted, through their website, I only got one reply. I was literally dumbfounded. How could companies be leaving money on the table like that? Did they not care, or did they not have enough staff?

That confirmed some advise I was given during the conversations I had with people in the sales and marketing industry, make sure to reply as soon as possible. Well if I respond at all I have a good chance of getting the business. LOL. Ok seems simple enough.

I now needed to build my birthday packages. What do I need to include in them and what will I offer as an incentive to get them to do the package rather than going to someone else. Parents have a lot of choices for birthday parties, so figuring out a way to make them want to come to us over others is priority. After doing some research I found that a lot of companies don’t really promote that they do birthday parties. That is the easiest way to draw people to you. I need to create banners for our website and our social media outlets.

So promotion was my first step and my second was ease of access for our guests and for the process. I talked to a few moms I know and asked what process they go through to book a birthday party, as I don’t have kids yet I know I was not the expert on that subject so I went to the experts I knew. I found that the whole process for them is a pain. If I can come up with a way to make things seem less for the parents then they would come back to us fo the next one and tell their friends. Word of mouth is really big for us so anything I can do to promote that will only help us.

I need to create a document that has all the pricing options and add on available in one place. This would be like a flyer with everything the parent needs to know about how much it will cost for an event with us. The next thing I need to create is a sheet with timelines. There are so many working parts with birthdays that a timeline will help the partners know when things are coming up or when deadlines are. And finally a FAQ sheet so that any random questions we are asked or could be asked are all in one place. Not only will this document help the guests, it will also help me by not having to answer the same questions all day long from different guests. All of this would be sent as the very first contact to the guest.

This department needs structure. That is where checklists and timelines come in. We also need to figure out organization of documentation. We have 7 different locations that guests can book their private event at. We also need to figure out a form of communication to get the information to the different location managers. And finally closing out a group.

  • Checklists
    • Communication dates with the guest
    • Communication dates with the managers
    • Event details
    • Payment dates and timelines
  • Organization
    • Each location will get a color coded folder to denote what location
    • Coding to know if it is a birthday, meeting, or private event.
    • Uploading details in Basecamp so the managers know what is going on where
  • Communication
    • Follow up with the guest at first email/call
    • Follow up after one day with the guest
    • Continue getting final details from the guest
    • Once group is confirmed email the manager and put on Basecamp
    • One week before the event follow up with the manager
    • Day after the event follow up the guest to see how things went

There is still a lot more that needs to be done to build the department, but this is a good start.

Been Away For A While Due To Being Overworked And Stressed

It has been a few months. This was not my intention to take some time off and not post, but things got crazy. I still have the posts I was working on while I was trying to build a sales and marketing department. Needless to say that did not go as planned and there are many reasons for that and I will create more posts to go into detail about that. I also will clean up and add to the posts I was working on and post them so you can still see the process. I did learn a lot from that experienced and others can learn from my accomplishments and my failures. In the end it did not work out for me, so I moved on from that company. There is drama about that, but it will come in later posts.

So I did leave my last job for one that I thought would be better. Turns out it is better in some ways and in other ways not so much. Sometimes when I get frustrated at my current job I think I miss my old job, and then I have to remind myself the reasons I wanted to leave. The final and main reason that I left my old job was because I felt unappreciated.

A lot upper management tends to think the reason that people leave their job is because they are unhappy about something small or that they just don’t like their work, but most of the time the main reason employees leave is because they do not feel valued.

For me it was years of things building up, but what tipped the scale for me was the fact that I was being paid 16% above minimum wage for salary. A couple years later I was back at minimum wage for salary. As minimum wage in general went up my salary did not. That meant that I was taking a price cut each year, but I was not working less or taking on less, in fact I was taking on more. I always did what was asked of me, even if I was not trained for it, but that didn’t seem to matter. Then when I brought up the fact that I had not had a raise in years, yet others had, I was told that I needed to take on something new and then once I succeed we will talk about a raise. That was frustrating, everything I had already done was not good enough. After that I found it really hard to care about what I was doing. I tried to remain positive and see the good things in my job, but it got hard. Then I was given a new job within the company that I had never done before, not the first time with this company, but I was up for the challenge. Well guess what it turns out that I was set up to fail. The President of the company came to that same conclusion after I was already gone. The company I worked for was not a bad company, but I can say that it is not managed like any other company I have ever worked for. It is a company, but it is run as a mom and pop company still. They are good people though.

Don’t get me wrong it is not all bad at my new job. I really enjoy the people I work with and I enjoy my work. What I don’t enjoy is working such long hours.

I work 10 – 12 hour days and commute to work one hour each way. So I am gone for about 12 – 14 hours a day. When I get home all I want to do is eat dinner and relax. At first I was working so much, coming home eating dinner, and then falling asleep. Then I finally got to a point where I would be able to stay up later and have me time. Then I did the math and realized that I will basically work 10 or more weeks more a year than I was working before, with all the overtime. That started to get to me and I was depressed for a while. I wanted to blog, but I didn’t have the drive for it. I would think about it and then when it came down to sitting down and doing it, I just felt overwhelmed and would not start. I really enjoy playing video games in my free time to distress and have fun and I didn’t even want to do that. It even got to the point where my boyfriend kept telling me that I could put in my notice anytime I want and then look for another job. Who knows I may take him up on that, but for right now I am at a place where I am ok.

I will talk more about the good and bad of my job in my next post.

If you have stuck around with me and are still reading my posts, Thank You!

Setting Up The Department

I have had the conversations I needed to in order to get an inside look at what a Sales and Marketing department would look like.

Besides learning what I need to do to bring people and groups in I also learned that there are a lot of things that I do not have and I will have to create. I need to build a foundation and create one sheets with information about what we offer so that I will have informational sheets for when I go to companies and start prospecting. I need to have something to leave them with otherwise as soon as I walk out the door I will be forgotten and then it would have been for nothing.

Ok so what do I need to create:

  • FAQ
  • Fact Sheets about locations
  • Packages we have
  • Timelines
  • Updated Contracts
  • What food selections we have
  • BEO (Banquet Event Order)
  • A Spreadsheet for communication
  • Quotes
  • Invoices
  • Event Master Form
  • Flyers for Specific events

I also need to come up with promotions to try and sell events, the marketing side. For the first thing I am going to do is put up an event table at each of our locations with a contest to win a free event. I am going to do a jar where people have to guess how many items in the jar in order to win. This will give me contact information for people who already go to our locations, but may not have thought about having an event with us. I think one of the biggest reasons we do not have more private events is because people don’t even think we do that. If that is the case these tables will help with that. I am fortunate that I already have people walking in the door that I can sell to, but the whole goal is to bring in more and try and bring new people in. This table idea will not help with brining new people in, unless word of mouth gets around. What it will do is help generate extra income from the guests that already walk through our doors.

Another thing I have learned from my research is that you have to utilize what you have. Think about what makes your company special. Also how can your company help someone else or groups. We are normally so focused on working on the company from the inside out that we never really take the time to see our company from our guests perspective. By thinking about how the guests look at us we will be better able to sell them something they didn’t realize they needed.

The thing that makes what I am selling beneficial to a certain group would be making something that can be a frustrating situation an easy one. I am able to sell birthday party packages to our guests. With the birthday party packages we can do a public showing, so it is more affordable, and we can do a private event for them, something more special and not everyone does it. By creating, because we do not have anything like this now, birthday party packages we are able to assist parents in trying to figure out what to do for their child’s birthday party. Birthday party planning can be frustrating for some, so if I can create a package that is simple for our guests and inclusive so they don’t have to go around to a lot of different places to make the party happen I can help our guests while getting more business.

I also learned from my conversations that the easier it is for guests to book something the more likely they will. If the conversations with guests is not clear and they have to jump through hoops to get information they will just move on. Also when a guest contacts you about doing an event you need to respond back as soon as possible because the guest will tend to go with the first person who responds, as long as it is in their price range.

Ok I have a lot of things to work on in order to get this department rolling.

Starting A Job I have Never Done Before

Ok lets be real, I am terrified. I am terrified that I will fail and have no idea what I am doing. It is not a weakness to admit that you are scared. The fear is honestly what will drive you. I will use that fear to make myself better. If I went into this confident that no matter what I would succeed then I would not take the time to listen to people who have advise for me.

I have had a couple of conversations with people who have worked in sales, but I would say the best conversation I had was with my boyfriends mom.

The first person I talked to had a lot of advise to give, but the conversation was centered around what they did specifically in their job. This person came from theme parks, so still in the entertainment industry as I am. I was able to pull some things out of the conversation, but not as much as I hoped. The take away from this conversation was that prospecting and making the list for prospecting will be a long process. I was also told by this person that everyday I need to be prospecting, because for every 100 people I prospect to maybe 1 person will actually book an event. So the more people I reach out the better chance I have at getting someone to book with us.

The next person I talked to was someone who I worked with in hospitality so this one was a bit more personal for me. While working with this person I did see one side. I worked as the Accounting Manager and they worked as a Sales Manager. I saw the backside of sales. This conversation gave me the other side, the actually selling side. This conversation was more helpful than the first because I learned a process. The first conversation was more someone telling me what they liked about sales and how it was for them. This conversation gave me information that could be used for any industry. I learned that you have to find companies around you that could use your product and then get the contact information and reach out to them and show them your product. Then you go into contracting and execution of the actual event.

I also had a conversation with one of my best friends. She works for a huge company and does sales. Talk about someone who is at the top of her field. In talking to her I learned about making relationships with my groups and events. Building relationships help to bring repeat business. I also learned from her that huge companies do not book their own events. They use a different company to plan all their events for them. She said she would connect me to those companies. I am learning more and more that a lot to do with sales has to do with the connections you know.

Finally the best conversation was my boyfriends mother. Why this conversation stuck out to me as the best or the most successful conversation was because she related everything she talked about to me and my industry. She taught me how to look at the product that I have and think about who that would appeal to and reach out. For example if I wanted to do or promote an event that had to do with families then I need to look at parent groups or daycares and things like that. The advise I was given before was to reach out to as many people as possible and then hopefully a couple would say yes. Her approach would mean less work because you are thinking about how your product would benefit certain people or groups so they would be more interested in saying yes rather than just spamming everyone.

Every conversation that I had was a good one and I did get something from each of them. If you are consistently positive then you will get something from every interaction you have. You will learn more when you have an open mind as well. If you are humble and realize that someone may know more than you then you can learn from them. I did talk to some people who are younger than I am and I did learn something. In my past I have had an issue with people who are older than me not wanting to listen to me because they did not feel like I know more than they did just because I was younger. I decided after experiencing that first hand I would never do that to someone else.

What I enjoyed most about the different people I talked to was the variety. I was able to see a different side of sales with each person I talked to. There are so many different ways to approach sales and so many things that you can do with it. The most important thing I learned from each person was that the harder I work the more successful I will be.

After talking with each person I do feel more confident. I can do this!! Let the journey begin.

Where To Start

Ok I now have a new job, that I have never done before, so where do I start?

I recently was offered the Sales and Marketing position at my company. This opportunity would be something that I have not done, but I believe I have the skill set to do it. The only catch, I need to learn what this job entails.

I have done events with my company in the past, but they were very cookie cutter and if they group didn’t fit into what would work for us then we wouldn’t do it. Now I have the freedom to move things around and do actual events.

Oh yeah and the other catch, my company has never had a sales and marketing department so I will have to build it from the ground up. Also I am the only one in this department.

The first thing that I did was search online to see what is out there. What were other companies doing? What type of promotions were they doing? What pricing did other companies have? What time frames do other companies have?

I use to work in hospitality before coming to my company so I have a lot of friends who are in sales so I have people who know more than I do that I can get advise from. Also my boyfriends mother has been doing sales for most of her professional life and she is very successful. I am lucky to have good people around me who I can reach out to in order to get advise and be more successful. I am not alone in this. So now I need to schedule a meeting with each of them.

Some websites that I have found so far that I have learned some information from are:

  • Pinterest (I have used this site for sales and marketing. For the sales side I have pinned things that talk about prospecting and how to use a sales funnel. For the marketing side I have used it to get ideas about decorating for private events or promotions for events.) My Pinterest is under itsallabunchofgalati
  • Linked In (They have a lot of videos to learn from)
  • Different companies in my same industry, our competition.
  • Salesandmarketing.com

After looking around at different websites I have a better idea about what I am getting into. Now I will need to meet with people who know more than I do and start figuring out what I need to do to build the department.

So Much Has Changed

It has been a while and in that time so much has changed. I did start my new job and that was going well for a while. Then things started to go back to the way they were before and I ended up doing my original job and my old job.

I have some blog posts that I had created during that time, but I was not in the right head space to want to put anything up. I was in a state of frustration and maybe a little depression. I am now going to post those and after they have been posted, continue with my new adventure. I have decided to leave my company and this will be my last week here.

Life is constantly changing and evolving and we need to be open to change if something is not going the way you want. My decision about leaving my company was a hard one. I have learned a lot here and have really enjoyed the people I work with. For me this choice was made because I mentally have not been motivated here. I had been getting frustrated with things that I did not get upset with in the past and that to me was a sign that it was time to move on. There were things that lead up to the moment of me deciding that I was done and over the next few posts you will see how it unfolds.

I could just start fresh and not post any of the posts I made while things were not great, but I do know that other people may be going through or have gone through what I have. I hope in someone reading my posts that they can learn something from my experiences. For the longest time I thought the things I went through not many people did and the more people I meet and talk to the more I learn that we all tent to go through the same or similar things, granted each persons situations are different, but the underlining issues or emotions are the same.

If you are not happy with the situation that you are in then just remember that you are the only one who has the power to change that.

How To Give Your New Job a Fresh Start

Starting a new job can be stressful and it can also be exciting. There are many reasons people leave a job and go to another one, but no matter what job you start it is always the same, a fresh start. Maybe you wanted to leave your job because you felt under appreciated, someone kept trying to take your job, people were mean to you, you didn’t know how to do the job, it was to much stress, but no matter the reason you need to go into the new job with a fresh start in mind. Sometimes you don’t leave the company, but just changed departments or maybe you stayed in the same department, but you have a new role in the company. No matter what the situation is, you still need to look at it as a fresh start.

How to give your new job a fresh start:

  • Leave any negativity behind. By brining old drama to the new job you block your creativity and thoughts for the new one, because you will only focus on the negativity of the old. If the reason you left your old job was because of negativity then thinking about that still will mean that you didn’t really leave your old job, it is still with you.
  • Leave any frustrations behind. If there was something that was frustrating about your job before then you need to address what that was and make sure you do not do the same things in your new job. This is an opportunity to put those frustrations aside and go forward. If the frustrations are something that can be corrected then this is the time to do it.
  • Be positive!! I can not stress the importance of this one. No matter how your day is going be positive. A negative mind will ruin your job before it starts. Whatever issues that you had with the old job this is the time to fix them in yourself. A negative mind will only see the bad in things. When you remain positive you do not have stress. If you keep thinking that things will work out then they will. That is the same if you think things are going to fail, they will. Go into the job saying to yourself that you will be successful! You will do an amazing job!
  • Reflect on yourself. This is something that we all should do more often. It is an amazing thing when you can look at yourself and realize that you can do something better. Look at what you did great in your past job and look at what you might have failed in your last job. Now are there things that you could have done differently to change the outcome? Use that to be more successful in your new job. Make sure to take the things that you do really well to your next job. Sometimes we focus to much on what we need to do better that we forget to strengthen what we do well. If you focus on the things you do well, you will do them even better.
  • Have fun!! If you are going to a new company you will be meeting all new people. Make new friends and develop those relationships. We can learn so much from other people if we just take our pride out of the equation and listen. Use that to your advantage. There will be new restaurants that you can try for lunch. Maybe you will find a food that you had never tried and end up loving it. Learn new things. Not every job is the same and we should constantly be learning new things. You spend more time with your co-workers than you do your own family sometimes so why not make it a fun environment to work.
  • Remember nothing is permanent. This is not to scare you, but rather to say that if things are not going well that you are not stuck. You do not have to stay in a place that is draining you. On the other hand if you do love your new job, remember that there is always someone who will want to take your job. Do not dwell on that fact, but make sure you are on top of your game. Everyone has ups and downs, but as long as you are still engaged in your job you will be find.
  • Create balance in your life. Starting a new job can take a lot of your time at first while you get settled in, but remember that you do not live to work. You work to live. Remember that you have a personal life that also needs attention. Sometimes we get so focused on our professional lives that we forget to take care of our personal lives. Finding that balance can be hard, but if we are actively trying to get/maintain that balance then we will be more successful. Work hard and play hard. What is the point in killing yourself at work if you do not get to enjoy the spoils of your labor. Remember you matter to.

I am practicing all of this as well. I didn’t leave my company so some of these points are harder for me than if I did leave, but I am making an active effort for myself. I need to follow these “rules” in order to give myself the opportunity to be successful.

Remember if your dreams do not scare you, then they are not big enough. If you are thinking about taking a leap and going after a new job, I say do it! You got this! Go out into that world and show it how amazing you are!