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Lesson 1 (“Who Bowls?” parts 1-3) discussed the four bowler groups and a little on how to differentiate between them. In this lesson the discussion will be a start on how to communicate and what to communicate with each group. Let us start with the top of the pyramid and work our way to the base.
The High-Average Bowler
This group wants to be pampered. They need their egos stroked. Lane conditions need to be near perfect. Prize money needs to be large. OK, that is the stereotype but really, how do you reach this group? Well, the above is true for a large portion of this group and you need to use all of the above to your advantage. First of all, you need to understand “bowlerese”, the language of bowling, so that they feel a connection. You need to understand more than just the basics of lane conditioning, tournaments, and equipment. Next, you need a deep understanding of bowling rules and how it affects leagues and tournaments. One must also know how to make adjustments in bowling (moving their spot, adjusting to pick up the 10 pin, what happens if you start closer to the foul line, etc.). You do not need to be a good bowler but you must understand what they are saying and how to hold a discussion about these issues. You must keep abreast of what is happening in the area related to high average leagues and tournaments. With all of this you can gain their confidence which will allow a discussion about new ideas.
This group needs to understand the need for new equipment. The equipment today makes such a difference in everyone’s game. The new equipment is only part of the battle. The high average bowler needs to learn how to use the new equipment. Egos get in the way of improvement which leads to confusion and negative attitudes about the bowling center and bowling in general. Once you have gained their confidence you need to approach these bowlers by appealing to their egos. Talk with them, one-on-one, about how they can improve. That they are really good but with simple changes they can score 3-7 pins better. Talk to them about taking lessons. Tell them about some of the bowlers who have taken lessons and have improved. Tell them about bowlers who have similar deliveries who have purchased different equipment, had lessons, and improved. Challenge them to get better. Make them a deal that if they do purchase the new equipment, take some lessons, and practice for three weeks that if their average does not improve 3-5 pins that you will pay them back for their practice games.
Discuss the fun of bowling in regional and national tournaments. Discuss the new friends that they will make, that they are good enough to cash in the tournaments, and that their skills will improve.
Ask them about what is going on at other centers, what is good and what they would change. Talk with them about making their league(s) at our center stronger by bringing in other bowlers. Massage their ego by discussing the Best of Bowling program, what it will take for them to make it or move up on the board and talk to them about who is on the board.
This group, for the most part, does not want to talk about their families, their jobs, movies, etc. They are probably very interested in other sports, especially the NFL. They may be interested in talking about gambling, poker games, excursions to casinos, horse racing. Hear them out and massage their egos.
This group is already committed to bowling so the sell is to recruit more bowlers, get them to bowl in another league, get them to practice more, get them to bowl in tournaments at the house (scratch tournaments in particular). They are not interested in cute ideas, just straight bowling and money. This is not the group to sell on a New Year’s Party. Coupons for bowling are probably not incentives unless they have started to practice. Coupons for food and drink may have more of an impact. Basically, you need to just work on keeping this group committed to bowling.