Prospecting Strategies for Player Development


Five steps to finding “new” guests using the phone

The debate among Player Development teams will always be a challenge: what is the best use of my time? Nurturing existing relationships or finding “new” guests? While the answer to that question will likely always be a moving target, what I can tell you is that if you are not always prospecting new business, your book of business will eventually suffer as a result. It may be 30, 60 or 90 days, but the inevitable will happen, guaranteed. The telephone has continued to be one of the most effective tools for prospecting new guests. A simple phone call always has been and always will be the most effective tool, because it is the only way to actually have a two-way conversation. How else can you gauge the inflection or tone in your prospect’s voice? How do you know if they are happy, sad, frustrated or lonely? Let’s look at a simple strategy for prospecting new business when using the phone.

To start, let’s first look at what your strategy is. Short-term gain by filling an event, or long-term gain by building loyal players? In gaming, those “new” guests are typically already existing guests who likely visit the property often, but your player development team just doesn’t know them. What if that guest already frequents your establishment three times in a month? What if I told you that it’s not only possible, but very likely that you can get that guest to come more often by simply acknowledging them with a phone call?

One of the things that I have learned about sales over the years is this: people like to be heard and they like to be remembered. If you talk to any experienced sales rep, they all have one tool that almost always works at keeping a relationship going … it’s called the “I don’t want to be a pest” reference. It works! The reason it works is this: if someone likes you or wants to visit with you, but has been busy or distracted, they are likely to respond when they get this message.

For those PD individuals asking why this article is about sales, here’s a little secret … Player Development is sales! Yep, you read that right. If you’re a Host or work in Player Development, you are in sales!

Here are five steps to prospecting new guests when using the phone:

1. Create a targeted prospecting strategy

These are guests who are NOT in your current book of business. These guests might not be coded or carded players. This is where the database manager becomes your best friend. Their analysis can typically identify several hundred to several thousand prospects for you to talk to.

2. Acknowledge the guest

Yep, it’s that simple. A simple “hello,” “good luck,” or “great to see you” goes a long way for those guests who have never experienced that level of personalization.

3. Be consistent

Once you start calling these players, don’t let several months go by before you call them again. It’s similar to going on a first date with someone, saying you “like them” and that you should “do this again,” but then you never call them again! Don’t be like that! (We should never date our players, but the same principles of consistent, clear communication apply).

4. Understand what makes your players tick

This one is pretty easy, right? They love to gamble, or they love the experience that they have at your property. Maybe they prefer slots over table games, but either way, you should be able to relate with them about why they come to your property. The only way you can relate with them is by talking with them. The phone is a great way to start that conversation.

5. Give them something to look forward to

I hear from Hosts all the time that they don’t know what to call about or what to say unless they have an offer. WHAT?! Wait a minute, are you serious? There is so much that you can talk about with a new guest who you have just met for the first time. Start with “Hi, how are you?” Then let them speak. It’s similar to dating … ask the right question, and they will likely tell you more than you originally hoped!

For more information about driving more business through on-site training to enhance your PD and guest service departments’ telephone skills, please contact Amy Hergenrother, Raving’s VP of Business Development, at 775-329-7864 or [email protected].

Daniel Wood