I’ve had a bunch of sales jobs in my life. The worst one was probably going door to door selling newspaper subscriptions. Talk about trying to sell someone something that they don’t need and don’t want. Most all of my other sales jobs always involved pressuring someone into doing something they didn’t feel like doing. I’ve also sold personal training. That was one of those things that some people actually wanted but needed some “help” justifying the price.
Don’t get me wrong. The world will always need salespeople. Especially since people are getting lazier and lazier (well this is just my opinion of course). People are less willing to do research, so often you’ll need a salesperson to show you all the great features and benefits that you might have overlooked. It’s not our fault as consumers, that we’re getting lazier, it’s more so just the overall effect of having so much information shown to us. Information paralysis, as it’s often referred to. You’re presented with so many choices that you end up not choosing anything at all. Salespeople help you make a decision.
Back to why I love working at an escape room. The games sell themselves. After you see your friends post their after-game pictures and say how much fun they’ve had, that’s about all the social proof you need to pique your interest.
Escape rooms are the easiest thing I’ve ever “sold” because I don’t even have to sell them. People come far and wide seeking us out. Most of our customers are referrals, which is nice, because it confirms that we’ve built a solid product.
I guess I am lucky in that I work at a place that has a bunch of really well-designed games. That being said, it feels really nice to have customers seeking out what I offer, rather than the other way around.
The hardest “sell” I’ve had to do at an escape room is explain the concept to someone who randomly walked into the store from the street. After explaining the idea of getting locked up and having an hour to escape, he was instantly excited to gather a group of friends and come back. I saw him and his friends the following week.
The escape room industry itself is also super friendly. Even though we are all competing for consumers’ dollars, it’s not actually a zero-sum game like a lot of other industries are. For example, after selecting a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, you’re probably done searching and won’t be looking for a new one, at least for a while. On the other hand, once you find out that you love playing escape rooms, you’re probably going to go play all the ones you can find in your city. This means that a new customer here is a new customer for the entire escape room industry. I think this is why you see a lot of collaboration between escape room owners.
Aside from the friendly competition, it’s also a huge breath of fresh air to see someone enjoy your product. That’s actually an understatement. The average player usually emerges with a “wow that was so fun” or an “oh my god let’s do another one!”
Perhaps I’m just traumatized from years of buyer’s remorse (on other peoples’ faces). Either way, it’s nice to be able to feel confident about what you’re selling. People come to an escape room seeking an awesome experience. For us game masters, it’s a delightful experience seeing people get exactly what they paid for.
--Game Master George