Yielding Rates. Dynamic Pricing, Demand-Based Initiatives… A lot of big words but no real strategy, especially in the Golf Business.
I’m guilty. I’ve used those fancy words above, and I am sure I will again. Unfortunately, just dabbling in these practices with no real strategy on how combine or blend Pricing, Packaging and Promotions will lead you to minimal success.
However, a Customer Focused Pricing, Promotions and Packaging Strategy (P-Cubed) will increase rounds, Average Green Fee and Customer Loyalty.
For many years we have worked on various techniques to yield correctly and we’ve focused on hotels and airline pricing models. Although it was a great learning experience, there were some snags in just duplicating what they did to make yiled management effective in the golf business. For instance we found the following inconsistencies:
- The buying patterns for golfers are unique. With the increase in tee time inventory in the United States, golf is more impulsive than travel and more local in reach.
- Having tee time inventory available in intervals of 8 to 10 minutes all day long, in contrast to the much more limited inventory within the airline and hotel industries, creates much more complex inventory variables for golf courses. Factor in daylight and weather, and the complexity only increases.
- Golf experiences vary dramatically from course to course. Quality, difficulty, location, aesthetics and amenities all contribute or detract from the customer experience. Although some airlines are better than others, after you choose where you want to go and when you want to go there, the choices are limited. Hotel inventories are more similar to golf than airline inventories, but it is much easier to have your team differentiate your course from your competition.
So who determines what your product is worth?
Answer: the market, of course! Many owners and managers price their products and services based on what they feel it is worth. In actuality, you should ask for the highest price that your customer is comfortable, willing and able to pay at any given time (of course good salesmanship goes a long way here as well). Good record keeping and an acute awareness of trends will inform price too. Does this mean you need to discount? Not necessarily. In many cases you are not charging enough and you could be leaving major revenue on the table!
When coming to grips with the differences listed above, we took a less global approach and started looking into the following two factors:
- Historical Data- When is the highest demand? What was the rate and who is playing at these times? Hint: Your most utilized times may not be from 9am to 11am on Saturday AND it may not just be because of rate. Review your source reports (and if you don’t keep track of where your customers are coming from, start now). Don’t just rely on the basic report that comes from POS, ask your team, your customers, review how many days the tee time was booked etc…
- Customer Expectations- In many markets there is a great diversity of customers – Resort/Vacation, Seasonal/Snowbird, Local/Regular. These groups have different expectations. This doesn’t make any of them cheap, poor or less valuable, just different. The challenging part, and where the real expertise comes in, is identifying the different buying patterns within each separate group.
What’s the difference between promotion and discount?
Promotions are short term, well thought out offers that use value, benefit statements and sizzle along with financial savings to promote your products and services. Promotions create immediate demand and long-term product branding.
Discounting is simply reducing price, and possibly devaluing your product in hopes to make up revenues through increased sales volume. Unfortunately, this practice often leads to long-term price deterioration which is nearly impossible to recover, no matter how good your packaging, let alone your products.
Like packaging, promotion is part precision and part art-form. You must have a keen awareness of your margins, your market, your place in the market and the perceived value of your products and services, all of which you learn through Pricing and Packaging section of The P-Cubed Play. We’ll also learn the what, when and where to launch your new promotions to maximize the positive revenue impact.
By implementing the strategies above, our clients have increased their sales by millions of dollars. The same can happen with you. Let us help you build the perfect P3 for your company.
To Use or Not to Use? For that is the question…Part One
Seems to be the hottest topic in the Golf Business, to use Golf Now or not to use them… Having various complexities and moving parts I decided to break up in several posts. I am starting with my thoughts on whether you should use it or not. My experience comes as a golf course owner, manager and consultant perspective. The goal is not to persuade you but share another point of view, one that has led to seven digit revenue growth in some of the most competitive markets in very difficult financial times.
Let’s start with when you should not use Golf Now-
- Your entire golf course inventory is full 95% or more without using Golf Now
- You have a high volume platform that allows you proactively maximize rate.
- You have a large marketing budget and have other proven advertising strategies that produce a measurable ROI.
So when should you use Golf Now-
- Your golf course inventory is not full 95% or more of the time you are open
- You do not have a viable platform that allows you to proactively maximize rounds and rate
- You have a limited or near zero marketing budget.
- You want to grow rounds and revenues at the highest rate by utilizing the most used and popular customer/golfer marketing outlet.
- You want to expand your reach in your immediate market and other drive in areas with the various GN vehicles. (Eblast, Banner Ad’s, Deal Caddy, Golf Advisor etc..)
- You want to profile your properties strengths through review sites that get huge volume of viewership and feedback
Based on the criteria above, we have elected to not only use Golf Now but Master It. To use it as one of our strategies in growing revenue and customer base. In addition to the reasons listed, the biggest factor we decided to master Golf Now is this- CONSUMERS LOVE IT!!
Part Two on Whether to Use or Not Use Golf Now will be focused on why the Consumers love it and How to leverage Golf Now to build YOUR properties profitability, customer loyalty, short term success and long-term sustainability.
Yes, I have read all the reasons why golf courses do not want to use it and most are about the one or two low demand trade times get sold at prices they don’t like, understood. But what about the other 180 tee times that need to be filled everyday?
My recommendation, if you are going to use Golf Now, master it. Make it a priority to understand it and utilize all of its programs. This combined with your other sales and service strategies you can and will dominate your competition. If you don’t need it or like it, stop taking all the time and energy to hate on it and invest that time to fill your golf course without it, it’s your course, your choice…
Who Answers Your Phones? The Art of Selling Golf Over The Phone
It amazes me how little time, effort, and is spent on training staff members who are responsible for handling the first point of contact with customers. Granted, this is true in most businesses today, however, it is extremely prevalent in the Golf Industry. Typically, this is the process when on-boarding a new staff member: they are given a static rate sheet and are told to get started answering the phone. They get some training on the technical side and have all the club policies driven into their skull. That’s it. They are then set loose to be the club’s first impression. Talk about a recipe for disaster! Even worse, many clubs outsource their incoming calls to a remote call center , surrendering their number one sales source to someone who may not even know where the property is located, much less why anyone should play there.
In my opinion, these scenarios represent a long-term epidemic that has played a significant role in the severe decline of revenues at most golf properties today.
GOOD NEWS: The standard is so low, if done correctly you can increase your closing percentage on incoming calls, maximize rate by selling experience rather than price, and most importantly create an initial WOW factor with your customers. So the question is: how can you transform your golf shop staff or reservationist into a polished, high energy, effective sales and service specialist?
Answer: Make it a priority by implementing the Paradigm Golf Group Inbound/Outbound Call Programs. These programs are proven, highly profitable and are integrated with the collaboration of you and your team. Beginning with the 5 G’s of Successfully Selling More Golf, your team will use positive voice inflection, customer-focused questions and customized experience & value statements to gain more commitments from callers as well as generating more smiles and happier golfers along the way. This is not a pushy sales script, but a personalized program that follows the Connect Golf Group’s core principle, “It is not as much about what you say or how you say it, but how did you make people feel.”
The 5 G’s of Successfully Selling More Golf & Golf for More program summary:
- Greeting- Starts with fun, upbeat, attention grabbing customized greeting
- Gather-Specific and friendly questions that allow you to understand the golfer’s needs and expectations
- Grab- Attract the callers interest by sharing compelling course experience and value statements
- Group- Maximize inventory by paring correctly and processing all the required golfer information
- Gratitude- When the golfer chooses to give their hard earned money to you, show gratitude by enthusiastically setting the expectation of their upcoming day of golf, eating/drinking and enjoying time with friends and family
There are numerous reasons why you might need the assistance of a consultant within a business, particularly one as comprehensive and extensive as a golf course. Perhaps you are thinking about purchasing or building a new golf course, and you need assistance in deciding on the proper location and other specifications. Maybe you have an existing club that you feel could be generating more revenue. There are a host of other reasons why such guidance might be needed, but the bottom line is that golf course consultants are designed to guide you and advise you about proper direction and business choices moving forward. We have been in business for over 20 years and would love to discuss this possibility of coming alongside of your business.
What Can a Golf Course Consultant Do For You?
Many people struggle to ask for the advice of an outside party, particularly when it involves their own business. We get that. You have poured your heart and soul into developing your business, or you have an idea of where exactly you would like to go with a club that you are about to purchase. This is all perfectly understandable. Keep in mind that an outside advisor can often pick up on things that you might not see because you are too involved in the process. In addition, as the proper management of a golf club requires an extensive background in many different disciplines, golf course consultants can help you fill in the gaps you might find in your own knowledge. Such a professional can prove to be an indispensable partner with you in your eventual success, which is exactly where we come in.
Consultants Set Out to Transform and Improve Existing Businesses
The role of the consultants at Paradigm Golf Group is not to take over; rather, our sole objective and vision is to truly come in and help you transform and improve your golf club by turning it into a revenue generating machine. We strive to use our years of experience at numerous courses throughout the United States in order to help you with your venture. We know what works, and we have also seen what does not work. This can save you a great deal of time, money, and heartache down the road.
Golf course consultants listen to your vision; they analyze every aspect of your club (or the club you are thinking about purchasing), and they work to generate an action plan that you feel comfortable with. You might find that only one part of your existing club is keeping you from generating the profits that you desire. If that is the case, a consultant will likely determine what that area is and how to correct it. You, however, might not ever have determined this target area because of your intimate role in the overall operation. Paradigm Golf Group is able to help and we would be honored if you would consider us for the important role of your golf course consultant.
A golf club is certainly a unique business. On the one hand, there is a steady stream of customers to be targeted, and it is an activity that is appealing to individuals from all ages and demographic groups. On the other hand, it is a complex enterprise that requires a great deal of planning and foresight in order to generate profits on a consistent basis. Proper upkeep of the fairways and greens is a major part of it, but so is the scheduling of staff, advertising to get your customers, and many other components that are interwoven together. If one chain in that link breaks, the entire club could suffer. A golf club manager can help ensure that this does not happen, and at Paradigm, this is the service that we pride ourselves on offering.
Services That We Can Provide You With
You understand the golf business or you would not be in this line of work. There are times, however, when even the most seasoned of professionals can be weighed down under an avalanche of different areas that are all required in order to be remotely successful. The proper running of a golf course has so many different moving pieces, from business to landscape management and everything in between. An individual experienced in one area might be deficient in another. Paradigm Golf Group can provide you with a golf course manager that can analyze your existing club and determine areas where you might benefit from any bit of improvement. You obviously have vision and goals which we will understand and further match up with current industry standards in order to generate a plan that will elevate your club in stature and profitability.
Choose a Management Team with Experience on Their Side
Paradigm Golf Group has been in business for over 20 years, and we have established a reputation for developing and managing golf courses throughout the United States. We are effective at what we do precisely because we care about the success of the courses we manage. In essence, your success becomes our success, and this is something we are immensely proud of.
Again, we do not set out to tell you how to your run your business. Your club is your business, but as a golf club manager we can use our experience to truly benefit your bottom line. We pledge to listen to you and get a feel for your entire operation before making even one recommendation. In the end, we can be as involved or uninvolved in the actual implementation of any changes. That is entirely up to you, but we would be honored to become your golf club manager and partner with you in your success for years to come.
Golf has been one of the most popular leisure activities around the world for all age groups for quite some time now. It is a game as well as a social event that draws together people from various walks of life for enjoyable, low impact physical activity. Golf is a sport that the novice and the highly experienced alike enjoy in equal measure. Because of these reasons, a well-managed golf course can be exceptionally profitable, even in today’s difficult economic climate. The key, however, is management. Paradigm Golf Group is a golf course management company that can work with you to ensure that your club is achieving the best results that you desire.
Profit or Loss – It Is Truly up to You
Running a golf course is not a simple endeavor. There are many complex variables that one must consider in order to be profitable. If done correctly, however, history has revealed that such courses will enjoy a steady stream of golfers as well as major profits on a regular basis. With courses poorly managed, however, all you will likely be looking at are vacant greens and an empty bank account. To avoid this, consider choosing Paradigm as your golf course management company. We work with you by coming alongside you, in order to generate the customer base and the revenue that your particular course is suited for. We can help guide you in terms of managing expenses, staff scheduling, promotions and marketing, as well as the proper technique to maintain the course effectively in such a manner that will attract golfers of all levels from across the region.
Develop a Unique Plan that Works for Your Club
In the end, your club is your baby. You need to take care of it because you can see the vision and you have the passion. If so, then we can certainly help you take this venture to the next level. We partner with you, and although we are not there to dictate how to run your club that you so obviously have poured your heart and soul into, we will be there to support you and help with wise decision choices. What we are also here to do, is to listen to you and see how your course is currently functioning, and then draw upon our experience to advise you how to operate more efficiently in order to become even more profitable in the future.
The approach that Paradigm Golf Group takes towards golf course management is different than what you will find at many other firms. We work hard to review your complete history and to genuinely get a feel for the unique goals and objectives that you have. In addition, we learn about the surrounding area in an effort to determine how you can best serve the needs of golfers in your community. Not all courses are equal, so we manage by developing a tailor-made plan set to your specific and unique situation.