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Three Types of Golf Course Managers/Leaders, Which one are you? What type do you have managing your property?

Golf Course Managers

Three Types of Golf Course Managers/Leaders, Which one are you? What type do you have managing your property?

There are three types of managers/leaders/coaches:

  1. Duds
  2. Difference Makers
  3. Needle Movers

What’s the difference in the three types of Golf Course Managers?

Duds

  • We have all seen them, worked for them or maybe even were one at one time in our past.   In most cases, they have one of the two following characteristics.   The first is the manager that is just lazy, not- engaged and not interested.  They come in late, leave early and avoid all decision making, team management and passion for helping the property succeed.  The second is the manager that is at the property 70 hours a week, overwhelmed, stressed out and focuses on all the wrong things.  They are not connected to the team, our guests and the day to day operation.   This manager gets stuck in the cursory duties and because of a lack of leadership and direction, they take on trivial tasks that someone could have completed.  Both of these lead to poor results,  terrible team morale and lack of fun at the club.

Difference Makers

  •  These are the managers/leaders/coaches that look at the property and always strive to make it better along with how to make the experience more enjoyable for their guests and create an excellent work environment for their team.   The details are important, are administratively strong and set clear expectations. They think, strategize, implement and stay accountable in making a positive difference on a day-to-day basis.   They take objective observations of their operation and guest experience then strive to make improvements rather than make excuses or push blame.  Simply, they make a difference…

Needle Movers

  • These are the managers/leaders/coaches that make drastic improvements in the sales and service efforts of their clubs.  They view themselves as Sales & Service Specialists and Superior Strategists. They take the lead on making every guest’s experience as memorable as possible.  Their philosophy is simple: Every Guest, Every Time.   They focus not on what they want, but what the customer is looking for.  They design, develop and build play products based on their customers buying patterns, they train, empower, set high expectations for their team, and they create a fun and competitive work environment by keeping score and never show anything but a positive, optimistic and forward thinking mindset.   No matter where the property they manage is located or how bad the economy may be, the service improves, a competitive edge is created and sales/profit go up…the Needle Moves…

As you can see, our goal is to build and have Difference Makers and Needle Movers.  In today’s marketplace, there is no room for Duds.  

KEY:  If you are more of a Difference Maker, hire more Needle Movers to support your talents.  Vice-Versa if you are more of a Needle Mover.  Can you be both, absolutely, but it takes time, focus, awareness, and commitment.   

Yielding Rates. Dynamic Pricing, A lot of big words but no real strategy.

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.  

Pricing

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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…
  2. 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.  

Should You Be Promoting or Discounting Your Rounds of Golf?

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.

Paradigm Playbook: 5 G’s of Successfully Selling More Golf & Golf for More

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:

  1. Greeting- Starts with fun, upbeat, attention grabbing customized greeting
  2. Gather-Specific and friendly questions that allow you to understand the golfer’s needs and expectations
  3. Grab- Attract the callers interest by sharing compelling course experience and value statements
  4. Group- Maximize inventory by paring correctly and processing all the required golfer information
  5. 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