Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brutally Uncomfortable Question #18

How many members are you willing to lose before firing the one employee you know is causing the most friction?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ignoring the basics will not make them go away

How do you get repeat lessons?  A simple thank you and follow-up.

How do you get more purchases in the pro shop?  A simple thank you and follow-up.

How do you grow your referral base?  Thank you and follow-up.

It is a fact that many championship teams have at last one or two superstars, but without the basics of looking the ball into their mitt in baseball, blocking until the play is whistled dead in football, or following their shot in basketball, many teams would probably end up good, but not great.  

Many clubs wonder why they struggle, and I can tell you one of the reasons is their negligent adherence to the basics.  

I have taken at least fifty full one hour lessons in my twenty plus years of playing the game of Golf.  Guess how many thank you notes I have received in all of those years?  One...and it was hand-written (bonus).  Guess how many follow-up phone calls I have received a few days after my lesson to see if what I learned actually worked?  Zero.

When was the last time you gave a handwritten thank you note to a member, an employee, or a guest to express your appreciation?  

My first job after graduating from college was selling mobile phones.  In 1996, my company was the first to come out with a digital version of the cellular phone.  You would think the task would be easy if you are old enough to remember how much static and the number of dropped calls the old cellular phones users had to live with.  But with few digital towers and inexpensive rates to compete against, selling was tough.

After a few of months of bad commission checks, I decided to radically change my approach to the early adopting potential customers in my base.  How?

1. I committed to train each customer for twenty to thirty minutes on the features of the phone to ensure they could use it to its fullest potential before leaving.

2. I wrote hand-written thank you notes to each customer that bought from me.

3. I called each customer personally two to three days after their purchase to be sure they were happy with their service and to see if they had any friends that I should speak to.

Again, this was in 1996 when my commission on a new customer was a handsome $20 + 10% on accessory sales.

When you add up the number of years most members stay at their respective clubs, multiplied by the number of dollars each member and their families spend, the decision to not “block”, “follow your shot”, or “look the ball into your mitt”, is a sure predictor of a losing season.