Excludes – Women are not excluded but there will be few, the few blue-collar members if any will be successful entrepreneurs.
Targets – Bankers, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, athletes
Examples – London Club, Old Memorial, Kinloch
Taglines – “If you want to get any deal done in this town this is where you start”
Tactics – Core group of excited and motivated founding members, Stress the business advantages of being in such a club. Suggest that joining your club will naturally increase anyone’s business and provide the tools to make this happen.
Commentary: It always amazes me how much people talk about the value of playing golf with clients and prospects. About the value of golf as a bonding tool, as a networking tool and of course as a sales tool and yet golf clubs, do a horrible job of promoting this major benefit in any event marketing.
Opportunity: One thing most golf clubs don’t promote enough about joining a club or just getting out and playing is the Business Networking!
Where is it possible to meet 400-500 people in a social setting and spend 4 plus hours with them? Nowhere that I can think of! If you are a car dealer, insurance salesman, lawyer, mortgage broker, chiropractor, contractor or just about any business that relies on the public, joining a club can easily be one of the most profitable marketing investments you ever make!
YET I never see clubs talking about this on their website, in their brochures or in their emails.
Making a sale is always an emotional decision backed by logic. What could be better logic than talking about the fact that the membership might well pay for itself five or ten times over in the form of NEW business?
Instead of lifeless corporate speak in your membership sales pitch – consider this story from a membership solicitation letter I wrote several years ago targeting local Chiropractors for full or social membership:
Dear Dr. Cranium:
I was sitting at the bar the other day with the General Manager, Ed, when Mr. Ross, one of our new members, came in clutching his back in obvious agony.
”Hey guys, do we have a member who is a chiropractor?” he spurted out between clenched teeth.
”I am sure we must,” I said looking at Ed, who to my utter astonishment then slowly shook his head. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, if you are in that kind of business, or for that matter, any professional service business, what better place in the world is there to network than a country club like ours? Where else can you grow your wealth while making friends and having fun?
This is why top copywriters charge $5,000-$25,000 to write a custom sales letter, one that pays off again and again. Because they can connect with the reader in an emotional way; a way that makes the reader think how the story relates personally to them and gets them excited about taking action!
“You know honey, I’ve been thinking about joining the golf club and although it’s a chunk out of our monthly budget, I really think I’m going to get it back! I have heard a lot of guys talking about how their business has grown significantly since they joined the club and made friends with a bunch of the members! And you know it makes sense. I mean, who has more back problems than golfers? “
Give people an emotional connection, a rationale for action in story format and they will digest it. They will internalize it, modify it to suit their personal needs, or pass it on to other significant decision makers as FACT!
I know of several people including investment advisors, mortgage brokers and insurance professionals who have been so successful in networking at their golf club that they spend more time there than at the office!
Let members know that your club offers some services to help their business:
- Offer a notice board for business cards
- Offer a website link to their business
- Offer a banner ad
- Start a networking club
- Use your newsletter and email to feature member’s businesses
- Provide business directory on or offline or both
- Let your member’s know that it’s expected, that they consider a member for any work they may have before going outside the club.
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