Getting Ready to Maximize Sales at Your Golf Course
Recently I had a call from a major golf resort asking what one idea I could give them to instantly improve revenue. The answer was easy and would have been the same had the caller wanted to sell more memberships, more banquets, more real estate, or even more tee times.
Train your people how to sell!
Nowhere in this entire series of articles will you get faster results in terms of pure income than in this and the following article on how to sell.
Few people in the golf club business genuinely love selling. Fewer still are good at it! In many ways, it’s not surprising that most people don’t like to sell. Selling not only has a bad image in many people’s minds, it often deserves it! Telemarketing calls at dinner time, pushy salespeople who won’t take no for an answer, and products and services that don’t live up to the sales claims. These have all contributed to the bad image that sales has today.
In defense of sales, almost everyone sells in their everyday lives. Teachers need to sell students on the benefits of paying attention. Spouses sell their ideas to each other. Children sell their parents on staying up for that special TV show, and so on. Practice will bring comfort if you have the right attitude.
Increasing your sales skills by even a few increments can dramatically increase your golf club’s income. Imagine if you closed two out of ten leads instead of one — you have just doubled sales at NO cost! Even small improvements in how you answer the phone, handle objections, and close can have a massive impact on your golf club’s bottom line. Yet few, if any, golf clubs engage in meaningful sales training.
Before you can sell, there are several things you will need to understand in more detail. First, you must understand the fears that hold most people back from maximizing their sales potential. Next, you must learn about bonding with prospects and developing rapport. Finally, you will discover secrets for quickly qualifying your prospects so you focus more of your time on those people most likely to buy.
In this article, you will discover:
- How to overcome typical sales fear
- How to develop instant rapport
- How to separate suspects from prospects
- How to qualify prospects
GETTING MENTALLY READY TO SELL
“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”
—Sir Edmund Hillary, first man to stand atop Mt. Everest
If you believe in what you are selling, your sincere attitude will communicate itself to your prospective customers. But you must have a positive attitude about the sales situation as well. If you feel uncomfortable selling, your prospect will feel uncomfortable buying from you. I’ll use membership sales as my major example here, but the concepts apply to selling lessons, real estate, or clothing in the pro shop!
CONQUERING THE THREE GREAT FEARS
Before you can set off in pursuit of your quest for sales excellence, you must overcome the three great fears that hold back mere ordinary mortals. These fears exist in almost everyone, even great salespeople to a degree. They are:
- Fear of money
- Fear of responsibility
- Fear of failure
Until you have confronted these fears and put them behind you forever, you will not achieve your true sales potential.
FEAR OF MONEY
Believe it or not, many salespeople are afraid to ask for money. I was giving a seminar in South Carolina when I realized that the membership directors I was dealing with were victims of this dreaded affliction. I devised a simple little exercise where they paired off, and each of them said to the other, “Our memberships are $50,000.”
I had trouble deciding if the results were tragic or hilarious! The first few times we did it, three of the membership directors actually couldn’t get the words out of their mouths. We practiced for half an hour, going up and down in various increments until they could say “$100,000” just as easily as “ten bucks.” By the membership directors participating in this exercise, and then my explaining the reasons for their reluctance to ask for large sums of money, they were able to conquer this long-held fear.
Why should membership salespeople be afraid to ask for money?
Salespeople may be afraid to ask for large sums of money because they don’t have enough money to buy the memberships they are selling. The fact that they are selling a club they themselves cannot afford may lead them to believe, at least subconsciously, that other people can’t afford it either. Membership directors too often place a mental barrier on themselves and, in doing so, thwart their own efforts to obtain the success they deserve.
In my work with the PGA I have found that despite the fact that golf professionals are working with some of the most affluent individuals in the country, many of them are desperately afraid of asking for money. In this case, it’s not because they don’t make decent money themselves but because they don’t want to be thought of as salespeople. What they don’t seem to appreciate is that 90 percent of the people they deal with are businessmen or former businessmen who aren’t offended by being asked for money. They expect it!
Overcoming your fear of money
It’s okay to make money selling memberships or anything else! The more people you help to enjoy the benefits of what you offer, the more money you deserve to make. Whether or not you can afford to join your club does not mean that others can’t. Whether or not you think it’s expensive doesn’t matter at all. Put your personal thoughts and prejudices away. Let your prospects decide whether or not they will spend their money. It’s your job to give them the opportunity.
FEAR OF RESPONSIBILITY
The “demented mole” syndrome: Time management
A key factor in accepting responsibility is how you manage your time. Since every salesperson in the world starts the day with the same amount of time, it’s the way you use that time that ultimately determines your success.
Treat your work time like gold so you can enjoy maximum results in a shorter period of time (a strategy that will provide you with greater free time). Follow a carefully scheduled plan of appointments and follow ups, and never fall victim to the dreaded demented mole syndrome that has struck down so many potential salespeople in their primes.
I first witnessed the effects of the demented mole syndrome at my local golf club when I was a teenager. I was helping a friend who had secured the contract to rebuild the 16th green. At one point during the afternoon, we were waiting for the arrival of some gravel trucks. I watched a workman fill up a wheelbarrow with soil, then move it to the other side of the green and dump it. This was a distance of approximately thirty-five yards. After wandering around for a few minutes doing nothing, he filled up the wheelbarrow again and moved the soil back to its original position!
There were, of course, a million and one other more productive things he could have been doing, but this worker chose instead to focus on waiting for the gravel. In his mind, there was absolutely nothing else of importance except looking busy and waiting for the gravel trucks.
“99% of failures come from people
who have a habit of making excuses.”
—George Washington Carver
There are always papers to be shuffled, mail to be read, reports to write, and desks to clear. There are always things that can take your attention and time — the economy, the weather, the time of day. The trained eye can easily spot the afflicted. They plan extensively. Despite always looking busy, they never actually accomplish anything! I’ll bet if you look around your golf club, you’ll find someone already displaying advanced symptoms.
Get a day planner, a laptop computer, a contact program, and a cellular phone. You don’t need anything else. You are now armed and dangerous!
Take responsibility for your own actions,
time management, and results.
FEAR OF FAILURE OR REJECTION
become less and less willing to risk failure.”
— John Gardner
Sometimes the problem that holds salespeople back is fear of failure or rejection. If membership directors had real faith in their golf clubs, they wouldn’t feel rejected when prospects say no but would sympathize with the prospects for not having the wisdom or money to take advantage of the opportunity they are being offered.
A young up-and-coming executive with IBM approached the company president, Thomas Watson, Sr., and asked him the key to success. The older man turned to the younger and announced, “Fail twice as fast.” The young man, perplexed, asked the question again. “But, Mr. Watson, I really, really want badly to make it. Please tell me what should I do?” “In that case,” replied Watson, “fail three times as fast.”
Sound advice, indeed, from one of the smartest salespeople who ever lived. Watson had learned that rather than fear failure, you must embrace it in order to become a Legendary Salesperson. What the younger man failed to understand is that the quicker you get the inevitable failures behind you, the sooner you will reach success. If you double the number of phone calls you make in a day, it will probably double your failure rate. But it will almost certainly double your sales at the same time.
What’s the worst that can happen?
When you make a phone call, greet an appointment, or welcome a “walk-in,” what is the worst thing that can occur? I mean, after you have introduced yourself, made a presentation, and asked them to join, what’s the absolute worst thing that can happen to you?
The prospect can hang up, walk out, call your mother names, or say no. That’s it! Those are the worst things that can possibly happen. Compared to the millions of people who are dying every day, rejection is pretty minor! Great! Now let’s move on.
There is one small problem we didn’t mention — EGO! Our fragile human egos are such that when a person rejects our proposition, we take it as a personal affront. We feel humiliated, embarrassed, or even belittled. Rejection attacks our self-confidence and self-esteem.
Yet if we can let it go for what it is — a rejection of a sales proposition — we will have jumped a hurdle that many never cross.
Sales is a numbers game
You know that when people don’t buy a membership they are not rejecting you! You know that when people can’t afford a membership they’re not rejecting you. You know that when people are looking for a free round of golf, they’re not rejecting you. How could it be personal when they don’t even know you?
Yes, it can feel like rejection; but come on, it’s not!
Membership sales is a numbers game. Depending on the quality of your leads, only 1 in 20 or 1 in 30 of the people you see has any interest in buying a membership. So when most people say no, they’re not rejecting you.
Yes, many people will say no to you if you’re doing your job. But every no gets you closer to the person who wants to join. And even the people who say no can give you referrals to friends who are more serious about membership.
So even if you feel like you’re being rejected, you’re NOT. You can’t get over your feelings immediately, but you can begin. Take control of your feelings and move on to successful membership sales.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.”
The power of persistence: The five reasons you must persist
Persistence is a virtue that many salespeople overlook. There are five key reasons why you must be persistent if you are to join the ranks of Legendary Salespeople. Knowing them will benefit both you and your members.
- The customer doesn’t always know what’s in his best interest at first. You may have new information for him. You have to persist and educate him.
- Prospects are almost always reluctant to change. You must persist and help them realize what the cost will be if they don’t change.
- Your prospects often have difficulty comparing different products and services and become confused. Confused people are afraid of making a mistake so instead of buying they procrastinate on making a decision. You must persist in your attempts to minimize the confusion and provide them with a clear path to enjoying the benefits of your club membership!
- Prospects have many different priorities. You must persist and help them arrange their priorities in such a way that your club moves up the list and helps them achieve their goals.
- Some prospects are just not ready to buy right now. They might, however, buy next month or next year. You must persist to make sure you are still in the forefronts of their minds when they eventually do!
Rapport is the ability to bond with another person as you would with a friend, and, for a Legendary Salesperson, it is the most sought after of all conditions. Good rapport puts other people at their ease. They treat you as a person they are comfortable with, not a salesperson.
You start most sales relationships with one strike against you. People assume that you have your interests at heart rather than theirs. Thus, they naturally don’t trust you until you can demonstrate that you are interested in them and can be helpful to them. Because of this negative conditioning, it is essential that you go the extra mile to be courteous, friendly, and professional as you start building rapport.
Calming your prospects’ fears
When people walk into your golf club to explore membership options, it is very probable that they do so with some degree of trepidation. They are unsure of what to expect. Maybe you’ll put a lot of pressure on them and it will be unpleasant. Maybe they won’t be able to justify the purchase to their wives. Maybe they won’t feel that they fit in.
One way to make most people more comfortable is to immediately tell them what will happen. For instance, you could say something like:
“Here’s what I was planning to do in our time together: Ask you a few questions about your golfing interests, tell you about our club, show you around, and answer your questions. Does that sound reasonable? Is there anything you want to know before we get started?“
Your foremost task in the initial sales contact is to make your prospect feel comfortable with you. Until this happens, it will be impossible for the prospect to make a buying decision. Use the first few minutes to remove the prospect’s fear and help him or her to relax.
If you don’t sell yourself first, you won’t sell anything
“Men in general judge far more from appearances than
from reality. All men have eyes, but few
have the gift of penetration.”
If prospects don’t like you, they will not buy from you! That’s pretty simple, isn’t it? Consider for a moment. Do you buy products and services from people you don’t like? No? Neither do most other people. Above all else, selling requires selling yourself to the prospect. If you don’t do that, no sales technique in the world is going to save you.
The first few seconds of your contact with a prospect can determine your success in any sales interview. First impressions are lasting impressions and are usually the right impressions, at least as far as your prospect is concerned.
The way you dress is very important in selling. Always be careful to strike a happy medium between overdressing and underdressing. Smartly attired people have an air of success about them. Without overpowering the audience you will be selling to, make an effort to improve your image by improving the quality of your clothing and tailoring. In the words of Henry Ward Beecher, “Clothes and manner do not make the man; but, when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.”
Is your office destroying rapport?
If you are selling from your own office or sales area, take heed. The way your office looks and feels can cost you sales. Be sure to avoid displaying anything that could create a negative response in a prospect or customer. The power of one negative image is almost ten times stronger than the power of one positive image. Your ultimate sales skill is to create in your prospect a powerful mental image of enjoying the benefits you offer.
Making your office sales friendly
Make your office the image of what you want to accomplish. If you want to sell memberships, decorate your office to inspire the prospect to want to join your club. Try hanging beautiful pictures of your best holes. Add pictures of celebrities playing at your club, big social events, and so on. Impress them with the quality of your club. Testimonial letters from current members are never out of place!
The best sales organizations in the world set up their offices in a very carefully thought-out way to inspire trust and positive feelings. They remove clutter and distraction so that the prospect’s focus remains on the sales process.
Develop winning personal traits
When asked what great secret he had found to influence people to his way of thinking, Abraham Lincoln replied, “If you would win a man over to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.” To a great extent, the way people react to you depends on the little things — like smiling. When you are introduced to someone, always respond with a warm and friendly smile. Shake hands firmly because there are few things that turn people off quicker than a limp handshake. Stand up straight with your shoulders back and chest forward. Make good eye contact and generally let the other person know by your body language that you are a successful, professional, friendly, and confident individual who is genuinely glad to meet them.
How do you sound?
Next, to your appearance, the tone of your voice and the way you deliver your words are the most important parts of making a good impression on the prospect. Make your conversation enthusiastic, friendly, and professional. If the prospect talks in a loud voice, raise yours slightly above its normal level. If the prospect speaks quietly, lower your voice a couple of decibels. Mirror your prospect’s speech patterns by speaking a little slower or a little faster as appropriate. Remember, people establish the highest levels of rapport with others who are just like them! Your voice can indicate to prospects that you are indeed like them.
The value of matching your prospect is equally true of basic body language. If the person you are dealing with has a military bearing and stands straight and tall, rather than lounging or slumping, it will definitely pay you to do the same. In your office, if the prospect leans forward, so should you. In short, mirroring your prospect’s largely unconscious physical demeanor is one of the most effective ways to rapidly establish rapport. Be sure to use this technique in conjunction with the others mentioned in this chapter.
Giving genuine compliments about your prospect or his possessions will almost certainly bring a favorable response. However, use caution in this area. Prospects easily detect insincerity. If you are insincere, you will lose their confidence, never to regain it. There are ways to make sure this never happens to you. Never make a compliment you do not mean, and add a qualifying statement to all your compliments for added weight.
Qualifiers prove your sincerity. Your compliment is made more meaningful and personal if you add a brief remark to prove you mean what you say. For example, you might say to a woman who walks into your place of business, “That’s a beautiful sweater.” Then immediately add a qualifier. “I gave one just like that to my wife, last Christmas.” You have demonstrated your sincerity. Why would you buy a sweater for your wife if you didn’t find it attractive?
What’s in a name?
One of the surest ways to develop rapport is to remember a person’s name. In his classic book, How to Win friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie stated, “The sound of a person’s name said correctly is one of the nicest sounds in the world, at least to them.” Using someone’s name is indeed one of the sincerest compliments you can pay a person. It builds self-esteem and lets him know you think he is important.
How to open a rapport-building conversation
In order to build rapport beyond the superficial stages, you have to get the prospect to talk to you. The best way to accomplish this is to ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. They demand a more detailed response. Not only does this method build rapport, since you allow the customer to respond without interruption or contradiction, but it also provides you with valuable data for use in the sales presentation. After you exchange names, it’s time to start questioning as discussed in the next chapter. This time, however, we will be using the responses not just for data, but also to develop future questions.
Where are you from, Jack? [In states with rapidly expanding populations, like California, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada, this is a good question, since the majority of people were born elsewhere.]
What line of work are you in? Move smoothly from basic questions to more specific lines of inquiry.
How long have you lived here?
That’s an interesting occupation. How did you get into it?
The more others talk about themselves, the more rapport you will be building, especially if you use active listening techniques.
Developing active listening techniques to increase rapport
Active listening means showing the prospect that you are not only listening to what he has to say, but you are interested in what he is saying. Here are some of the ways you can do this:
- By holding eye contact and not looking around at anything else.
- By nodding your head at appropriate points.
- By raising an eyebrow (like Mr. Spock in Star Trek!) to express surprise.
- By laughing, smiling, and making occasional comments like, “Yes,” “Uh-huh,” or “I see” to show you are an active participant in the conversation, even though you aren’t doing the talking.
You will find that such active listening will draw people out and they will consider you an interesting person.
How people process information affects rapport
“After all, when you come right down to it, how many
people speak the same language, even when
they speak the same language?” — Russell Hoban
Essentially, people process information in one of three main ways — visually, aurally, and kinesthetically. Knowing which of these applies to a particular person can give you a much better chance of getting your point across.
If a prospect asks to see the course or comments on the view, he is almost certainly visual (and the majority of people fall into this category.) If he wants to try it for himself or comments on the smell of the trees, he is probably kinesthetic. If he asks you to tell him about your golf course or explain membership benefits, then he is probably auditory. In cases where someone displays a combination of two or even all three of these forms, you can use multiple approaches, but one of them will usually be dominant. Understanding this human characteristic can be invaluable to your presentation by helping you to communicate better and faster with your prospect.
Asking a kinesthetic prospect to look at something is not nearly as valuable as having him do it himself. If you prevent a kinesthetic person from “feeling” things, you risk losing the sale. In the same way, if you simply talk to a visually oriented person you will soon lose his interest.
If you can’t tell which method your prospect uses to process his information, try to use all three in your speech patterns. (It takes a little practice!) You will either find out what you need to know or at least will be sure that you have covered all the bases.
QUALIFYING YOUR PROSPECTS
Once rapport has been achieved, the next step in the sales process is to qualify your prospects.
One of the biggest complaints by salespeople is that they are receiving “unqualified leads.” The corresponding complaint from managers is that their salespeople can’t close sales from the “great leads” they are given. To have success in any sales, you need to set up a system and then measure the results to demonstrate its effectiveness. You need to produce qualified leads, train your salespeople well, and measure performance.
What is a qualified prospect?
Traditionally, a qualified prospect is someone who has a need for your product or service and the means to pay for it. If you are a golf course selling daily rounds, any regular golfer in your area — or even visiting — would be technically qualified. With golf, you’re usually talking about a “want” rather than an actual “need.”
If you are a club selling memberships or a golf realty development, you will want further qualifications, such as high income. And you will need further information about their “means.”
You need to help them justify the purchase. You need to find out how they would pay for it and if financing will be involved. And you need to find out how they will measure the value they receive for their investment.
Some prospects are more equal than others!
If you look at your prospects as a whole, you will get a very wide range of people — from those chomping at the bit to sign up to those with no intention of ever buying. Think of them as A, B, C, and D prospects.
The success of membership programs is based on generating the total number of leads needed to reach your goals. Successful programs recognize that leads come in various qualities even with qualifiers in place:
- “A” leads include referrals, golfers moving to the area, members of other clubs unhappy with their current clubs, and social climbers.
- “B” leads include daily fee players with no permanent home who can afford what you offer if they are shown the service and value they expect.
- “C” leads might be prospects or might not. They could be a source of future members and should be kept on a tickler program.
- “D” leads are simply not real prospects.
Referrals and people new to your area are often the best prospects. Direct mail leads offer the next best prospects since they can be pre-qualified by income, zip code, and other demographics. Telemarketing produces a wide range of leads but most tend to do better than average simply based on the professions that are targeted such as doctors, lawyers, and so forth.
Web inquiries and telephone inquiries from newspaper or magazine ads tend to be far less qualified unless the ad was specifically written to discourage people from calling, which is an art in itself. (For instance, an ad might mention the financial qualifications needed to buy.)
The bottom line is that all leads should be counted and standards created for the conversion of each kind. Referrals might sell at the rate of 1 in 2 or 3, while web leads might sell 1 in 20 or 30. You should measure an average return from each source.
Questions to ask
You need to develop a series of questions that not only qualifies people but goes further to expand their thinking about their needs and your offer. For instance, confirming that prospects play golf and fit your income category isn’t enough. You need to cover frequency of play, specific reasons they don’t play more often, social influences, and so on. Prospects need to see you as helping them satisfy their needs, not selling to them to meet yours! Your questions need to be interesting to them. They need to enjoy the conversation.
The key qualifying questions you ask will depend on the nature of your club, your offer, and your location.
Here are some examples:
- How often do you play?
- What’s your handicap?
- Where do you play now? [If you know your market well, you should know if the answer is public or private, high-end or low-end, is the prospect looking to move up or down?]
- What three things do you enjoy most about playing?
- Does your spouse play?
- Do you have children?
- Do they play?
- What type of other activities does your family enjoy besides golf? (swimming, tennis, etc.)
- What type of work do you do?
- How often will you be visiting the area? (second memberships)
- Do you entertain clients on the course?
- What are the most important aspects of club membership for you? (get a game, great layout, convenient, etc.)
Casually work the three or four most important questions you need into your initial conversation.
Qualified is not motivated!
The key flaw in most sales systems is that they don’t acknowledge that most technically qualified prospects are not motivated to act now. For outings, weddings, and banquets, motivation is usually not a problem. That is, those prospects need to contract with a facility in a specific time frame, so they are motivated.
For lessons, golf real estate, and club memberships, motivation can become a problem. Prospects may have an interest in making a purchase, but they have no urgency. The decision can be put off forever. Selling daily rounds falls in between. A regular golfer doesn’t have to play at any particular time, but they are likely to want to play fairly soon.
Another reason people will delay acting is because they don’t feel a connection to you. There is no relationship. They have no reason to trust you. They have no desire to please you. This is where long-term qualifying can come into play. If you approach prospects realizing that many will take a year to commit to an action or make up their minds, you will design a sales system that allows you to keep in touch and build the relationship in addition to finding the short-term sales.
Qualifying prospects out?
There are cases when finding prospects is very expensive for you, but they are also worth a lot, for instance, when you are selling golf real estate or memberships in an expensive club. In these cases, you have to decide how much a prospect is really worth to you and how “hard” you want to qualify them.
Each case is different depending on your prospecting and closing systems. To decide what is right for you, you’ll need to test.
Let’s take a typical case we’ve worked with in selling memberships for various clubs. Say the membership is $100,000, excluding any special offers, rebates, and so on. And let’s say that most of the club is built or is a conversion. We call wealthy people in the area of the club and invite them to a free round of golf, and a presentation on club membership that usually includes breakfast. We might organize these events for groups of 20 prospects.
It could take a month or two to produce 400 membership prospects. All prospects are qualified in the sense that they say they play golf, are interested in playing the course, can afford the membership fee, and know that they will be subject to a sales presentation. Here is where further qualifying and screening begins. Some people don’t show up for the presentations. During the tour and golf, salespeople talk to the prospects. Perhaps only three have any serious interest in membership. After the presentation, these are the ones you focus on, as well as any other prospects who put themselves forward.
This level of qualifying means that most of your money is spent on people who aren’t good prospects. With a well-designed sales approach, this still pays off handsomely in sales. However, you could take a harder line. By requiring people to take an action step, you are qualifying them further. For instance, you can require them to send you something, to meet with you, or to give you further information.
A simple way to screen out people who are only interested in a free round of golf but don’t care enough to work for it is to require prospects to sign up for your presentation at your club’s website. You direct them to the proper page and they have to answer some qualifying questions there. In our experience, this cuts out about half of your “prospects.”
You have to track your results to decide what screening and qualifying approach is best for you. Is it better to have 20 prospects of whom three are serious or 10 of whom one to two are serious?
The answer is not simple. Some people end up buying when they didn’t plan to. This can be the case with memberships or real estate. People may come for the free golf and become more interested when they see your offer.
As we said earlier, the only way you can see how your sales skills match up best with your prospect pool is to test different approaches and see which one is the most cost effective for you. We generally like to get more prospects there, even if they are weaker. People can’t judge your club until they’ve seen it. And more people seeing it creates more word-of-mouth and referral possibilities.
Why qualified prospects don’t raise their hands
One complication in qualifying people is that sometimes your best prospects won’t say that they want what you have to offer and can afford it. Why do people deny being good prospects?
They do it for many reasons that vary from wanting to stay in control of the situation to wanting to make you jump through a few hoops. Some reasons can work for you; others create problems.
Perhaps the most common reason that the wealthy “hide” themselves is that they don’t want to be bothered. Many of the well-to-do are approached every day with a new offer. Many companies go to great lengths to identify the wealthiest one percent of the country who can buy almost anything. (The same goes for the top 5–10 percent as well.)
Another reason for sales resistance is the desire to see how good you are—how persistent and how skilled. These people are sophisticated in business. They are familiar with most sales approaches. If they have time, they may entertain themselves watching how you sell to them. They may also use resistance as a way to test your sincerity. They throw up obstacles but expect you to overcome them. They reason that if you’re willing to put a lot of effort into signing them up, you may be more likely to put effort into making them happy once they buy.
On the other hand, there are people who will lie about their interest. These people may be retired and miss the action of business. Or they may simply like whatever freebies you offer. Some prospects are even fantasizing. By pretending that they will buy, they get some fantasy pleasure at little cost.
Interestingly enough, there are situations where people who have no intention of buying end up doing so. Timeshare vacation rentals are a prime example. Almost no one who goes to a presentation intends to buy, but enough do to keep the hard-sell sales practices going. So you’ll have to make your best guess on how hard to qualify prospects and then test to develop a better profile of actual buyers.
If you’re selling something like memberships where you’re willing to spend some money on prospects, you can use credit checks as one way to screen out false leads. You will also find that people who are referred to you are much more serious than people who respond to ads. And the more freebies you offer, the more “Looky Lous” you’ll get.
To maximize your sales potential you must understand and overcome the common fears that hold back most people in sales — fear of money, fear of responsibility, and fear of rejection. In sales, success is up to you. Manage your time well and realize that the more noes you get, the more sales you will make.
Learn how to quickly build rapport with your prospects by asking open-ended questions, demonstrating active listing techniques, and being aware of your body language. Once rapport is established, probe to qualify the prospect. There is no point in spending time selling to people who don’t want to buy. By setting up a qualifying system, you will improve your results, make prospects happier, and have more fun selling. Design your system for both short- and long-term sales. While you harvest the “low hanging fruit,” you will be building relationships for long-term sales. Even prospects who never buy may become sources of referrals and positive word of mouth when they are treated professionally and respectfully.
Don’t Wait Until it’s too Late – Get the Professional Help Your Golf Club Needs Now!
During my full day, onsite consulting visit I will:
- Review your financial goals
- Develop a clear USP (unique selling proposition) for your club
- Develop a real marketing strategy
- Review and amend your pricing strategy
- Develop an irresistible offer
- Generate immediate leads (within 48 hours)
- Provide sales training materials for your staff
- Set up a custom blueprint for success
- Provide 365-day phone access once I leave
All The Best,