How to find lucrative referrals and drive leads? – Part 1

By: Aimee Burke November 4, 2015

As I promised you yesterday, today, Aimee Burke (Sales & Marketing Director Kemper Sports @ The Ridge Club) will show us the challenges of expanding golf club membership. Aimee Burke will give some advice and tricks. Her article/post will continue tomorrow. Here is the first part.

Here are her thoughts:

If you’re lucky to have a dedicated sales person inside the club driving membership, one could assume you have a systematic sales process, dedicated sales CRM, strategic annual marketing plan, analytics on ROI, and tracking of lead sources from advertising efforts.

Many small golf clubs may have to shuffle the responsibly of sales to the general manager or additional full time staff. This can be a challenge considering the volume a typical golf department and club restaurant will see during their peak seasons.

Add in the fact that we as an industry have a shrinking population of golfers to pull from combined with some basic sales stats and it can be a real challenge to drive memberships in a season. Regardless of your current structure, knowing where your leads are coming from and being able to measure your ROI on the ones that deliver are keys to reinvesting into the appropriate marketing channels.

80 percent of sales

One could hardly argue that the best source of membership prospects come from current, happy members. Let’s assume for arguments sake that your sales person is asking for referrals. But how do we compound and capture this information?

I have seen members hang onto valuable prospect information, many times stating to me, “Let me work on him first and then I’ll have him call you.” We’ve all been in this scenario. And to the seasoned sales professional, we shake our heads as we see the member trying to start and end the sales cycle on their own. Many times they come back and say “he’s not interested”… and you never even had a chance.

So how do you get the prospect information from the member without seeming too pushy?

Another lost opportunity for prospect leads and member referrals are golf guests. Very often I am in conversation with a prospect and they tell me that they’ve golfed at the course a few times. How frustrating is it to know that there have been multiple opportunities to engage the prospect as a guest yet no process to capture their information for a systematic follow up!

The members only Ridge Club Golf Course in Sandwich, Massachusetts offers a classy Clubhouse with private dining and meeting spaces overlooking a beautiful fairway. Corporate events, private functions, and weddings all take advantage of this charming Cape Cod venue. (Photo by Whitney J. Fox Photography)


To be continued….