Event Magazine Article: The Sales Call
Happens Until Someone Sells Something”
banner hangs in sales offices from Hyatt Hotels to Coca-Cola;
it is in French at Evian and in Spanish at Montecristo Cigars.
As the most important part of marketing a golf course, “Selling
Something” is the start of every transaction, whether you are
increasing memberships or booking a Kiwanis fundraising scramble.
Golf Event Magazine, you’ve seen that one of the most important
aspects of managing a tournament is marketing it.
Planners need more golfers, and golf courses need more rounds,
and marketing is a key part of filling tee-sheets and tee-times.
is made up of Direct Sales, Direct Mail, Advertising, Public Relations
and Websites, but of all the parts of the picture, the only one
that can immediately increase sales and revenue is Direct Sales.
Direct Sales starts with a phone call, yes a “Sales Call,”
to either a new or a current client and inviting that person to
bring a group to your golf course.
step is to get past the phrase, “Sales Call.” Just
the name “Sales Call” evokes pictures of sleazy telemarketers,
calling from a boiler-room phonebank, trying to sell you swamp-view
time-share, usually during dinner. If you want to become
skilled at filling tee-sheets and tee-times, the first bit of
applicable advice is to get over that picture.
that if you use the phone to develop and retain members and golfers
just slightly more than you currently do, you will be able to
fill more tee-times by working proactively. Also,
if you make just a few more calls than usual, you will also be
doing much more than your competition, since they don’t like making
Sales Calls, either!
you start calling out to group planners, it’s always helpful to
remind ourselves that we are representing golf courses and resorts,
a job that most people only dream of! We are not selling
Funeral Plans or Encyclopedias, we’re working with some fun and
exciting destinations, so calling clients to bring their groups
to your course should not be a problem.
effort in a sales call is made up of four key steps:
Develop a Call List: Define a great list of
current and potential clients;
Scripting: Write up a short and effective call script;
Follow-through with information and an easy way for the
client to do business with you.
Make the Calls and Keep Score: Call the list
and measure your results
a Call List:
This is the first step to increasing group sales. First,
research all the old group bookings that have been to your course
and invite them to book or rebook their event at your course.
Most Golf Pro’s who have a Tournament Director assume that every
client gets a follow-up call, but they would be surprised how
rarely a follow-up call is made. Last year, we personally
booked over 50 tournaments nationwide for a national financial
company, each one for 100 players with a huge Food & Beverage
account, and I received a total of 4 follow-up calls.
you have called your current group clients, the next step is to
develop some new group contacts. The single
best way to increase new business is to ask your current members
and golfers to refer you to one of their friends or co-workers
who might bring a group to your course. Other ways to increase
contacts include placing an ad in the members’ newsletter, calling
business cards from a pro-shop promotion, and simply calling your
current members list, inviting them to bring their corporate or
charity event to your course.
a Short and Effective Call Script:
you have a list to call, the next step is to pick up a pen, not
a telephone, and write a call script. The key here is to
avoid “Selling” and focus on two key words: “Introduce” and “Invite.”
The script starts with a 10-second introduction, called an Elevator
Introduction, named for a quick ride in an elevator, where you
might strike up a conversation, knowing you only have less than
10 seconds to introduce yourself.
A sample call script might read:
“Good morning Mr. Jones, my name is Tom Pasha with Quail Covey
Golf Course here in Atlanta. I was calling to introduce
you to our golf tournament program, and invite you to see if there
may be an interest in bringing a corporate golf event here.”
you have a minute to talk about your golf tournament planning?”
The introduction is short and professional and by asking if the
client has a minute to talk, offers the client an option to say
that they do or do not have an interest. If they say
they have a minute, you can be sure they would like to talk to
you, and may have at least an interest in planning an event.
there, you should have a list of features and benefits of doing
business with you. A Feature is the physical attributes
of the course: Length, Layout, Slope, Clubhouse description and
other items. A Benefit is those specific areas that benefit
the planner: Great staff to help with details, a PGA pro
for announcements and introductions, no issues on food, because
of the great catering department and others. Remember that
a Feature describes what the course is, while a Benefit is what
the course can do for the planner.
after you have discussed the Features and Benefits of the course,
ask the client whether there may be an interest from his group.
This is called a Test Close, when you are giving the client the
option of working with you or not. Sometimes the client
will give you a date to book on the first call, most of the time,
the client will want to visit your course to discuss their tournament.
Booking a visit, comping a round if necessary, and discussing
and signing the contract are all steps in bringing the group to
next step is to make the booking process as easy as possible.
Have your available tee-times and group rates handy during your
sales call. Be sure to have a booking agreement, credit
card application, pairings sheet format, menus, a course policy
sheet and all the other information in hard-copy, fax and e-mail
formats. There are many examples of a course losing a booking
because of delays in getting information and paperwork to the
be sure to Keep Score of your sales calls. You might devote
an hour a day looking for new business, and keep a stroke-count
of the number of calls you made, the number of people with an
interest, the number of course visits and the number of new tournaments
booked. You’ll get better at Sales Calls with practice,
and like the game of golf, you only get better if you keep score.
everything, you will get out of the effort what you put into it.
If you make a halfway effort, expect half-way results. If
you are working to fill all 52 Mondays and Tuesdays of your year,
if you work it hard, you have an excellent chance of putting a
big dent in those 104 days, almost one-third of your year.
Most courses would be 80% full if they could fill those two days
every week and you’d be surprised how happy Owners and Members
can be when you are generating incremental revenue without increasing
dues or greensfees.
be able to see how much can happen when “Somebody Sells Something.
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