Golf To Win Business on a Budget

David E. CollinsBy: David E. Collins
Director of Sales
Eagle Creek Golf Club

You have to build relationships, so why not use golf? Most business professionals who are in the financial planning business, real estate business, insurance business, or any other consumer-based business cannot justify treating every client and/or prospect to a round of golf. But they need to get in front of a lot of consumers to be successful. The following are a few secrets about using golf to accomplish this objective (even if you happen to have a healthy expense account, there will be some ideas that will help).

Organize a One-a-Month Golf Outing
Once-a-Month Golf Outings are great for businesses that are geared toward local consumers such as financial planners, real estate agents, insurance agents, accountants, golf professionals, bankers, general contractors, attorneys and retailers. They allow these business professionals to spend time with their clients, prospects and friends in a relaxed setting without spending a lot of money.

Most golfers want to play in events that are organized, fun and safe. They want to show up at the club, play golf, but not be responsible for organizing the event. They do not mind paying if it is not an infomercial for the business professionals who organized the event. This is the definition of fun. If you do not mention your business until asked, involve both Mr. and Mrs. Jones, and make it affordable, you will be successful at starting and cementing relationships that may evolve into business opportunities.

The best method of starting these types of leagues is get together a group of non-competing business professionals who are interested in attracting the same types of clients.

A good short cut is starting a group from the members of civic organizations you belong to. Each member of the group is responsible for procuring some number of participants and donating a specified amount of money for the prize fund. It is a good idea to purchase gift certificates from any retailers and restaurants that participate in the event. As you can imagine, the sky is the limit when it comes to procuring players. If a group member is not keeping up with the others in procuring participants, you need to replace him or her in the organization. It is a good idea to invite a golf professional who is interested in building his or her lesson business because he or she will be the expert running the event. Help your golf professional by setting up a system for when you are talking to a novice who seems interested, but is not comfortable with his or her game. Try to get him or her out for a lesson with the golf professional. In turn, the golf professional’s job is to get the novice comfortable enough to come out and play in the events. Again, you are introducing someone to the game of a lifetime, and chances are earning loyalty to your business.

Speaking of running an event, make sure you make it novice-friendly and not too competitive. Use beginner rules along with a scramble format. If you find that you have a group of players that wants a little more competition, run two events a month: one friendly and one competitive. Once you have gotten the basic outing going and successful, you can add a few other events such as a nite lite golf event or a putting contest. When an event is successful and you have happy participants, the sky’s the limit.
 

 

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