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Take advantage of salespeople who call on your shop

Came across an article written in 1977 for Golf Business magazine titled “Take advantage of the salesmen who call on your shop”. Btw should now be titled “salespeople”.

The article gives a “birds eye” view of the trials and tribulations of a golf sales rep in “olden times”.

Thought it would interesting and valuable to compare the sales process today vs. yesterday.

We contacted a slew of current, solid golf reps and asked them to read the article then give their opinions on what they believe to be the biggest changes now vs. selling then.

Here’s what they said:

Buyers are unqualified – Gone are the days when golf pros owned their own shops. Today plenty of shops are staffed by under qualified employees, poorly maintained and merchandised and overall, unappealing to the buyer. Golf reps today must be product experts, know their accounts and educate the buyer. The most important task for today’s rep is to build customer rapport and figure-out which product will sell in each particular shop. Learning buying habits of club members is crucial!

Reps need to be picky when choosing lines – Buyers today don’t have lots of time and patience to spend on new product introduction. Typically this gives the rep time for maybe 2-4 new product/service presentations so the rep has to be smart and creative in what’s shown to the buyer. A big problem these days is golf reps carry too many lines. Some carry 10–15 lines. Unfortunately they throw as much product at the buyer as possible to see what sticks. This approach “waters down” the sales person’s credibility leaving a pissed-off buyer and manufacturer!

Golf sales reps have always had to be knowledgeable, honest and creative even back in the 70’s when the average price of a new home was $49,300.00, a gallon of gas cost 65 cents and a shiny new BMW 320i set one back around $8,000.00.

Current times are much tougher.

Green grass pro shops are up against on-line venues and big box stores making it nearly impossible to compete on price. Not to mention the overall health of the industry – shrinking since the glory days of Tiger Woods.

Reps today need to work smarter, prioritize the customer’s needs and be product “picky”. And for all you club pro shops out there with seasonal/temporary help, take advice from your loyal sales rep!

Although times have changed, some challenges remain the same.

Dawn Schlesinger
Chiefgolfjobologist
Dawn@GolfSurfin.com

Two ways golf employers screw-up hiring

There are so many ways golf companies and clubs screw-up hiring good, solid candidates.

We’re going to address two of the most common hiring faux pas.

One:

Poorly Written Job Ads 

So many ads are written with the employer in mind – primarily focused on what they want and need in a candidate. Reality Alert…good candidates don’t give a hoot about what the employer wants at the beginning stage of a job search.

In today’s applicant pool, it’s a buyers market. Typically quality candidates already have a job and are looking around for something better OR they have multiple companies wooing them with opportunities. These candidates want to know “what’s in it for them?” Scratch the robotic verbiage about the company and/or product and replace it with the exciting and unique story about your company and open position.

Two:

Bad Job Ad Promotion

Job ads, particularly in the golf industry, are seen on free boards. Some are industry specific, most are not. Employers don’t seem to care about quality. Their mantra is ‘the cheaper the better” when it comes to recruiting. Here’s the problem with over-promotion on the wrong job boards. The employer usually ends-up with a slew of unqualified candidates or worse, hires the wrong candidate from this “dead pool” just to fill the job. Six to eights months down the road the not so new hire leaves usually creating havoc on her way down and the position becomes available again.

Ugh…not good.

Lesson here learned is not so earth shattering yet golf companies continue to make these same mistakes time and time again.

Next time you have to fill a position or if you currently have an ad that’s not really cutting it, think about why your company/product is great, why you’re passionate about working there and and why it’s unique place to be employed. Then tell the story in your ad. Next, figure out which job board/boards appeal to the type of candidate you need even if it costs a bit. It may be the best investment you make all year!

Dawn Schlesinger

Chiefgolfjobologist

Dawn@GolfSurfin.com

PS. GolfSurfin.com is the #1 job Board for golf

PSS. GolfSurfin.com a has a loyal following of candidates who either work in the golf industry or by those who want to break in to golf .

PSSS. Click here to post.

Companies with head in sand lose customers and sales reps

Was talking with a friend about a tennis pro who was coaching a huge named player on the ATP tour. Couldn’t believe how little this coach was being paid for his time. His weekly salary was comparable to that of a wallpaper hangar. No diss intended to wph’ers just making a point.

Got me thinking about the Matt Kuchar saga.

In case you haven’t heard, Kuchar played and won a golf tournament in Mexico, the 2018 Mayakoba Classic. His regular caddie couldn’t make it so he used a local guy named David Ortiz from a local club.

Kuchar won the tournament (first win in 4 years), and a grand prize of $1,296.000 of which Ortiz received $5000.00.

That’s .0039% of total winnings!

PGA Tour caddies typically get 10% of earnings, expenses paid and bonuses if their player finishes within the top10.

That’s bad.

Not only was it a measly pay-out but a really poor look for Kuchar, his “brand” along with his agent Mark Steinberg the worlds premier golf agent who also happens to manage Tiger Woods.

It gets worse.

Social media blew up calling Kuchar ”el cheapo”, jackass and worse yet he continued to hold his ground not budging from his defense.

Adding insult to injury, when asked about the evolving debacle Kuchar’s response was “I certainly don’t lose any sleep over this”.

Ouch!

Eventually Kuchar caved-in and paid Ortiz $50,000 plus an additional donation to charities in the Cancun area.

By denying the problem and defending his actions, Kuchar created a PR mess that could have long lasting negative effects on his career.

The point here is golf manufacturers help drive sales and create staying power by listening to customer and/or sales force complaints, admit when they are wrong, are open to change OR better yet, fix the problem.

Companies who make promises they can’t keep or slack on quality control or have chronic difficulties with recruiting and “high” turnover or struggle with brand recognition, don’t last very long in the golf industry.

These are the same organizations who are closed minded and get defensive or “ghost” when complaints appear…a recipe for disaster.

Instead be smart, listen and adapt.

Oh…one last thing…if you’re fortunate to have a few great salespeople or two on your team, treat them like gold!

It’s very difficult to recruit and keep honest, hard working independent golf reps. The good ones will “work their buns off” for you and become loyal brand ambassadors if treated fairly.

Speaking of recruiting, if your company needs sales talent exclusive to the golf industry check-out details below regarding our recruiting services.

Dawn Schlesinger
Chiefgolfjobologist

#1 question to ask in a sales interview

After working in the golf recruiting biz for so long – approaching 20 years – and helping countless companies with their sales recruiting needs including independent reps, I’m constantly being told about the trials and tribulations of finding and keeping good dependable sales people.

Got me thinking.

If I were a golf manufacturer talking to a potential sales candidate to fill one of my territories what would be the most important interview question to ask?

After much thought and ponder, cause so many topics running through my head like past production, tenure in a territory, account base, personality, reputation, existing lines etc., etc., I came to a conclusion.

If I had to narrow it down to one question it would be the following:

“Where does or would my line stand in priority to everything else she/he is selling?

In other words, if a rep carries let’s say 3-5 lines including a major one (a top tier brand), does she present that top brand first OR does she ask the customer permission to start with other products/services. If given permission, where does my line “fit” on the priority list? Depending on the answer I can determine if my line is or would be receiving sufficient time and consideration from a buyer.

Again there are countless questions and concerns to discuss with a potential new hire and the better prepared and in-depth your inquiries are, the more valuable info you’ll uncover to help make the best hiring decision for your company.

Once you have your questions lined-up and ready to go you need to find candidates interview.

An awesome place to source golf sales pros is through GolfSurfin.com.

Why?

You get to post your ad on the #1 job board for golf and breeze through our resume database full of qualified sales candidates from the golf industry.

Ready to take a shot? Get started here.

Dawn Schlesinger
Chiefgolfjobologist

GolfSurfin.com’s 2018 PGA Show Sales Rep Promo

November is filled with thoughts of falling leaves, pumpkins, hot apple cider & the PGA Show Sales Rep Promo…

It’s here!

Post your ad on the #1 job board for golf and reach thousands of qualified, experienced independent golf reps at a discount!

This is the only discount we’re offering in 2018.

Don’t be a turkey and ignore a chance to fill open territories at a discount.

Gobble it up now! Details below. Offer ends soon***

GolfSurfin.com’s PGA Show Sales Rep Promo

Package includes:

  • 90 day ad on job board
  • access to resume database
  • exposure to sales candidates who live and breathe golf
  • “Blast” to coveted golf rep database (over 4K contacts)
  • social Media exposure
  • one-time fee $329.00 – 15% discount

To get started click here, choose either Sales Rep Blast Package (state OR nationwide) and use discount code PGAPROMO at check-out.

***Offer ends January 21, 2019

 

GolfSurfin.com’s – It’s baaaack – the scary angry sales rep

Sent this email before yet it’s a chilling reminder to beware of blood sucking, time wasting, money depleting candidates who lurk behind fancy resumes and howling bravado.

It all started when I wrote a blog entry about independent golf reps (Hiring Sales Reps – Promises Promises) who make empty promises to manufacturers. The point of the message was for employers to perform “due diligence” when hiring a rep before wasting time and $$$ on those frighteningly devilish candidates making empty promises.

An angry rep, who’s blood was obviously curdling after reading the entry, responded back that my commentary was offensive AND I should not criticize golf reps in general. In other words “don’t bite the hand that feeds you”.

I was a little spooked at first that a sales person took the time to write such a scathing reply. In fact, he was even upset that I referenced “Zig Ziglar” ( Zig was the selling guru back in the day).

Booo…thats scary angry!

There are many hard working, professional, independent sales people in the golf industry who are trustworthy and do a great job with the lines they represent. I call them Superheroes. They are the good sales guys & girls GolfSurfin.com helps by connecting them with our customers.

The fact is that there are some bad apples, scammers out there who take advantage of golf manufacturers…especially companies new to the golf industry.

Beware. Bad reps come in a variety of disguises:

  • Ghosts or Mummies are the reps you never hear from once they get their samples
  • Ghouls tarnish your brand by lack of customer follow-up
  • Grim Reapers give wrong company information or make false promises to customers
  • The infamous Vampires/Vampiresses usurp all company resources yet never makes quota or significant sales; all they do is complain

To help avoid getting involved with sales Monsters, conduct background checks like:

  • call references
  • customers
  • former employers
  • other sales people
  • check social media etc.

Don’t just accept a good sales pitch that winds up being just that…a good sales pitch.

To connect with sales Superheroes in the golf industry post your ad here.

Dawn Schlesinger

ChiefGolfJobologist

Old school hiring practice “at work”

Was looking to replace a technical manager for my website.

Used a tech job board where you can view the candidate’s resume along with the types of jobs they completed with ratings given by past customers.

These tech girls/guys are independent contractors and work by the job and/or hourly fee. The job board earns a % of what the employer (me) pays the contractor.

Received a bunch of candidates within a couple of days after posting my ad – all had high ratings and job completion rates.

Sounds good right…if everything written is true.

So I practiced what I preach requesting references from each glowing candidate including a contact name and email address.

The majority of candidates responded that everything I needed to know was right at my finger tips listed on their profile page including former project completion, rates and customer reviews*. No need to bother former customers with inquiries from potential employers like me. I’d say maybe 10% of the applicants (3) who applied to my job gave me references. Of those three, one former customer was surprised he was being used as a reference (from this particular candidate) and eager to speak to me by phone.

His surprise peaked my interest.

We talked the very next day. After exchanging introductions and niceties and the conversation kinda went like: I’m surprised Ben (the tech candidate) gave me as a reference because frankly he didn’t do a great job. Ben’s ok for basic work but anything more advanced like app design or writing code forget it – he’s not very good.

Toward the end of our conversation I thanked the Jerry (the reference) for his time and feedback and then asked “…have you used any techs from this site who are good? Yes! Let’s look up his name together on the job board to make sure you get the right guy.”

It was my lucky day and I fortunately asked the right question.

Since then I’ve used Ben multiple times. He’s done a “bang-up” job at a fraction of the cost I was paying my former tech guy.

Point is employing “old school” recruiting methods like picking up the phone and chatting with references is just as valuable today as it was back in the day **.

Not only did I avoid a headache by hiring a sub par candidate l actually found a winner.

Another point.

In today’s world we have technology that often does the busy work for us like ratings and rankings (i.e. Amazon product reviews) sometimes called social proof. I don’t always trust reviews provided by the very same job boards and companies who will profit from my sale. If another source avails itself to help me make a smarter decision, business or personal, I’m going to use it …regardless of whether its “trendy” or not.

If judging a candidate by measures like a solid handshake, eye contact, good phone skills, manners, ability to ask questions and show interest in my company during an interview, thinking before speaking etc. is considered “old school” then I’ll gladly wear the label.

If you’re a little old school too and looking to fill a club position, consider using our Target Search service.

Where vintage recruiting meets technology!

Say your club needs a Chef or Membership Director. We’ll contact just about every qualified candidate actively employed, starting locally and moving our way through out the state, and apprise them of your opportunity via email. It’s tedious work, yet creates results.

It’s budget friendly too!

Check out Target Search details below.

*Beware of customer ratings – I dug a little deeper and found out that tech candidate ratings can be skewed by customers since the customers themselves are rated by the techs and if given low enough ratings, no-one decent will work with the company seeking help. 

**Some club policies do not allow the release of a previous employee’s information. At a minimum, most will provide start and end dates and position titles. If you are not able to get the information you are seeking, you can ask the candidate to provide another reference. 

Magically hire as many golf reps as you need

If you or someone in your company can magically recruit solid sales people without having to deal with issues like brand awareness, demand, quality, delivery, compensation etc then don’t read any further…you don’t need GolfSurfin.com.

However if Houdini is missing from your management team the above issues must be addressed and you probably need our help with recruiting.

And another dose of reality… if your company has failed to address these issues sufficiently, regardless of where you advertise or how much you money you spend recruiting, no one decent is going to apply.

I’ll share a recent experience I had with a customer who was pissed about their ad response…or lack there of.

A fairly new apparel company used our service to recruit salespeople. They needed lots of hand holding with posting their ad and use of our resume database – which is cool by us. In fact in most cases we go the extra mile to insure customer satisfaction because we want you back.In the end, the customer was not happy and wanted a refund. We make no guarantees with recruiting results because too many factors are out of our control…like the issues listed above.

Moral of this story is every company who advertises to hire employees, particularly independent reps, has to explain why they’re product or service is special, how they set themselves apart from the competition, highlight it’s unique qualities and benefits then actually deliver on those promises.

Just because an ad is written and posted on the #1 job board in golf does not guarantee results. It must be interesting and exciting with substance behind the text…not bs.

We’re not magicians.

What we do better then any other recruiting source in the golf industry is get your message out to the best sales talent in golf.

Our offer is pretty simple.

If your company offers a unique golf product/service where reps can realistically make money with your line, we will fill your open territories.

Make sense?

If so, click here to get started.

Recruiting secret used by the best companies in the world

Ever wonder why some companies and golf clubs attract the best candidates like honey to a bee?Sure some may have oodles of expendable income and five star facilities yet, when it comes to recruiting, they also follow unique, innovative recruiting strategies vs. their competitors.Not every golf club/resort has a kick-butt course, clubhouse and/or tons of cash to burn but any club can improve how it attracts candidates.

WHAT IS AN INNOVATIVE RECRUITING STRATEGY 

An innovative recruiting strategy is bold, different, appealing to candidates and separates your club from the pack.Prime example of trying something different is recruiting on niche sites where potential candidates hang (like GolfSurfin.com).Example.Was listening to a show called “Reality Checked” on Sirius radio while walking with my daughter on a beautiful morning in Miami. The talk show starring Amy Phillips, who btw does a dead-on impressions of just about every housewife (my current fav is Dorit from Beverly Hills), discusses the trials and tribulations of “The Housewives” reality franchise on Bravo.Not the most thought provoking tv but entertaining nevertheless if you like watching middle-aged women who supposedly “have it all” experience fighting, cheating, divorce, lying and back stabbing…all the goof stuff.During a commercial break there’s an advertisement for Callaway Clubs.

I was floored thinking what the heck is a major golf equipment company advertising on a reality talk show? 

My guess is they’re trying to appeal to a female audience between 18-60 who probably have lots of expendable cash to throw at new golf clubs.This is a perfect example of a golf company spreading its message (although this specific example is for products it could easily convert to jobs) to a targeted audience.Who woulda thunk.Maybe your club can’t afford advertising on national radio but other unique recruiting techniques include:

  • texting initial interviews (70% of candidates job search on their phones)
  • using videos to show off your club
  • video testimonials from happy employees
  • well written ads for seasonal employees highlighting job flexibility and creativity… now called “gig” employment a hot topic I’ll discuss next time

Some of these ideas may be a little intimidating esp. for “first timers” however they help set you apart from the competition and reinforce the belief that your club is forward thinking and willing to take chances.Another “stand out from the crowd ” recruiting technique that you can start today is firing-up our Golf Candidate Blast service for your clubs open positions.Check-out details here.

Golf Companys – Too busy to find reps

Lots of golf companies have returned from the PGA show following-up with customer leads and potential sales people they may have met at the show…and they’re REALLY BUSY.

Busy with customers, product returns, product info, phone calls, existing customers, existing reps, problems, planning…

They’re too busy to focus on hiring new golf reps and/or replacing the stinky ones.

We hear excuses like:

I placed an ad on a free job board…waiting and see how it goes

My brother’s sister in law’s sister knows someone who may be interested in working with us

Too much going on right now to add more reps

I have no extra time to talk with anyone right now

Waiting to hear back from a couple of good leads

Busy-ness is a form of avoidance.

We distract ourselves from doing what we KNOW will help us in the long term by doing the easy stuff…

whats convenient

the stuff in front of us…

If your goal is to increase sales in 2018

Ask yourself if you’re really too busy OR are you avoiding taking action.

If you want to be smart about recruiting by getting your ad exclusively in-front of over 4000 active golf reps and distributors, post it on GolfSurfin.com.

Click here to get started.