The Scary Angry Sales Rep

Wrote a blog entry about independent golf reps (Hiring Sales Reps – Promises Promises see below) 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.

10 Strange Come-Ons By Creative Candidates

In a recent survey,* hiring managers gave these examples of unusual tactics job seekers used to stand out … not always for the right reasons:

1 – Came dressed in a Halloween costume during a late October interview.
2 – Bought a first-class upgrade to sit next to the hiring manager on a transatlantic flight
3 – Had his wife make homemade lavender soap bars for the hiring manager as a thank you for the interview.
4 – Sent a pair of embroidered socks to HR with a note saying he would knock the company’s socks off if hired.
5 – Showed up in his camp counselor attire with some children from the camp he worked at to show his leadership capabilities.
6 – Sent a shoe with a flower in it, plus a note saying: “Trying to get my foot in the door.”
7 – Arrived to the interview in a white limousine, an hour early, dressed in a three-piece suit. (The open position was middle-wage and had a casual      dress code.)
8 – Kissed the hiring manager.
9 – Wore a tie that had the name of the company on it.
10 – Mailed the hiring manager an envelope with cash inside.

Ok I agree. These methods are pretty kooky and “over the top”… my personal favorite is #10.

That being said, you’ve got to give credit to the candidate who’s unique and stands-out albeit in a professional manner.

There’s nothing worse then sitting through another boorrring interview where the candidate gives rehearsed blah, blah blah answers to well thought-out questions.

They may look great on paper and say all the “right” things but lack pizaazz, spunck or fire in the gut!

Give me the girl/guy who’s creative, comes across as competent and maybe throws-in a little sense of humor.

Again, the above examples may be over the top but I’ll take the candidate who stands out from the pack (within reason of course) any day over “average”.

*Careerbuilder Survey

Interview – Stick to the Damn Plan!

I’m at the vet with my dog prepping her for a dental cleaning…Greyhounds have the smelliest breath!

While in the vet’s lobby, a dog rescue volunteer walks in with a “beaten down” pup, shaven, eye partially closed and skin looking pretty bad. Obviously the poor guy was in bad shape but despite his physical ailments. was playful and cute. I immediately fell in love with this little nugget (a 65 lb. American/English Bulldog mix). I asked the volunteer a couple of questions about him, gave my new friend a pat on the head and big hug and went on my merry way.

Throughout the day I couldn’t stop thinking of this poor pooch and wanted to help. No way could I adopt him with two aging, jealous and demanding canines already at home but at the very least I could make a donation and help with his medical bills.

That night told my husband and daughter about the dog interaction I had earlier in the day and wouldn’t you know within an hour we convinced ourselves that my daughter needed to adopt the Bulldog as a companion for law school in Brooklyn. What???

What does this cockamamie dog story have to do with golf employment? I didn’t stick with my initial plan (making a donation) and found myself in a deeper commitment that, as it turns out, was not the best fit for my family’s needs.

This scenario plays out in interviews as well.

One of the toughest department head positions to fill at a club is Food and Beverage Manager.

Why? Because F&B candidates have such diverse backgrounds it’s tough finding the “perfect fit” for your club. For example, a candidate walks in with tons of experience as a chef. Her priority is to meet production needs while your main concerns are employee management and purchasing and waste.

That’s a crummy match!

When conducting an interview one must have a plan of hiring priorities and stick to those priorities throughout the interview. The candidate’s background and skill-set must parallel your priorities. If he/she doesn’t “fit” move on. Stick to the plan. Avoid deviating from the needs of your club during the interview.

Hone your interviewing skills with quality club candidates by posting an ad on GolfSurfin.com. Click here to get started.

GolfSurfin.com Cleans House, Purges Database

This week we deleted over 12,000 e-mail contacts in our Golf Course Database.

Why?

Because useless e-mail contacts, ones who haven’t opened job ad blasts for over 3 months, are worthless to our customers.

They”re done, gone, kaput!

We rather have quality contacts, those employed in the golf industry who actually open and read our email blasts, then tout large numbers of worthless email addresses.

Why do they open our messages?

We’ve been filling golf jobs for over 16 years. Our contacts know our service is fee-based for employers so there’s no BS (pardon the French) job postings…they’re real and immediate opportunities.

Additionally, we never sell our contact data and only send out fresh, new information.

To post your ad and get actual openings/views from the golf industries finest in Club Management, Membership, Accounting, F&B, Chefs, Catering, Outside operations etc…click here to get started.

 

Local Cobbler Bangs-Out Stellar Customer Service

I don’t post a lot of stuff on Facebook: usually a special occasion, picture or experience.

A few months back I shared a story about a memorable experience I had, and always have with a local shoe cobbler.

The cool part of my share is that ton’s of fb friends commented on the same “warm and fuzzies” when they walked into the store proving once again it doesn’t matter what or to whom you’re selling…people love to be treated special and notice the effort!

Here’s my original fb post:

“Most of the time we make others aware of negative service/product experiences. I wanted to share a positive review of a local shoe repair store I’ve been using for years, Sunset Cobblers. Every time I walk in the guy at the counter (don’t know his name), is pleasant and friendly. He often suggests repairs with a cheaper solution or no charge at all. They usually play opera music in the background and regardless of the amount of customers on line, he always gives adequate time and attention to everyone. Would be nice to patronize more small businesses with personalized service and, when we do, spread the word!”

Why am I blabbing on about my local cobbler?

Because the “theme” of great service should play a major part in just about any service related interview!

When interacting with candidates ask yourself does this person make me feel at ease, is he/she positive, relaxed. Does this candidate give yu the “warm and fuzzies” or “hebee jeebies”? In other words, can this candidate bang-out great customer service?

Whether your hiring an independent golf rep or club manager, the candidate needs to demonstrate a “Cobbler-like” skill set.

If you’re not feeling it during the interview…move on…don’t settle!

Find “Cobbler-like” golf candidates by posting your ad at https://www.golfsurfin.com/rates.

 

Has your club board/committee run amok?

Management turnover within a golf club can be a serious, (and in many cases), chronic problem.

Why? Because after 3-4 turns of a General Manager the club’s reputation gets tarnished and no decent candidate will then touch the job with “a 10 foot pole”.

A common cause of GM turnover occurs when committees/board members “run amok” with management responsibilities.

Here’s how the tale unfolds.

A board or committee is made up of “A-type” personalities who excel in their respective jobs yet have absolutely no clue on how to run a golf club. They hire a new manager without giving him/her much help or clear guidelines. Eventually the GM finds himself in a power struggle with one of the committee members…a battle the manager almost always loses typically with walking papers in-hand.

Moral of this story…when a Club Manager is hired he should have free reign to run the club as he sees fit. The new manager should be able to flex his “strategic muscle” based on his experience and knowledge. A disgruntled or ego bruised board member has no place in a manager’s decision making process!

If your club is in the market for experienced golf club management candidates, post an ad at
https://www.golfsurfin.com/rates

 

Low Sales Ad Response Rate…Why?

Received an email from a customer who wasn’t satisfied with his response rate from an ad he placed on our job board for independent sales reps and asked me to review it and give my feedback.

His ad was pretty typical of one that doesn’t work so well for golf sales recruitment. And here’s why.

It boasted strong company brand recognition in other markets, not golf, then listed responsibilities and qualifications required for a the position plus no compensation details.

If I were an experienced golf rep no way would I inquire about carrying this product. Why? Because there’s nothing in it for me.

The worst advice I could give to a golf company looking to build an independent sales force is to make the ad all about them and nothing about the rep.

The best advice I can give for writing a great sales ad is to write as if you’re the salesperson. List facts and features that make your product/service unique to the golf marketplace and most important HOW WILL THE REP MAKE $$$ WITH YOUR LINE period!

If you’re ready to write an effective ad and distribute it to the right audience, post now at https://www.golfsurfin.com/rates.

Dawn Schlesinger
ChiefGolfJobologist
Phone:  305-663-7153
Email: dawn@golfsurfin.com

 

Holmes vs.Watson…Which Interview Style Are You?

Let’s face it, effective interviewing skills for golf club positions are similar to those used by detectives.

The two most notorious investigating duo with distinct styles are Sherlock Holmes and sidekick, Dr. Watson. Holmes and Watson make a great team yet have very different interviewing techniques.

Which interviewing style describes you?

Watson is the nice guy, “voice of reason”. He typically asks elementary (no pun intended) questions and conducts a basic interview. His conclusions are based on the obvious and he sometimes misses important clues.

On the other hand, Holmes goes the extra mile. He is clever, prepared and deductive.

If Sherlock Holmes was interviewing a GM candidate for his golf club, how would he set the tone and build rapport?

Here are a few “Holmeslike” rapport building suggestions/techniques:

  • Take your Seat (in a position of power) – Remember you’re the employer therefore should be in the position of power…it sets an “I’m in charge” tone from the start. If conducting interviews outside your office in conference room for example, sit at head of table. Have candidate sit to your right.
  • Body Mirroring – when you mirror the candidates body movements, naturally not forced, you’re putting them at ease. Even mimicking the candidate’s speed of speech will increase their comfort level. Increased comfort level builds rapport and lowers candidate’s guard.
  • Use Candidate’s Name – Be sure to use a candidates name at least a couple of times throughout the interview. But careful…overuse has the opposite effect. May come across as rehearsed, not authentic.
  • Discuss other Stuff First – Begin the interview with discussion of candidate’s hobbies, referrals, sports, awards, achievements etc.. Make the candidate comfortable before getting into the “meat of the matter”.

Once you start getting better at implementing rapport building “Holmeslike” techniques, your candidates will sing-like-birds unveiling valid information for you to make the “right” hire.

And cut down on turnover.

Visit GolfSurfin.com’s Golf Candidate “Blast” for Golf Clubs & Resorts for information on on our stellar golf club candidate recruiting service.

Hiring Sales Reps: Promises, promises…

Familiar scenario?

You’re trying to build a sales force in the golf industry with independent reps and have a solid product/service offering. All you need is a handful of passionate sales people to “spread the word” so you proceed to interview golf reps.

Here are some of the promises typically heard during an interview:

  • rep makes pitch on phone, sounds good
  • makes promise to sell your product to his/her green-grass, off course accounts…it’s a no-brainer
  • boasts about golf relationships and stellar track-record
  • name drops sounding so credible no need to call his/her existing customers or references

You go ahead and send samples to this new “Zig Ziglar” who agrees to represent your line. She proceeds to tell you how great your product/service looks and she’ll be sure to give your company ample time during her “Spring Run” then…silence!

Thirty, sixty ninety days go by and no word from your new rep and multiple calls/messages you left with her haven’t been returned. Reality sets-in; time and money spent on this new hire was all for naught.

Finding effective independent golf reps is a tough job yet one that’s needed to help launch new product offerings and increase sales.

Check-out GolfSurfin.com‘s Sales Rep Packages here or contact me directly to get a “jump-start” on building your independent rep sales force.