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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

Interview – Secrets of a Con Man Part I

You may be thinking why in the world would anyone want to interview like a con artist.

They cheat, lie and steal and overall have more then a bad rap – they’re just plain bad people.

That’s what I thought too until I stumbled upon a list of strategies and techniques used very successfully by con men/women.

Con people are exceptional at the art of persuasion.

And who better to use these techniques in a positive, legitimate manner than candidates applying and interviewing for golf jobs.

Now if this sounds like a bunch of b…s… to you, stop reading right now.

However, if you’re a bit unconventional and open to learning new persuasion techniques that may very well improve your chances of scoring the perfect golf gig, read on.

In this post, Part 1, we’ll cover 4 important secrets that can help you ace an interview and land a great golf job.

Con Artist Select #1 – Find out what a company wants and figure out a way to give it to them

If you can uncover what your potential employer needs or a problem they’re facing (a “pain”) and you can help solve that problem if they hire you, you’re golden. The fact that you’re even discussing their problems puts you way above the competition.

Con Artist Secret #2- Choose the right mark

The right mark for our purposes is the hiring manager. As most of us know by now the hiring manager’s name, tile, work history and interests can be found on Linkedin, company websites, job postings etc… Once your mark is uncovered, research something about them i.e. where they went to school, hobbies, interests, charities anything that can align you with the decision maker before and during an interview. This is why our White Glove service works so well. We blast a concentrated copy of your resume directly to decision makers in the golf industry.

Con Artist Secret #3 – Listen don’t talk (yet)

This the probably the most valuable secret to use in any sales scenario especially if you’re selling yourself. Listen to what the employer is saying. What went wrong with the last person they hired? What are they looking for now in a candidate? What do they want to achieve, acquire or accomplish in their department, company or club? The best way to uncover this information in an interview is to ask good questions and let them talk.

Con Artist Secret # 4 – The foot-in-the-door trick

“Sticking one’s foot in the door” means to ask someone for something small. Ever walk by kiosks in the mall and the young girls and guys hocking soaps, creams of perfumes or whatever typically ask you a question? They’re trying to lure you slowly into buying their product one small step at a time. For our purposes, I think a similar technique is applicable at the end of an interview. Qualifying questions like “How do I look compared to other candidates you’re interviewing” or “Do you think I’m qualified for this position?” or “Do you think I’m a good fit for this opportunity?”.  Most interviewers will respond positively and the beauty is once they commit to you verbally, they become more committed to you psychologically. The mere fact that you’re qualifying them puts you above the competition. I cant tell you how many strong candidates with tons of experience and accomplishments are either afraid or neglect asking for the job.

There are actually 43 con artists secrets. I’m only taking the ones I think are applicable to job hunting and will review more in my next post.

You can view them all here.

P.S. Ready to apply some of these interviewing tips? Check-out our White Glove service. We’ll package your resume starting with the headline explaining Why You Should be Hired…in a quick, easy-read format then send it directly to the “right” marks..golf job decision makers.

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