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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 .

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