THIS IS A SPECIAL EDITION ON THE PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW
Larry Drehs, the 2002 Southern Ohio PGA Section Golf Professional of the Year, 2009 Private Merchandiser of the Year, and 2013 Horton Smith Award winner, is the PGA head professional at the Hyde Park Golf & C.C. in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Larry Drehs on the importance of starting conversations with as many people as possible:
One of the ways I improve myself as a PGA Professional while at the PGA Merchandise Show is to spend about 60 percent of my time starting conversations with as many people — particularly manufacturing representatives — as I can. Many of us go down to Orlando so we can buy merchandise for our shops, attend seminars or network with fellow golf professionals. However, starting conversations with people representing various companies is also an essential way to grow your network. You would be surprised at how many times the conversation ends with the representative saying, “If you ever need anything, just give me a call.” A great place to do this is at Demo Day where you can go around to as many stations as possible and introduce yourself to companies. If you find yourself in a situation where you need something for a tournament or for one of your members, it’s great to be able to call someone you met at the Show and keep that connection going. Titlest and FootJoy are two companies that I love interacting with. All of the booths at the Show are there to make connections, so they are always willing to talk!
Larry Drehs on the business impact of starting conversations with as many people as possible:
You can’t not get better when you talk to manufacturing representatives or other people you meet. Whether it is going to their workshops and jotting down notes or exchanging business cards for future opportunities, this is a great way to grow as a PGA Professional at the Show. We always come away with ideas that are beneficial to the club and range operation, such as a more efficient way to schedule staff; we now have a more structured system that increases employee satisfaction, and that all came from a simple conversation with another person down there.
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