October 28, 2016

Mark Fry: Offer a “Lesson Series” Holiday Gift Certificate

mark-fryMark Fry is PGA Head Golf Professional at the Cascades Golf Course at the Omni Homestead Resort, in Hot Springs, Virginia.

Mark Fry on the importance of offering a “Lesson Series” holiday gift certificate:
Although our facility is a public resort, we do have 300 golfing members. Much of our play is seasonal, so I do most of my teaching in the warmest months. In November 2012, I approached some members to see if they were interested in buying – for their spouse, friend or family member – a series of one-hour lessons from me, with or without video, to give as a holiday gift. The offer is that if they purchase a series of five lessons, the fifth one is free. The certificate, formal in design, is printed on our hotel letterhead for gift presentation. That first year, 14 members bought a holiday certificate. It was then, and remains, about even, with both men and women purchasing the gift lesson series. One family bought certificates for each of their three teenage sons. In 2013, I did it again. More people approached me wanting to buy the gift certificates; I sold in excess of 25 that year.  Some people were repeat customers. The program proved popular once more in 2015 and again so far this year. Now, even though the holiday gift certificates aren’t as much of a surprise as they were at first, recipients appreciate the lessons series and look forward to receiving the holiday certificate each year. Some people give the gift early, so I begin teaching some of the lessons in November. The program provides a source of increased revenue for me in the winter months, and members like the value pricing as well as the creative gift giving.

Mark Fry on the business impact of offering a “Lesson Series” holiday gift certificate:
I sell each “Holiday Series” gift certificate for $400, representing five $100 lessons at a 20% discount. The club receives 25% of my revenue from this program. In 2012, I did over $5,500 worth of business with the series. The second year it was $10,500. The third year, the program was not promoted as aggressively, resulting in a revenue of $4,800; in 2015, it was $5,500. This year, I’ve realized $7,000 so far from the program. It has expanded now from simply a Holiday Series to special events: People give the gift certificates for birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions, so it really is taking off. It’s an opportunity to increase my lesson revenue while building good member relations. Residual benefits for the club include additional revenue from food, beverage and retail sales. Above all, members know I am interested in their playing progress.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email mark.fry@thehomestead.com