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July 17, 2014

Mike Brooks: Commit to Sell Equipment as a Group

mike-brooksMike Brooks, is the Certified PGA General Manager/Director of Golf at the Eagle Landing Golf Club in Orange Park, Florida.

Mike Brooks on the importance of committing to sell equipment as a group:
Since my taking over at Eagle Landing in August of 2013, I quickly realized the potential opportunity we had to try and sell more equipment. As a semi-private facility, one key factor we had going for us was that we had one of the better practice facilities in the area, which attracted plenty of potential customers besides our member base. So we decided to try and use it to our advantage. Stocking and selling hard goods had not been done at all by my predecessor, so we had our work cut out for us. We put together a plan that involved three parts. First, we utilized our vendor management discounts and got local reps more committed in our partnership. Second, we got up front commitment by bringing in more demo/fitting carts and equipment for guests to touch and try out. And finally, and most importantly, practiced – as a group – continual daily commitment to interact and always try to close a sale with the potential buyers through fitting help. Additionally, we hosted two multi-vendor demo/fitting days this season that featured four vendors, each of which had a launch monitor. We advertised in the local papers, sent out numerous e-blasts and also handed out fliers to the golfers at check in.

Mike Brooks on the business impact of committing to sell equipment as a group:
The first demo/fitting day was on February 15 and was very successful, doing $7,000 in sales. The second towards the end of our season on April 25 helped us do an additional $9,000 in sales. The biggest selling point we pushed to the customers was price; not only do we beat all the big box stores pricing every day by 10-15 percent, but you get to hit balls outside to see actual results. We also accepted trade-ins of old equipment as another added bonus. We took the position that overall sales or total sales were more important than what we made per sale. This has also led to a lot more realized income in other areas by building relationships, such as lesson revenue and sales in other areas of the shop. So far in just eight months we have sold $14,000 more in golf clubs alone than they did the entire previous year combined. And that doesn’t even take into account the other incidental sales along the way. So as a group, reinvesting in a total commitment to selling equipment, and offering the best fitting options have paid dividends. Not only do we bring new equipment to the clinics we offer and of course the private lessons, we make sure to try and spend a few minutes with anyone who would like to try any new equipment. This ensures that not only do we provide a much better member/guest experience, but it also helps to close the sale. This also makes sure we have gone above and beyond in our commitment to leave no stone unturned in selling new equipment, which in today’s market is what it takes to stay competitive.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email mbrooks@palmergolf.com