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May 5, 2016

Suzy Whaley: Change Your Marketing to Increase Program Participation

SuzyWhaley11Suzy Whaley, the PGA of America vice president and the 2007 Connecticut PGA Section Teacher of the Year, is the PGA director of instruction at Suzy Whaley Golf in Farmington, Connecticut.

Suzy Whaley on the importance of changing your marketing to increase program participation:
Thinking up great events for your facility, membership, and community is one thing. Getting people to show up is another. One of the best things you can do to spur attendance is to alter your marketing, stressing the value statement first and then selling the “how” and “what.” Traditional outreach typically starts with the “what,” followed by the “how” and then the “why.” That leaves many walking away before the program even starts. Instead, let’s grab their attention quickly instead by putting the value first! So for example, an outreach using the new approach could say something like: “Are you sick of three-putting? Come and join your friends to learn with ____ (professional’s name) on how to quickly shave shots off your score! After you grab a beverage, meet us on the putting green each Tuesday afternoon at 5! We look forward to seeing you there.“

Suzy Whaley on the business impact of changing your marketing to increase program participation:
The change had a huge payoff for us. Our Tuesday putting clinic classes (costing $35 for a 60-minute session) used to get only five or six clients using the “traditional outreach” approach. Our new marketing approach has led to sold out classes, waiting lists, and the need to hire more staff and add more classes. Our youth and adult business has more than doubled every year since. Moreover, offering your customers value from instruction and an immediate sense of success will bring them back every time. You will fill your classes, sell more beverages, and create a fun and relaxing atmosphere that is welcoming and relaxed but at the same time leaves them with knowledge to improve.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email suzylessons@comcast.net