For over 10 years, we’ve worked with an experienced PGA golf professional who has a large, successful golf shop. He also uses his entrepreneurial skills to run a profitable driving range and popular crazy golf business. Each year, to help retain his competitive edge, he makes a point of walking into his shop and pretending it’s his first day in the job. He thinks, “What would I do differently now?” “How can I improve the way the business is perceived?” This routine has led to many improvements across his businesses and helped to avoid stagnation setting in.
Change encourages innovation and the development of new skills that, ultimately, lead to more business opportunities and increased staff morale. If you were to start afresh today, what new things would you implement?
In the last episode of our series, “7 Habits of Highly Effective Sports Retailers”, we’re going left of field and looking at three new ways you can make a difference to your business next year.
Just as you make it obvious to a customer when you offer them a discount, or reward them for their loyalty, incentives for the pro shop team should be transparent and tangible.
Outside of the golf industry, the majority of sales staff rely on commission to boost earnings, and pro shops shouldn’t be any different.
Consider that if staff are paid a higher-than-average wage, they should be expected to hit sales targets. Whereas staff who are paid an ‘average’ wage would likely welcome the opportunity to earn commission.
The bottom line is that employees won’t appreciate free chocolate, or drinks, as much as they’d enjoy earning their rewards, and the extra sales will boost shop profits, too.
If you’re someone who isn’t active on social media in your personal life, you’re bound to have less confidence when using it for your pro shop. However, marketing is essential to moving golfers into the retail sales process and key to growing your business.
Drafting a marketing plan for the year doesn’t have to be onerous. Include ways you can reach customers via your website, social media, email and events. A marketing plan is an opportunity to address gaps in your current communication, and think about how you can encourage golfers to be more engaged and loyal.
Set objectives to entice more members to purchase from your pro shop and keep them coming back. Keep it simple and set achievable goals that you know you can stick to:-
- Rather than spread yourself too thin over social media, focus on the two main platforms where your golfers spend their time - which could be Facebook and Instagram.
- Posts should be varied, relevant and consistent. New ranges in the store, product demo’s, event announcements and behind the scenes stories will all interest your shop customers.
- Look to post 2-3 times a week, at least, and mix things up with a combination of video, written posts and great photos.
Throughout the year, there’s a steady stream of new products coming through the pro shop, many of which require significant technical knowledge in order to be able to talk about them to golfers.
Does your pro shop team really understand the difference between those £65 and £150 golf shoes? Do employees appreciate that soft goods have a bigger margin than hard goods? Do they think about upselling at point of sale? A shop full of knowledgeable staff is a great reason why customers will return time and time again for their golf equipment.
Talk to your supplier brands about additional training sessions for the whole team.
Finally, encourage staff to get more out of Xpos by attending our webinars and free workshops. Arrange a visit from our Systems Training Manager and watch the free video guides on the online Hub at hub.crossovertec.co.uk.
Mark Hopkins on Rewarding Sales Staff
Golf industry expert and Xpos Business Development Director has worked with hundreds of pro shops over the last 20 years. “Most sales personnel tend to be driven by making money and commission can be a great incentive for the right person. I’ve been at a number of golf, and non-golf, sites where the manager ran multiple commission schemes to incentivise upselling, or even simply to just get staff members out from behind the counter.
One site I worked with rewarded monthly targets for the team which were based on profit, rather than turnover. This removed both the desire to discount, as well as the issue where one staff member does work of getting the sale, but the purchase doesn’t actually happen on the day.
Focus and reviewing is the key
When another pro shop noticed that shoe sales were down, the retailer changed the commission structure so that when any sales were made over the current monthly target for shoes, the entire profit went to the staff member.
None of these structures are designed to force staff to sell product that the customer doesn’t want: but they do help to encourage staff to help the customer see the benefits of the next price point up, or adding something extra to the basket. In all of these cases, shop turnover was increased”.