As teachers of golf, what are we selling? Lessons or Better Results?

Ian James, a consumer behavior analyst, now focusing on the golf industry as CEO of RetailTribe says it best. No one wants to buy lessons! He’s right!

Think about your current efforts to stay fit or lose a few pounds… Does the workout INSPIRE YOU? How about the diet? Does that INSPIRE YOU? How about walking right past the soda machine to get a drink of water? Does that INSPIRE YOU? If you’re honest, your answer to all of these questions is a resounding “No!” The process of becoming more healthy is not what brings the inspiration, it’s the RESULT. The outcome of looking better, feeling better and maybe living longer (the result) is what inspires these changes in behavior.

If you’ve heard of the “CrossFit” model of fitness training, you may be aware of what actually makes this program work for many adults. It’s certainly not because it’s easy or cheap. I believe it works because it’s a social model. Those I have met who are doing or have done CrossFit say they don’t actually enjoy working out (really?), they enjoy working out with friends. Golf is the same way. Nearly 8 in 10 golfers play the game so they can spend time with their friends or family.

In terms of golf: Lessons don’t inspire, they are merely a way for a committed golfer to go from where they are as a player to where they want to be. Instead of selling lessons, let’s start selling results. Here are some examples:

  • “Break 100 Every Time” (A 10 Week Social Learning Series)
  • “Lose the Slice, Find the Fairway” (A four-week Social Learning Series)
  • “Blast the Bunker Blues” (A three-week Social Learning Series)
  • “8-10 More Yards…and More Fairways” (A four-week Driver-Intensive Social Learning Series)
  • “Get Up & Down Three More Times Every Round” (A four-week Social Learning Series)

In addition to results, we need to sell relationships.

Some of you have heard my spiel about our golfers, customers and members. (Frankly, it’s true about us golf professionals too.) The top three reasons why people choose to play a given round of golf (or would be inspired to play another round of golf) are:

  1. They want to hit more good shots, less bad shots
  2. They want to have fun with friends (or make new friends)
  3. They want to shoot their lowest score ever, or shoot a better score than last time

Notice items #1 and #3 are about results, while #2 is about relationships. Please go back up to the bullet points about results. Now go to the explanations in parentheses and see how the subtitle is promoting the relationship (a social learning series) after it promotes the value of results.

The hope is to promote both results (performance) and relationships (social) to the majority of our customers and members. In the second image, Ian James of RetailTribe, shows the two key factors that matter most in the “Demand Decision” each customer makes when they choose whether or not to invest their time and money.

Hopefully, this very simple concept will change the way you and your team(mates) are looking at 2015 and the programs you’re going to offer to inspire and engage your customers/members in player development. I also hope you might give me the chance to help you in your planning, development and promotion in 2015. Here’s to a great season of new success from a new focus on results (performance) and relationships (social).

Monte Koch, Certified PGA Professional/Player Development
Player Development Regional Mgr/Mentor**
PGA of America (Greater Seattle/PacNW PGA Section)
Email:  Cell: 206/335-5260