August is National Golf Month, and a lot of business deals have been closed on the golf course. One of Impact’s top advisors has been offering a free round of golf to people he meets at various local trade shows. Below is an overview of how to get in front of people in your area in a unique and creative way.
Why a Golf Event?
- Unique approach – Not everyone wants to attend a dinner seminar, but a lot of people would like an opportunity to play at a high-end golf course.
- Casual environment – You’re catching the attention of people attending an event that they CHOSE to go to. Their guard will likely be down, and they will be more open to having a conversation with you.
- No mailers – This will save you money in the long run.
Location, Location, Location!
- Find a special course, or courses, in your area, and target those as your venues – Most people will jump at the chance to play at an “elite” golf course.
- Meet with the course’s golf pro to find out what day(s) that particular course is slow – Pitch your event to the pro, and let them know that you can bring 20–30 people to the course and will pay for food and tee times for that particular group of people. Most golf courses aren’t going to turn down additional income, especially during their slow times.
- Find a location at the course where you can deliver your presentation – Most clubhouses will have a conference room, dining room, or banquet room where you can host your guests.
- Provide lunch or breakfast for your group – Work with the catering or events team and discuss menu/food options that fit within your budget. When deciding whether to serve breakfast or lunch, keep the course’s slow times in mind and what makes the most sense for the time of year and your geography. No one in Northern Michigan wants breakfast and a 7:30 a.m. tee time in January.*
- Make sure the course will do a shotgun start – This will help you stay on time with your presentation and will also keep the course on schedule for other special groups they may have coming in and can allow them to be courteous to their members.
Where Do I Find Golfers?
- A golf expo – This is the best choice for finding people who would be interested in a golfing event. These expos allow vendors to buy booth space where you can set up a table.
- Senior expos – Many communities host senior expos throughout the year. These typically occur in the spring and may be held at senior centers, community centers, or local hospitals.
- Home shows, Boat shows, and RV shows – Also typically held in the spring, and sometimes in the fall, these shows usually appeal to an older demographic. They likely have money to spend on high-end home remodels and recreational vehicles, and they are also likely looking to have a more carefree retirement.
- Network with high-end car dealerships (Mercedes, BMW, etc.) – Salespeople are often open to providing extras, like a free round of golf, to people who purchase a car.*
- Sponsor golf tournaments in your area – Put a tent on a hole, and hand out water and snacks to attendees. Then mention the free round of golf.
- Make sure your booth is branded – If you have a stand-up banner or tablecloth, use them.
- Have a call-to-action – Display a sign that mentions “Free Golf” and the name/location of the golf course.*
- Use a sign-up sheet to gather the information of the people you talk to – This can help serve as a prequalifying sheet later in your process.
- Set up multiple dates (we recommend four) with the course – Send out an email blast to your new prospects asking them to book their preferred date.
- Invite your new prospects to bring friends – Bringing their own foursome will ensure they aren’t playing with strangers.
- Encourage prospects to bring their significant others – The demographic for this is likely going to be 99% male, so ask if their wives play golf and invite them to be part of the team.
- Give them an additional reason to meet with you – Offer a free portfolio analysis or other perk that will entice them to visit your office.
Establish a Budget*
- Plan on spending $500–$2,000 – The cost of booth space varies depending on the type of show/expo.
- Keep your local gifting laws in mind – Note that states define the amount of a product or service as the “market value.”
- Make it a win-win with the golf pro – You are bringing the course business, but don’t forget to tip the golf professional.
- Plan on 60% of the people in the room setting appointments – That’s an expected average conversion rate.
*Please remember to check your state statutes to understand your gifting limit for each client.
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