Communication as a sales tool in the golf industry

It’s no use being very good, having the best product, or the best service if we don’t know how to communicate it. Today we have as a special guest or “blog guest” an illustrious communications expert in the golf industry, Mr. Jose María Ferreira. Always behind the objective, the interview and the advertorial, today he has kindly come out of his backstage, to give his opinion of him in this mini interview on the relationship between communication and sales in this very particular industry.

It’s funny how in most board meetings, the word “luxury” always comes up whenever we try to focus our product on a certain customer profile. We are all drawn to the “premium” segment of any market. Wanting to have it among our client portfolio is very easy, our properties always ask for the ideal situation, volume and average price.

However, the difficulty comes when we ask ourselves what actions and investments we have to take to enter that market. In any sales manual, we are told exactly what the sales process for a product or service is, which, as summarized by Professor Philip Kotler, would be carried out using the A.I.D.A technique. (Create attention that generates interest, and subsequently develops a desire, which finally leads to the action of the sale). There are 5 steps that would be defined as:

Prospecting: Basically it is a survey of our customer database, segmenting them based on characteristics such as: Interests, economic level, sex, age,…
Pre-entry or presentation: Once our total of clients captured from our database has been segmented, we will design a “Taylor Made” presentation, based on the interests of each segment.
Sales message: The message we transmit to our prospects must be defined based on the categorization made a priori and always resolving the doubts that our client has at all times about the product or service in question.
Closing of the sale: It is undoubtedly the moment where we clarify the last details of the process of purchasing a product. Taking the form of a contract with exchange of information by seller to buyer.
Follow-up: Ó “Follow-up”, which will be necessary and with greater intensity during the first month, until our client settles with the purchased product or service.

Even so, all of you could say that this process is common to the different disciplines and sales segments, even if we were selling a vehicle, as a perishable product. However, for a golf course to enter the luxury segment, it will need to take the following actions:

Generate attention: Through a policy of investments in infrastructure and human capital that develops a communication plan with the target to capture the “attention” of the target audience to where we want to go. Without investment in “infrastructure”, “services” and “staff” we will not be able to generate the value that we are seeking to project.
Generate interest: We generate interest when we project services or objects of desire on a client as special as the “premium.” Exclusivity is undoubtedly one of the determining factors that delimit the luxury class from the conventional one.
Generate desire: Service, quality and price go hand in hand to provoke the desire to obtain an exclusive product limited to the social status of a certain segment of society.
Quality service: It is not necessary to have a low volume of staff, much less cut back on our customer service. We have to get the professional profiles we hire right, fully focused on the guidelines of care and excellence.
A matter of detail: The most notable values ​​of any brand survey on hospitality services are about the small details personified about our “premium” customer. It is without a doubt that service that no one gets in any establishment. The pursuit of excellence in customer service.
Staff professionalism:  Leaving a budget in the hands of a team without experience and training is without a doubt, the shortest path to failure. It is of no use to us to have a powerful financial lung without a professional team that branches out into a solid and autonomous management structure.
Generate events of media significance and associate ourselves with a brand of consolidated success: To generate “interest” and “desire” there is no better ally than joining forces with large professional events that help us communicate our brand to a segment that we will subsequently package . as exclusive.

As a briefing, we could say that the key elements to reach the premium segment are: “Exclusivity, service, value and investment.” Achieving a symbiotic harmony between these elements together with a consistent branding policy constitutes the correct direction towards the luxury market of the golf industry.