The old adage, you only have one chance to make a first impression still rings true today. Regardless if you are talking about job interviews, personal relationships, or business situations, impressions are formed within seconds. Once an impression is made, it can be very difficult to change it.
The same can be said for a private club’s first impression when responding to an inquiry from a prospective member. Whether the prospect knows a current member or not, many clubs receive web forms or contact forms from people who are simply requesting information regarding membership.
While there are great examples of how club’s respond or reply to website inquiries, there are many more that are not representative of what a private club should exude. From the messaging to the quality of content, many clubs are not putting their best foot forward during a first impression. Initial responses tend to be more “transactional” in nature versus telling the story of why a prospect should consider joining a club.
Here are some of the observations/mistakes we have seen firsthand:
Disclosure of key financial information upon initial contact - dues, initiation fees and corresponding usage and amenity fees and typically represented in spreadsheet-like tables. This type of communication is received as transactional rather than personal.
Little to no storytelling- creating very attractive marketing pieces that tell the “why” before the “what” is key in making a positive first impression.
Lack of follow-up communications - failing to continue the conversation, one and done email, this one is the biggest misstep for clubs. The proper follow up is critical to continue to engage with those who reach out.
Getting to know as much about your potential customer is key - there is very little effort made to learn more about a potential member. Engaging them with simple questions is a great way to help continue the conversation. Learning what areas of the Club they are most important to them will better prepare you for a customized tour of the club. For example, you won’t want to spend extra time explaining your Junior Golf Program and Couples League to an empty nester most interested joining for the dining and social experience.
Making sure you make a great first impression is just the tip of the iceberg as it relates to your overall marketing position. When seas are calm, it is easy to take things for granted, however, this is perfect time to make sure you have all of your fundamentals in place.
Creative Golf Marketing can perform a marketing evaluation and check up to make sure every aspect of your club’s marketing fundamentals are strong enough to prepare you for whatever the future holds. Right now is the perfect time to take inventory of your membership process – here is a short list of key areas to focus efforts on this season and beyond:
Prospect Communication Strategies
New Member Orientation Guides
Digital Marketing Strategies
Lifestyle Marketing Collaterals Membership Offerings Evaluation
New Member Surveys
If you would like to learn more about our “Membership and Marketing Evaluation and Check Up” contact us today at (800) 526-8794 or via email at email@example.com.