Today on the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast we're talking with Louis Sauer about his really neat golf practice facility.
Now what I want you to notice about this conversation is what I'm always looking for when we're doing episodes... and that's what is the underlying business model?
When you look at today's show, what Louis has is a situation similar to a hotel business. If you think about it, he has available spots in the practice bays at his facility, and if they're not taken, they perish. Just like a hotel room, or a seat on an airplane, or a table in a restaurant… any of those things where you've got an opportunity to have full capacity.
In all these cases, you start to think about how high is high. If I was full all the time, what are we faced with here? What is the potential?
The challenges and opportunities become, how do we maximize this? How do we get as many people as possible to experience it at least once, so we can keep the people who really like what they experienced?
So that's where we started our conversation, and I think you're really going to enjoy where this leads.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 151
Dean: Hello, Louis?
Louis: Hey Dean, how you doing?
Dean: I'm so good. How are you?
Louis: Good. Life is good, other than it's cold and rainy still here in Chicago.
Dean: How do I pronounce your name?
Louis: Louis Sauer.
Dean: Louis Sauer, okay, great. It's little chilly, no golf weather yet?
Louis: We get a day here and there and then, like I mean like records amounts of rain going on so far, but-
Dean: Oh my goodness.
Louis: … it is what it is.
Dean: Well, it's starting to heat up here in Florida.
Louis: Yeah, well you know you're from Toronto, right?
Dean: It's ring.
Louis: You know what springs are like.
Dean: Fall starts and all.
Dean: I'm excited, we get the whole hour here. We're combining two of my favorite things here, golf and marketing. What could go wrong?
Louis: Not much.
Dean: Tell me the story here so far, so I can catch up to where we are and then, we can move forward with whatever you think is going to be the best thing for us.
Louis: Okay, so I've been teaching golf for 20 years. I worked for Jim McLean for eight years. Then, I moved to Chicago or back to Chicago and worked at a Country Club for nine years. Then, five and a half years ago, I opened up an indoor golf studio. At first, it was all built on just, people come in and take lessons whether it’s private or group instruction. Then, they were practicing at my studio when I was there, so they could come in and use a different station while I was teaching someone else. That only worked so long because I wasn't there all the time and then, I started teaching a guy that’s company was a security system. We added a security system, so people could come in when I wasn't teaching or when I wasn't there. I've started to build up a practice club, where it's open seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. We're just trying to figure out how to get the word out more to those people, like my private lessons and stuff like that I mean you probably hear it all the time, I've built up a strong business just from word of mouth. I don't market actively. I mean I tried posting stuff for a while and I just didn't find that hit … Either I wasn't hitting the right buttons or whatever it was.
I just found that working with the people internally that already knew me were a better … I invested more of my time into them than trying to reach outward, which I'm sure you hear quite a bit.
Dean: Of course, yeah. You get this whole … Yeah and I think that you run into kind of the limitations of doing one-on-one stuff, right? It may take longer for you to get full and reach your limit.
Louis: Yes and after doing it for 20 years, you kind of find out what you're capable of and what your students are capable, based on the time that they're willing to commit.
Dean: Yeah, okay, so if we can paint the picture of what we're looking to create, what would be your dream come true, what are we looking for you, what do you see happening?
Louis: Yeah, so I've listened to a bunch of your podcast and then, I was doing a lot of the stuff already on my own, trying to like, “Okay, I have six stations at my studio and they're open 16 hours a day.” I track how many hours are available and how much usage is it. I kind of figured out those numbers.
Dean: You could be rich.
Louis: Yeah and I figured out which … It's taken me a few years to figure out like what's the best price point based on what people are willing to use it. It's sort of like becomes like a gym membership. You get basically 10%, 20% of the people who will use it the most and then, you got people that use it a couple times a month. It is what it is. I guess so what I would like to see is just what are some … I don't have a referral program in place per se, but I mean I do talk to my clients and be like, “Hey, if you're happy here, can you spread the word or whatever it is?” There are other ways that I help them out like, hey, if I have a few extra minutes, I'll spend some extra time with them or I'll send them videos. I'm like, “Hey, this is a part of the golf swing that would help you.” It's not written out, but they are getting extras for helping.
Dean: Described the facility to me. What does that look like?
Louis: We have four TrackMan Launch Monitors, which as soon as you hit the ball, all the data of what the ball is doing goes into a computer system and it tells us why the ball curved the way it did and where it hit on the clubface. Then, in addition to that it takes a video of your swing and allows you to draw lines and say, “Okay, here's where we would like you to be, here's where you are.” You can analyze your swing after you hit. It's much better than going to the driving range and hitting them, having no idea like why the ball sliced and having your buddy tell you to keep your head down or something silly that it just really isn't helpful. Your practice just becomes much more effective because you understand what made the ball curve the way it did and then, how consistently are you hitting the desired distance you're trying to hit it. You're getting much more feedback. Up in Chicago obviously from about now till mid-September, you want to get outside as much as possible. In the summer months, we don't get as many people coming in to practice consistently, but they do come in and check in like once a week and okay, making sure that they're not overdoing something.
Dean: Yes, got it. Do you have the screens like the simulator type things as well-
Dean: … so you can actually like see visually kind of the track of the ball and all that?
Louis: Yeah, you see the track of the ball and the curve of the ball. There's some nice features to it too like you can set it up, so you're playing golf or you can set it up, so that you're practicing golf on a hole. You can practice, “Oh, here's my 30-yard pit shot, here's how big a swing I need to make to make it go up in the air a certain distance.” Yeah, there's a lot of situational training that you can do as well.
Dean: Yeah, oh that's cool. I've got a buddy that's a member at, where Tiger Woods was from kind of. They've got the golf simulator in the lounge there, in the clubhouse. That's kind of a fun thing to sit there, play St. Andrews or whatever.
Louis: Oh yeah.
Dean: A simulator, it's fun, it's kind of cool. You've got four of those and then, you got two other stations?
Louis: Yeah, I have a Foresight Sports, which is also a simulator machine and then, a Science & Motion SAM PuttLab, which analyzes your putting. You put a triplet on the shaft of the putter and it measures the movement. It gives you all the feedback. Everything is designed, so like instead of always having like someone watch you, you get the technology to be your assistant. You're not feeling overwhelmed with like, “Oh, I got to turn this and then, I got to do all that stuff.” It helps, so you're not feeling like someone's always watching, but you also have someone making sure you're staying within your parameters of what you're trying to do.
Dean: I got you and it's simple enough that somebody could go in once they know the moves-
Louis: Oh yeah.
Dean: … of working the equipment, they could go in and set it up and have a practice session themselves unsupervised?
Louis: Correct, yeah.
Dean: This is kind of like and you can have six people in at any given time?
Louis: Yeah or more just like if you and a buddy wanted to just compete in your practice session, you could go on the same simulator. You could play golf, you can practice golf, whatever it is. There is capacity to handle a little bit more, but we try not to have it overcrowded.
Dean: Right, I got it. You're looking to make it like a serious practice kind of facility for people, who are looking to really improve their game more than people who are coming in to play with the simulator or …
Dean: Okay, yeah because you look at what in Chicago if you come over there?
Louis: I think we have two now.
Dean: Yeah. That’s something, isn't it? I mean that's really a smart thing that they did, just bringing that social kind of bowling element to golf in a way, really I mean smart.
Louis: People only have to go for an hour if they want. I mean the time obviously passes quickly. You're having some food and hanging with your friends and few drinks and stuff.
Dean: The funny thing is years ago when they first started coming into the States, I ended up at one of the first ones that they had. The moment I walked out there, I said, “This is going to be on ESPN very soon.” I mean they should see it with all completely built up. Now, of course it is. Now, they've got the Top Golf Tour, where there's people competing in this. It's funny how that's the way we're wired, like as a society it's possible to compete and have rankings, we want to be involved in it.
Dean: How does it work money-wise for you? Do you charge when you do one session for an hour or do they have to buy a membership or how do you work it out?
Louis: From an instructional standpoint, we do an initial lesson, so that they can try it and see how they like it and make sure the things I'm telling them, they feel comfortable with and there's a good rapport there. Then, for lessons, they'll buy either a 10 pack of lessons or if they're in like a junior program, they'll commit to six months of training, which would in group sessions would be two lessons a month and then, a membership to the practice club, where they can come unlimited amounts of times. In terms of practice clubs, they can sign up for a membership and it's a minimum of three months. If it's three to five months, it's 175 a month. If they commit to six months to 11 months, it's 150 a month and if they do a full year, it's 125 a month. That's based if you're having instruction.
Then, from there, I just developed a new program.
Dean: Is there any instruction included in the 170, 150, 125 a month?
Louis: If you're just doing that part, no. That was level one of our practice club and then, I figured out that-
Dean: Yeah, just you come in and use the facility, right?
Louis: Yeah, you just come in and use the facility. Then, I started saying, “Okay, well, there's probably another level to this, where if I design a practice platform and then, I'll review their swings and then, go over the data with them, like check in every week for about 10 minutes with them and go over it.” Then we said, “Okay, let's charge a little bit more and you can be in our Player Development Program, so you get access to our facility-
Dean: I got you.
Louis: I support you now.” I'm now not standing like on the tee all the time, but I'm becoming like a consultant to their game. We just started that because the technology has gotten better. We'll have them use like spreadsheet, so when they write stuff down, I can see where they're at. Then, we just check in and modify their programs where they need to.
Dean: Okay, love it. Then, is there a sort of maximum number of people you could have on that kind of a program or how do you measure when that's at capacity kind of thing?
Louis: That's a great question.
Dean: Yeah, because you've got technically eight o'clock in the morning is not the same as eight o'clock at night. You're going to have much more competition.
Louis: Right, so sometimes we're restaurant busy. From four to eight, it's the kids coming in after school and adults, they finish work. We know that like I said, there's a small amount that will practice every, day but there's a large amount that will practice sporadically. Finding the right number of memberships, I tried to limit it to 80 people at one point and we've gotten up to 80 in our peak season. Then, in the middle of the like summer, it drops down to 40 to 50. I've figured out different ways to kind of incentivize people to come in for like adults. Hold on one second. For adults that don't practice, we gave them a chance to buy a membership for a $1,000 upfront for the year because we just knew they weren't going to use it all the time. They usually come in early mornings or mid-day. That was good.
Dean: That’s great.
Louis: We're finding out these little different ways as long as we stay open, so how do you how do you maximize the facility, incentivize certain people. I think we could have based on … I've always under sold it with the idea that we want to make sure that people are able to get in and it's not an issue. I think based off the numbers we have, we could probably get up to 125 to 150. I have to be smart about who does it, like if I did 150 kids that were trying to be college golfers, it wouldn't work.
Dean: Then, you start to look and almost like program time zones, like if you think about these senior golfers who play during the day. Every area has these people that they play every day, all summer long, it's their thing. The dew sweepers, we have them. The dew sweeper group that plays every morning, first group off the tee kind of thing. They build their day around that, playing golf. That may be an interesting group If you were able to build into it some, where they could come in and work on their game, but also do the simulator and make almost like a league type of thing around it or some kind of socialized stuff around it that I might look at something like that where I don't know whether you get a lot of those seniors in now or are they mostly younger, you have serious golfers.
Louis: Yeah, we have a good range of adult to kids, like one thing I just always I think figured out is like you just don't want to put everything into one basket. We definitely ventured out and tried to figure out how do we get the adults in here. We do have a good amount. We just could get more right and trying to figure out how to get more of the word out and beyond just the, “Hey, can you tell your buddy about us?”
Dean: How would you describe like the interior, the space that you have, is it like a warehouse with these kind of things or is it a lounge type of, like how would you describe this?
Louis: Well, with the simulator bays, you have them carved out, so that they can have the screens in them and then, there's obviously the turf, it's green, so it's everywhere. We have some netting around the putting area and the chipping area. With that we've hung all the places that our kids have gone on to play college golf. It's got kind of a sport fun atmosphere to it. Then, we have music going too, so that like people enjoy their time there.
Dean: Okay, yeah, it's not so utilitarian like workshop with the stuff all set up kind of thing. How many square feet is your facility?
Louis: It's 30,000 square feet, so it's a pretty efficient use of space, yeah.
Dean: I mean it's still good enough, it's not all jammed in there in that?
Dean: No, got it. How many members would you like to add here, like how much capacity do you have?
Louis: I think in the summer like I said it's still trying to find the right kind of hook. I know that the people understand like in the winter, there's not many options, but in my summer, they go to the range. Then, they like come back and they're like, “Oh, I'm hooking it too much.” I'm like, “Well, you got to go practice on the TrackMan, so you can see like was it your path, was it your alignment, things like that.” Getting them to feel more comfortable coming in the summer and just to come in and check in for an hour and finding ways to get people to improve their practice. Then, in the winter, it's kind of easy. It's just things you do. We could have like another 50 members at least I think. Again, it's on me to vet them and say, “Okay, you're going to be a heavy user,” then maybe the number is 25 more customers. It's somewhere between 25 and 50, depending on like, A, what time of the day they're coming in and B, do they want to come in once or twice a week or do they come in five days a week or more?
Dean: Do you have a score card or an assessment that you do with people's normal swing to show what's currently happening and that's got like multiple parts to it that you could show somebody's progress over time?
Louis: I don't put it into a scorecard format, but inside the TrackMan, they have a thing called either the combine or the test center. Let's say that you wanted to work on shots from a 100 yards in, I could set up a test and it would score each one of your shots based on your ability to land the ball at a certain distance. Let's say from 10 yards out, you landed the ball at let's say five yards, well your score might be like a 40, but if you go to a 95 yard shot and you're five yards away, you might get like a 95 because the farther you get away, the bigger the dispersion you have to hit a long shot. It scores your proximity, so you can see how well you are at not only hitting the ball the right distance, but how accurate you are. They’ll get a scorecard in the report that says, “Oh, based on these distances that you hit the ball, your test center scorecard would be, you're a five handicap.” It could be even better, but obviously like, it does give you a score ranking based on your skill.
Dean: Right, I got it. That could be a really interesting thing, where you could create almost like a competition kind of thing, If you set up the parameters of it or whatever, where you've got like a 150 yard approach shot and 100 yard approach shot and a 30 yard approach shot or have a total like the full package, a drive almost like creating a course in a way. You know how CrossFit have like their workouts a day with their CrossFit games.
Louis: Yeah, we do that. Yeah, we create a monthly program for them to hit, so they can compete against themselves, but also compete against the other people in the group. It works better with kids than adults on some stuff, but yeah so we do track their progress and give them a workout for each day that they come in. Some people like to just hit balls and some people like to go through the report. It's just finding that right balance of what is their really goal, is it just hits balls or yeah.
Dean: It could be an interesting thing to have a wraparound it, but to have like some really great prize at the end kind of thing. Because that's what could potentially get people's attention. Where in Chicago are you actually?
Louis: I'm in the north suburbs of Chicago, so town called Northbrook. We're 20 minutes north of there.
Dean: Okay, I know where Northbrook is, yeah, okay. I go to Strategic Coach in Rosemont, yeah.
Louis: Correct, yeah.
Dean: That's a western suburb, right?
Louis: Yeah that's like well probably 15, 20 minutes from here, yeah.
Dean: I got you, okay. When you look at it, you're probably really going to draw just from a close area around that. I can't imagine that you're the only indoor facility in Chicago, so seems like there’s probably other-
Louis: There's probably I think about four to five that I'm aware of. I'm one of the only ones though that has the open seven days a week, six a.m. to late with the security system, the amount of available. I still have that advantage, but the technology is getting more common amongst places. Even like Country Clubs are adding simulator rooms to their facilities and things like that.
Dean: I'm just trying to think because you're not in a situation, where it's like if you added 50 people, then you're literally full, right? You'd be at full capacity in terms of especially in the prime times that's really what your constrain is.
Dean: Because you can't oversell, everybody thinking they're going to be able to come in from between four and eight or nine or whatever.
Dean: That's kind of where some of those time zone things like if you can get the morning slots filled out with the people who are seniors who play every day all summer to have something now for them to go. You know what, they're probably a lot of them are the ones that are down-playing every day in the winter. They go back up to Chicago and start playing every day in the summer up there, but that could be an interesting approach there. Now, one of the things that you have that in any of those situations is what we call it kind of perishable slots, like every slot that goes unused is a loss in a way . When you look at it with the members, the member numbers that you have right now, what's kind of your use pattern now in terms of capacity?
Louis: I did the numbers on it. I did all the numbers, so I said from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, I mean it would be unbelievable if you did, but it was like 18% full, like from all those numbers.
Dean: Then, you look at the big opportunity.
Louis: Available hours of like that four to eight, it's different. I don't have the software, where it can just track those hours. It would be more efficient if you just track like four till nine let's say, we would probably still only be at maybe 40% I would guess.
Dean: There's still some big opportunity there then.
Louis: Yeah, correct.
Dean: Yeah, okay, so part of the thing that you ever let people come in like one time?
Louis: It depends on like if someone that is a member says, “Hey, can I bring in a friend?” Yes, they can come in and try it. They do that. We don't generally open it up just to come in one time. Because like if I'm in a lesson, I don't have time to show someone how to use it. That's the only drawback of like, yes, I wouldn't mind if someone just came in once, but we would charge them obviously a premium for that. Now, I do have someone coming on board that's going to start teaching, where they could handle those type of activities because they're not going to … They're more in a learning curve of how to teach. That's kind of our next phase of building out the facility.
Dean: Yeah, because part of the thing, like if you were to bring … If you were to think about, if the eighty people that are already members that if you gave them each three golden tickets that they could give to somebody to come in for a session or an analysis or something that would be a valuable thing because your cost of acquiring is going to be the lowest if you're getting referrals, right?
Louis: Correct. Well, one of the things, I'm affiliated with a course in the area, where I do on course instruction in short game in the summer. I sent out just after the masters, a promo. Their newsletter, I'm in with a bunch of other stuff. I don't know how much of it gets seen, but I did say anybody that comes in that's new, they can get two weeks of free use at the studio during business hours. I would know that someone would be there to come in. I don't know if it was the timing of it, but the weather was pretty bad. I thought that was … I picked that up off of you guys, so just from listening to podcast. Just to say, “Hey, we got space, so let's just try to open it up and give people a chance to try it basically risk free.”
Dean: Right that's the whole point is what you need to know is who are the golfers because that's really what it comes down to. Have you mapped out how far your people come from, are they all pretty much-
Louis: Yeah, I do know. I have people that drive over an hour to come here-
Dean: Really? Wow.
Louis: Yeah, I mean yeah if they're just coming in for lessons, I mean I have people that fly in and stuff like that but they're not going to be obviously practice members. But in terms of practice, yes, they’ll drive at least 30 minutes to do this, but that's the smaller amount. It's usually within that 15 minute range of driving.
Dean: Yeah, right, so you're kind of in the 10 mile radius or 20 mile radius, let's call it. That would be the biggest thing. You've got that as your range. If you knew who all of the golfers were in that area that would be a good thing, a good pool to draw from? Part of that thing is nothing better than getting invisible prospects to become visible than to offer them something free or you could do a gift card.
Louis: If you do like a three to five months.
Dean: Oh 175.
Louis: 175, yeah. If you do to our new program, where we just sort of assist you in your program, but you're not really getting one-on-one instruction, but we're providing the program, we're doing the video analysis and sending you with emails and things like that that's 295 a month. That's also a three month commitment.
Louis: Plus, the cool thing about that program is if you're out at the range and you're not at the studio, you can have someone video your swing and send it into our software and we'll do a video analysis and send it back to you. You have a little bit of a dialogue in between your practice session.
Dean: Yep, got it, so part of where if you kind of separate out the people who are really looking as something to work on their game over the offseason and really bring it, improve all the factors that can be measured and improved, like you'd be able to with the TrackMan, you can measure accuracy, distance, launch angles speed, yeah, velocity, all of that stuff, right? You would be able to show with your training program an improvement in those. That's where I'm going is now when you look at what would be a dream come true for the golfer? If you're looking at a TrackMan, if somebody comes in and they've got a bad slice, it would be able to measure the severity of the slice, if you think about it. If they hit 10 drives and what happens that you could then work with them, get that together and 90 days from now, after three months of working with you that number that they've straightened that out that they've added so many yards, whatever that thing is.
Dean: You would be able to do that?
Dean: Do you do group type things as well?
Louis: We do.
Dean: You just work with people one on one?
Louis: No, like the kids like to do group stuff. Adults because of the work and life and kids and whatever they have going on, they just tend to do the private lessons. Sometimes in the summer, we'll do a group like something that's not requiring to work on their swing, we'll go on the golf course, do some playing lessons or some short game. Then, they'll figure out a time to do group, but for the most part, like if we're just working on their mechanics, then it's a one-on-one lesson.
Dean: Yeah, I got you. To be able to show pretty dramatic increases for people, like people who are interested in that that would be a good thing. Where I was going with that was that when you look at it, you may have an opportunity to really specifically target Facebook ads within that 10-mile radius of the studio on particular times like when you look at it air-conditioned, your place is?
Louis: Yeah, it's air conditioned.
Dean: Because in Chicago, you're going to run into two things. You're going to run into a period, where it might be you can't play golf in the rain or you're going to have a couple of periods over the summer, where it's a real heat wave and it's going to be ridiculous to be outside. Those are kind of like, you can predict on that as some very specific opportunity kind of times to introduce the idea to somebody because right now you're coming into, nobody's really on the top of their minds thinking about, “Hey, I need to find an indoor golf studio right now.” Everybody's itching to get outside.
Louis: Yes, correct.
Dean: Right, so part of it is to really almost think now about digging your well before you're thirsty kind of thing, where you've got right now the most capacity possible, where you wonder how many golfers do you have identified as a list right now, how many do you have that you could send an email to who live within 10 miles of your studio or 20 miles?
Louis: Our current database is just under a 1,000.
Dean: Okay and how did you get all of those? Those are people who’ve been in?
Louis: Yeah, people that have comment over the years that I've been Chicago.
Dean: Yeah, wow and so, what do you do with those people? How often do you email them?
Louis: Well, some people, they just run your course. You teach them and like they felt like they got as good as they want to put the time and money into. I don't know, I do stay in touch whether it's every three months to year just to see how things are going and just say, “How's your game, what are you working on?” People will generally reach out. Maybe they won't take lessons, but we do stay in touch with a lot of people. We're always constantly following up.
Louis: I do like the idea of like maybe giving like the members three golden tickets or something to say, “Hey, you can bring up three new people to the studio.” The summer might be the best time to do it because we got capacity.
Dean: Yeah, like it might be the kind of thing if somebody is there in the summer that may be they've been working on the offseason there. Then, maybe on a day when it's raining, they could bring it into the studio and play a simulated game instead of just not doing anything that day or sitting in the clubhouse, waiting and hoping the rain’s going to blow over.
Louis: Yeah, I take that. That might be the best way to take advantage in the summer is just say, “Hey, like bring a friend, bring two friends, yeah.”
Dean: Or even to run like specific video ads that you could target to that 10 mile radius around there and just saying, showing you in the facility kind of things, saying, “Hey, I know it's raining, but it's not raining in here. If you're thinking about golfing today, come on in.” That’s because part of the thing is the awareness has got to be the first if people knew that you were there, they might be more interested in. There's probably a good chance that there is some number of golfers within and let's just say in a 10 mile radius because those would be the ones who would be most likely to come. I'm just thinking about for myself even, like if I'm sitting here in my house in Winter Haven that like I would drive to my Country Club, which might be five miles away. I think going beyond that 10 miles, I might do that but 20 miles is like a special trip. I'm not driving 20 miles to go do anything with any regularity. I'm thinking like five miles, seven, 10 miles, I might do that because if I'm going to spend an hour there kind of thing, I don't want to commute more than I'm actually doing it.
If that was the thing I bet that there are golfers right now, who live in that 10 mile zone, if they knew that you existed would be thrilled to find that out.
Louis: Well that's the point, trying to find it. I think you hit it with the other one with the idea of the golden ticket, like that to me would make the most sense and then, finding out other ways to get the word out.
Dean: Yeah, boy, how accurate am I? I just looked at my thing and 6.9 miles from my Country Club, 14 minute drive from my house right now. Yeah that's about the length that I would go and like I said maybe to 10 miles, but other than that. Yeah, I think that kind of zone there might be the really cool thing. One of the things that we were able to do with micro targeting for the Facebook as well is targeting, putting a ring fence around specifically the golf courses within that 10-mile radius that you can show ads only to people who are on the golf course. You know you're getting golfers, right? That’s what’s kind of a cool thing is to be able to specifically show the ad to your best audience there.
Louis: Okay and you can do that on, you said Facebook.
Dean: Yes, yeah, on Facebook.
Dean: That’s the kind of thing.
Louis: I think I've only done like one or two ads on Facebook with like I don't even remember what we did it for, but obviously you need to do it more than once I imagine, so that I can see some consistency.
Dean: Right, but part of the thing that you might do is, my girlfriend has a studio here in Winter Haven that we're working on as a concept called Amazing Brows and Lashes. They do micro blading and brow henna and eyelash lifts, but it's all focused on eye and brow procedures. Within a short period of time, she's built up a list of 2,500 ladies, who have downloaded a $100 gift card from an offer on Facebook. We get the gift card downloads for under $2, which is pretty amazing. Over the course of time, have all the people that have come in and done their eyebrows or done brow henna or all those things have all been driven by that gift card. If you've got a whole menu of services that you could offer and people could have a $50 gift card or whatever it is, it's like the main thing is just getting people to say, “Oh, I'm interested in that. I may want to go there at some time.” This is part of the value of using a gift card versus a 20% off coupon or 50% off or whatever it is because the only way people to redeem a 50% off offer is to go and buy now.
We often use those kind of incentives to encourage people to do something right now, where a gift card is really indicating that they're interested in something in the future. It's a funny thing, but it's like a really valuable outcome for you to have this list of people who now know about your facility. They've got a gift card because they expressed interest in potentially doing it. What that does psychologically to their mind, it cements in their mind that “I might like to do this at some point.” Now that sets up for, “I've got this currency, this $50 here, burning a hole in my pocket now and I'm just going to be waiting for the right opportunity.” If you were to send like weekly golf tips to that group, like just a quick video minute with I'm sure it'd be easy for you to do those kind of things.
Louis: Yeah, we have plenty of footage on file just from the time that I posted things on Instagram and whether it's putting, chipping, all that stuff. When you say a $50 gift card, meaning like let's say email in, “Hey, I'm interested.” If they were going to buy a three month membership, the first month would be $50 off of that, correct? Is that what you're saying?
Dean: Exactly, yep that’s exactly right. Yeah, we use the Facebook lead ads for that where the leads automatically don't have to leave Facebook. They just push a button and it automatically sends us their name and their email address and that we have that go into GoGoClients, so that we can then just send the emails to them. Do you have an email service, like do you have a autoresponder?
Dean: Okay, so that would be a good place for you to start is to get all these 1,000 people that you've already got kind of gathered into a way, where you could send personalized emails to them.
Louis: Well, I mean we do send like a group and then, I also have a separate group, where I’ve categorized them into my like iCloud type of group stuff. To gather leads, then I still have to manually answer them I guess, so fits right into it. It would make it a little smoother.
Dean: It's totally automated. That way, every week then you send an email to them and include whatever offers you want, so you can have like your whatever is the easy way for people to get started. You could highlight specific programs if you have like what will be the outcomes that people would be most interested in? They maybe want to add distance to their drives, they could have more accurate drives, have more distance control of their irons, have all the different things, the elements that somebody could be most interested in, wrapping a program around them that almost makes the membership kind of incidental to it.
Louis: Oh yeah that’s just as the membership.
Dean: This is what you get for 195 or 295 a month, but if you think about it, for less than a $1,000, we can straighten out your drive and add 50 yards or whatever your outcome could be.
Louis: Yeah, I mean that's what we've kind of ventured into in the last couple of months is there's a Speed Program that’s three months and then, a Total Game Training, where you're doing like I said the test centers. We're definitely finding that like it's not just the facility usage now. You can go to the program, wedge game, iron play, whatever it is, yes, so we're on the same page.
Dean: Yeah, so there you go.
Dean: I think that sort of just coupled with the awareness of focusing if you are going to do some advertising, focusing it in that 10 miles, but certainly the golden tickets for your existing members would be a really great jump start. It may fill it up for you.
Louis: I think so and now that I have this thing coming on board, he can run those, where I wouldn't have to stop my lessons to get people started and things like that. It'll be a good way for him to just talk to people, get used to talking to them and looking at swings.
Louis: He kinds of knows.
Dean: I mean if you do that kind of thing, where the output is really comes out that they leave within an awareness of what is going on with their swing, where the opportunity to work on it along with the recommended, like, “Here's the protocol, here's the fix for it,” that's going to be very encouraging for them to want to come back.
Louis: Yeah and that's kind of the angle that I've been really focusing on is when people go to a driving range, you get a bucket of balls and you get the space you're hitting in. When that bucket of balls runs out, you either have to reload, pay more money and you still only have space. Here, we can track your progress. We can give you some support along the way, so you're not just doing it on your own. That's really I mean you know a lot of people struggle with the game of golf because they just don't know what they're trying to do or how to go about doing it. That was kind of the goal of this practice club was being able to help people learn faster, more effectively. I mean lessons can get expensive and this is kind of a nice way to kind of get everything out of the way with practicing and learning.
Dean: Yes, I agree.
Louis: Yeah, so I think the biggest thing would be like you said the golden ticket for current and then, finding ways to let more people know we're here.
Dean: Yeah because that's part of the thing I think you're not trying to convince anybody to take up golf or work that out. I think you're in an area, where there's plenty of people that if they just knew that it was there would be great. The great thing is you can even like around Christmas time or even Father's Day, you can target ads just to females and say, “I'm showing you this, but guys aren't seeing this, something great for Father's Day.” That might be a thing.
Louis: They might not be incentivized because their husbands already spend too much time at the golf course, right?
Dean: Some of them, they may like it that way. Some of them, when you get back in from now after Christmas, I’ve gone out on the golf course all the time. Now, he's back, cramping her style. You keep them out of the house, keep them coming.
Louis: I like it.
Dean: Well that's awesome. I think that's fun. You've got a great thing. It's couple little experiments and you could be full.
Louis: Yeah, it's not a huge number that we have to get. Like I said, it's just getting the right combination of people that are super dedicated to people that want to be sort of good and their time constraints and making it just more efficient for people that work. If I can give you two effective practice sessions in a week that only take an hour because for most people, golf, it's a fun thing to do and you don't want to be completely frustrated every time you go out and play. It serves a purpose for those guys. Some people are paying just for the efficiency and some people are paying for trying to be elite. That's kind of where we kind of figured things out over time is who are we trying to reach with this.
Dean: Yeah and that's half the battle of knowing who’s profit activator one, select your target market when you know who you're trying to attract. Then, it makes it easier to then get the things when that checks all the boxes.
Louis: I was reading I think the DNA Report that you send out, just Wordsmithing like how things are phrased is what catches people's attention too. We're expensive relative to what other people charge in terms of lessons, but the fact that in terms of practice that we're more effective. Trying to find the right wording of I can't remember exactly what it said, but we're the least expensive, but the most, I can't remember how it was phrased in there, but you had some phrase in there that was telling you that because of the effectiveness, it came out to be the least or the best cost effective way to do it.
Dean: Exactly right and that's what I'm saying about the, when I mentioned like instead of talking about it as 295 a month, talk about that the outcome, not just about the … You're drawing attention from … It's the insight and the coaching become the big piece of it right there. Keep them focused on the outcome and when you combine it with what they would charge, what they would have to pay in private lessons and range balls and all the stuff, it's a pretty economical option.
Dean: Yeah, I mean in a place like Chicago, it's probably not more than a few rounds of golf. That's really what it would amount to.
Louis: Right, yeah.
Dean: It's certainly less than a driver.
Louis: Yeah. I think that makes a lot of sense. I think I have a good idea now with like just the golden ticket stuff and creating those programs, given them more value. I mean that's something I've always tried to do, like I've spent a lot of time, studying from Tony Robbins and different things and just give more information, give people more things that help them and in turn, you'll get more back. That's really kind of where the practice club kind of came from is just how do we give away more to support people more and let it grow from there.
Dean: That's it, can't go wrong, helping people get what they want.
Louis: Yeah, cool.
Dean: That's awesome. All right.
Louis: I appreciate that.
Dean: We really enjoyed that Louis. That’s one of my favorite topics, golf and marketing, so we had a good win for me.
Louis: Thanks, it was win-win.
Dean: Thanks Louis.
Louis: I got some good stuff that I can put together here and I appreciate the time.
Dean: Yeah, let me know what happens.
Dean: Okay, I'll talk to you soon.
Louis: Thanks Dean, appreciate it.
Dean: Thanks, bye.
Dean: There we have it, another great episode. Thanks for listening in. If you want to continue the conversation or go deeper in how the profit activators can apply to your business, two things you can do. Right now, you can go to MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com and you can download a copy of the More Cheese Less Whiskers book and you can listen to the back episodes, of course, if you're just listening here on iTunes. Secondly, the thing that we talk about in applying all of the eight profit activators are part of the breakthrough DNA process. You can download a book and a score card and watch a video, all about the eight profit activators at BreakThroughDNA.com. That's a great place to start the journey in applying this scientific approach to growing your business. That's really the way we think about Breakthrough DNA as an operating system that you can overlay on your existing business and immediately look for insights there.
That's it for this week. Have a great week and we'll be back next time with another episode of More Cheese Less Whiskers.