Imagine for a moment that you are stranded in a mountain cabin by a freak snowstorm. You have been there a week when one morning the weather breaks, but it’s obvious you won’t be going anywhere for a while.
You are out of food and haven’t eaten for a few days when you wander out onto the deck with the single shot rifle you found in the cabin. Bingo, your luck has changed. Right in front of you is food! The food comes in several sizes, three rabbits, two coyotes and a moose, each just 10 feet from your nose.
You have never shot anything in your life but you have a choice to make and your life depends on it. You don’t now how long it will be until you are rescued and you badly need a meal. Which animal do you try to shoot with your single-shot rifle?
I hope you said the moose, because the moose will not only provide you with the biggest, easiest-to-hit target but also with the biggest pay-off in terms of food. It’s a pretty obvious example but at the same time it’s the one least often used in most business situations. As the great advertising guru David Ogilvy once said, “If you have to hunt for business you might as well hunt for good business!”. Most business owners still go after rabbits rather than moose, they fish for minnows rather than whales. Yet 10,000 minnows do not equal one whale, any more that 10 rabbits make a moose.
I often hear business owners complain about the type of clients they get in their doors. They are getting low-end, bottom feeders they complain. They don’t spend enough or stay long enough. They opt for the cheapest product over quality, and so on. The funny thing is that when I ask them what type of marketing they are doing to attract new clients, it’s usually mass-mailing discount coupons or discount-oriented print ads in the local paper.
Let me give you an example. My wife is in the market for a new truck and every car dealer in Citrus County ought to know that in a big way. Why?
Because she is just a couple of months short of the end of her lease on her existing vehicle. It’s a high-end SUV and we live in a high-end neighborhood. What are the chances that she will keep the SUV for another year once the lease runs out? Almost zero – in fact we are already overdue for a new car.
Some car dealer in Citrus County should know that. They should know that because of the lease dates, the registration, or by whatever means they use, but they should know that. The dealer I bought my last car from should certainly know that. They should have called. They should have asked if they could drive around to my house and let my wife test drive the latest model of the same vehicle. On a $ 60,000 SUV you should get personal attention.
Instead of spending a little time going after people who have already demonstrated that they have the desire and money to own such a vehicle, they run full page ads and send out John Doe letters fishing for unqualified minnows.
A daily-fee golf course spends $ 600 for a discount ad in the local paper to attract individual players at a marginal rate. Instead, they should occasionally break the mold by taking the $ 600 and using it to send 1,200 sales letters to all the local charities, fraternal, and fund-raising organizations. The letter would advertise their tournament and event services. If just one organization out of 1,200 books an event, they might get 144 players to show up. If 1% of the 1,200 people who get the letter book an event, that would be 12 events, or well over 1000 players. Compare that with 30-40 people who clip the discount coupon to save $ 20! The difference is staggering, but most businesses just don’t do it.
Instead of spending $ 600 on an ad, or a mailing, how about hiring a temp for the week and spending the $ 600 calling all the people who held a golf tournament last year, or donated to your charity. If they make 50 contacts per day, that will be 250 in a week and that’s low. What could your business accomplish if you called 250 of your best customers? Could you resell them or up-sell them? Of course you could and that’s my whole point!
Andrew Wood is the world’s leading expert on golf related marketing. He is the author of over 20 books including his new marketing book Cunningly Clever Marketing Book, The Golf Marketing Bible, How to Market Your Club on the Internet and The Membership Sales Success System. Andrew speaks worldwide on sales and marketing topics and is in high demand as a copywriter and marketing consultant.He is also the CEO multiple golf marketing companies including Legendary Golf Management Company.