How many times have we seen those words in the window of a local store, or on a banner hung high overhead where everyone passing by can see it?

Telling people that a business is under new management both rein­forces that something was wrong before, and suggests that things will be much, much better-now that the “new management” is here!

Selling a Golf Club…

I’m not talking about selling your Big Bertha driver on e-bay – it’s not that kind of “club” I’m talking about here.

Rather, I’m referring to the recent sale of the TPC (Tournament Players Club) Wakefield location here in North Carolina to a new owner.

I don’t play golf much – I’m very bad at it, and if I have four hours to kill on a weekend I’d much rather be on my bicycle. But I know enough to understand that the TPC name carries some weight because the brand is owned and operated by the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) – the same people who put on the PGA Championship and other major events in the United States.

This particular location also includes a tennis complex, large pool area, and a fitness room. In fact, for many years, we belonged to the club with a Sports Club membership, but finally left in frustration because of the unprofessional way in which the tennis program was being operated.

So when we heard that the club was being sold, naturally, we ex­pected to hear something from the new management.

You’re Charging Me for What?!

Apparently, the first thing the new owner did was to invite all cur­rent members to a special welcome event where he would unveil all of his plans for improving the golf experience at the club.

Didn’t mention anything about the other facilities or programs- just golf.

The kicker was that members had to pay $15.00 per person to attend this event-even though most members had already paid a healthy five-figure initiation fee to become members originally and had monthly dues and food and beverage minimums to meet each month!

So How Do I Know All This?

Good question-because the new owner didn’t reach out in any way, shape, or form to previous mem­bers, or even to the rest of the large community who have never been members in the past.

In fact, our good friend Liz told us about this when she stopped over for a glass of wine last night.

And the only reason I’m men­tioning Liz at all is because she’s responsible for this story.

I was working on the newsletter yesterday when she stopped by, and said, “Boy do I have a story for you to write about!”

She then proceeded to tell me about the details of the sale, the party (and its related fee), and the fact that the new owner had ignored literally hundreds of potential members in making this grand announcement.

Liz then explained to me how she would have done it:

First, I wouldn’t have charged the existing members anything to attend. Instead, I’d have let them come for free, but ask them to in­vite all of their friends to come.

The friends would have had to pay $15 each, but there would be more than enough in food and drinks to make that a great deal.

Then the new owner could make an offer to all the non-members-a really incredible offer that they’d have to take advantage of that night or it would go away.

I was really impressed by this for several reasons.

First, she was paying attention! We sometimes talk about business and marketing strategies with our friends, and Liz had grasped every­thing we said on the topic.

Second, she implicitly recognized that the three most valuable leads are, in order, current custom­ers, referrals, and previous customers.

And finally, she recognized that timing is everything, and that the new owner should have taken full advantage of the leverage and goodwill he could generate with this massive event.

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