UPSELLING: It’s something we all strive to achieve – but how can you measure and advance ‘upselling’ skills?

    Europe’s Leading Customer Service, Sales Analysts & Training provider; 59club has the inside scoop on how the industry really performs when it comes to upselling.

    59club’s mystery shopper audits and customer satisfaction surveys generate mass data every month for hundreds of clubs, resorts, buying groups and retailers across the UK, Europe and the Middle-East who have embraced 59club into their daily operation.

    These managers identified a process with 59club that allowed them to adopt industry leading sales & service principals. A process that would also continually ‘performance manage’ their staff month on month whilst delivering benchmarks against the best achievers, the 59club industry average and chosen competitors to empower them to drive their business forward.9club’s mystery shopper audits and customer satisfaction surveys generate mass data every month for hundreds of clubs, resorts, buying groups and retailers across the UK, Europe and the Middle-East who have embraced 59club into their daily operation.

    It’s a winning formula that has seen so many individuals, managers and organisations achieve Sales & Service ‘Excellence’, naturally upselling etiquette plays a huge part within 59club’s sales principals.

    Simon Wordsworth CEO of 59club shares his industry insights with us…

    Here we selectively compare staff performance during sales opportunities, including face-to-face ‘upselling’, from 2014 to present day across the ‘traditional’ 59club sectors: the podium score: a breakdown of the average score of the three best-performers which have, during the period covered, offered the best overall customer experience, and the 59club Industry: an average score achieved by ‘all’ clubs within the 59club benchmarking scheme. And, as you might expect, this makes for some interesting reading.

    It’s worth noting, that the average 59club venue score also reflects a number of new venues which join throughout the year, so does not demonstrate a perfect like-for-like comparison, and all stats are merely indicative.

    The upselling of stroke savers, GPS units or mobile apps are big business and see clubs earn a good profit. In 2015 the podium score for effectively upselling these items was 94 percent which rose to 100 percent for the next 2 years. So far in 2018 it appears that sales in these areas may be affected as the podium clubs, our best performers across all criteria have dropped their game so far this season achieving just 86 percent.

    The 59club industry average has witnessed continual growth in this area since 2015 albeit on a different trajectory to our best performers. This steady growth has risen from 27 percent in 2015 to 39 percent in 2018 with significant opportunity to grow further.

    The upselling of hire items – buggies and trolleys – upon arrival immediately throws up interesting, and telling, statistics. In 2014, the podium score ended at 65 percent; a year later that rose to 100 percent where it remains today, demonstrating that the top-three performers – not necessarily the same three venues each year remember – are again maintaining standards of excellence.

    The 59club industry average, increased its performance in upselling these hire items from 43 percent in 2014 to 51 percent in 2015 which continued to grow throughout 2017 and currently sits at 57% in 2018. These clubs have work to do this year if they are to compete with the best performers who are excelling in this highly profitable area.

    With the season now in full swing and buggies permitted on most days we look forward to reporting on more successes later in the year.

    Ancillary items, golf balls, gloves, pitch repairers, ball markers, hand warmers, suntan lotion, walk into any golf retail store and you’ve got it all in front of you, but when it comes to actively upselling these items how does the industry perform?

    The 59club podium clubs doubled their performance between 2016 and 2018 which sits gregariously at 43 percent with margins to further exploit the sales opportunities of these items.

    The industry average peaked in 2017 which saw a rise to 16 percent, disappointingly however this growth hasn’t been maintained so far this year and has since dropped to just 13 percent in 2018.

    One of the most dramatic indicators of the improvements which can be brought about by correct training and education is within the retail ‘sales approach and process’. The process requires a staff member to approach the customer within a minute and engage in conversation while avoiding asking ‘closed’ questions.

    In 2015, the best-performing venues – the podium score – achieved 78 percent; rising to 89 percent in 2016, this was maintained in 2017 and so far in 2018 they are excelling by achieving a flawless score of 100 percent, based on their approach to a potential sale.

    Still in the shop, a similar tale unfolds when it comes to knowledge of pricing. In 2014 the podium score sat at a respectable 78 percent which rose in 2016 to 90 percent, it dipped in 2017 to 76 percent but so far this year sits at an impressive 91 percent.

    We all know that ‘closing’ is a skill. Not everybody is a natural ‘closer’, but, as with most things in life, it is a skill which can be learned and developed. In 2014 the podium clubs made a successful attempt to ‘close the sale’ on 63 percent of occasions; a year later this dropped to just 56 percent. It leapfrogged in 2016 to 78 percent and has continued to grow to 86 percent so far this year.

    These figures overall show that even those clubs offering the best customer experience still have room for improvement from a face-to-face upselling perspective, presenting an exciting opportunity for all clubs to increase their turnover and profit in the process.

    59club’s successful sales & service mechanic does not just rely on its mystery shoppers and customer feedback. Sure, the visits provide the data that is fed back to the clients, but that counts for nothing if those venues are not able to act accordingly upon the information.

    This is where 59club enhances its products with training and supplemental offerings – for the data, in solus, simply illustrates the levels which need to be improved. Ask any 59club client about their return on investment having enlisted the services of 59club and the message is the same, it’s a fairy-tale ending as far as sales & service goes.

    Just look at The Belfry, Tom Hughes Head of Golf Operations and Retail, went on record to say that “after additional sales training with 59club Director Matt Roberts, our Custom fit revenue has seen a growth of 34% so far this year compared to the same period last year, whilst Course planner sales have also increased by 29%”.

    We are not here to preach to the converted, we all need to stop and take notice of what is or isn’t happening in our retail outlets and utilise this knowledge to excel. GR

    Managers looking to develop their sales & service etiquette can now independently monitor and advance their own Service Levels, as they utilise the innovative ‘my59’ software, engineered by 59club.

    my59 provides the expertise, mechanism and freedom to independently deliver Customer Satisfaction Surveys & Mystery Shopper Audits using 59club’s industry leading benchmarking assessment criteria, survey templates and feedback apps. Its available now for just £500pa and includes a trio of staff training opportunities.


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    As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.