When was the last time you went to car dealer without knowing what you already wanted? With the amount of information on the internet, who wouldn’t look up the details of the car they want to buy before stepping onto the lot? The actual act of making the purchase often becomes a formality. The salesman usually just facilitates the deal. Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part this is how car shopping goes. We live in an age of information, which is instantly accessible at our fingertips. Often there is no more discovery once you enter the dealer’s lot. It’s simply a matter of driving the car to make sure the online reviews live up to their promise.
This very example is what almost every industry is facing, and ours is no exception. Consumers are more informed than ever because of their access to the almost infinite amount of knowledge on the internet. So how do you as a golf professional stand out from the crowd when your customer is already so well informed? How can you provide value when your customer already knows what your answer is going to be?
The answer lies within the question that I posed. Value. Whether you are a full-time instructor or a golf professional running the entire operation have something the internet doesn’t have – experience. Your experience brings value to your customers. Your customers aren’t just looking for a way to fix their slice – they already know how to do that from the hundreds of YouTube videos they watched the night before. They are coming to you for your experience on how to translate that information into the real-world. Knowledge can only go so far, but you can provide real value by relaying the experience you’ve had with other students on the best way to fix that student’s swing – and deliver it to them in a way they will actually understand.
The information overload that customers are experiencing often comes to you in the form of questions and comments such as, “well, so-and-so from Revolution Golf said I should do it this way”. So in your customer’s mind, your competition is the internet. How are you supposed to compete with the Internet?
The way to combat this is by being unique. Anyone can repeat lines from a script. But your voice is unique – the way you deliver it is unique. I could take a lesson from a hundred different golf professionals who say the same thing, but they’re all going to say it in a different way. This is what your customer wants – your unique personality to shine through in whatever it is that you deliver. Whether it’s a golf lesson or the way you sell them a new set of clubs, the way you stand out to your customers is with your individuality.
The internet is only going to provide more and more information to our consumers, but it will never replace the value that you bring from your years of experience and unique outlook. The way you present yourself, your tone, personality, and even weird quirks are what make people connect to you and trust you over the faceless knowledge they receive from the internet.
This article appeared in the January edition of PGA Magazine: