Monday, December 10, 2012

Baby Steps

When rounds are down and dollars per round are suffering, someone in authority often declares "We have to change the culture around here."
Putting this change into place is a mystery for some and so a Google search on “organizational culture change” yields millions of results and an abundance of consultants who will help. Their plan typically suggests involved training, re-organization, new systems and social media. All journalism addressing future retail assumes the use of technology, the use of the internet to expand inventories, improved communication with members and customers and mobile devices that provide product knowledge. These endeavors are also part of most canned presentations from consultants and promise to be complex and therefore expensive – “but obviously a necessary step you need to take.”

Most of these comprehensive programs involve a lot of time, money and effort but rarely address what was wrong with the culture in the first place because they involve broad stroke, generic solutions. My reason for pointing this out is it seems an unusually high number of pros in the industry lately are discussing whether  this is the road they should be going down to get their staff and facility back on track. I was told about a big name consulting firm that charged $15,000 to visit, suggest enhancing the club web site and develop a program of social media and wanted another $30,000 for the rest of the program. While the use of new technology will be part of the future of retail and I am fully in favor of getting in front of that effort, more immediate change can be realized by what I am referring to as  “Baby Steps,” - one of the biggest problems with the formula consulting firms is they attack many cultural dynamics all at once and as I suggested don’t always attack the true culprit at all.
There is another way.  

 I have written a 40 page handbook entitled “The Winning Golf Culture” providing tools and inspiration and taking advantage of the unique relationships that are a fundamental of pro shop retail to help you and your staff move forward in today’s market to wow your customers. It offers techniques employed by professional salespeople from approaching customers to cultivating their future business. The mind set and methods discussed have impressed every shop owner or manager as well the CEOs and sales managers of companies in the golf industry that I have advised over the years. It provides a program that will put the process into a context that allows it to be tackled one dynamic at a time and assumes that unless you have been living in a hazard of late that you know that the internet needs to be effectively used to enhance your business. Here’s what some leaders in the industry had to say about the manual.

One of the great things about Mr. Kirchner's Service Manual is that Craig shares his successful formulas for success. He does not stand on circumstance, nor hide behind his paid consultancy services with some secret messages. Instead, his easy-to-read booklet reveals his wisdom regarding service, initiative and plain ‘good sense.’ Craig shares his powerful sense of observation with examples of how we all benefit from customer care. We think so highly of his writings that we have made his manual required reading for all our employees...his insights are as useful for vendors as they are for merchants.

Richard White
Former President & CEO
Imperial Headwear, Inc.

Craig Kirchner’s ‘The Winning Golf Culture – A Service and Sales Manual’ is inspiring to any PGA Professional who desires to take his or her service operation to the ‘next level’. It is one of the best things I have read in 30+ years in the golf business. It will be ‘required reading’ for my staff, present and future. After reading it carefully, it simply makes you want to do a better job providing service to your members and customers. Not only does the manual motivate, but it is enjoyable to read also. From this point forward, my entire staff will look for opportunities to create ‘wow factors’ each day. In the golf business, staff complacency can sometimes set in. Craig. Thank you for the wake-up call.

Dean Hurst, PGA
Bayville Golf Club
Head Golf Professional

Quite simply, Craig Kirchner gets IT! “The Winning Golf Culture” is a road map to a successful Golf Retail Enterprise. Golf Shops in America today are poised to succeed unlike ever before because their members, guests and customers believe and value the Clubs/Shops own Brand. That Brand is the sum of many parts, quite possibly the most compelling being SERVICE. That SERVICE element is completely under the shop’s control….it is the shop’s choice to make it important. Golf facility owners, GM’s, Professionals and Shop Managers can accomplish great things only if they raise the bar of expectations of their shop operations, understand their unique opportunity to compete, and execute as the best retailers in the world do every day. Craig can absolutely help them along that path.

Mark Killeen
Managing Partner
Full Turn - Pima Direct

‘The Winning Golf Culture’ is required reading for anyone in the golf business or the service business period. After reading the manual I feel like I could run a marathon. Craig inspires you with his stories and first hand experiences to be better and better with each customer interaction. His experience and superior knowledge has enlightened our staff and has made us aware that everyone’s WOW factor may be different and that our attitude will influence the desired results and for that we thank him.

John H. Marino
Head Golf Professional
Old Chatham Golf Club

Another home run for Craig Kirchner! This service manual is the blueprint for creating a culture of connection with the customer. Apply these principles and you WILL be more successful. And work will be more fun too.

Buddy Sass
Head Golf Professional
Ocean City Golf Club

The cost for this bound primer is $79.95 including shipping and handling. You can easily purchase it on PayPal (“BUY NOW” button to the right) or send a check to:

Craig R. Kirchner
1610 Stonegate Blvd.
Elkton, Md. 21921

I am confident that this manual will provide your facility an incredibly competitive edge and fresh new outlook and therefore be money well spent. I bring it up now because it is considerably less expensive than the $45,000 plunge and possibly more pertinent to your situation.
For group presentations and a comprehensive evaluation of a custom “organizational change” that does not require a second mortgage call me at 410-392-0330. I look forward to hearing from you - if you have questions or comments contact me at