<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=887082134730209&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

3 min read

Private Club Growth: Stop Reacting, Start Building [Podcast]

kevin pageMost successful businesses have a defined and repeatable sales process. One that identifies the best prospects, converts them into leads, and then nurtures those leads with emails into customers. Yet, most private clubs are missing this process — specifically the management of prospective members.

In the competitive world of private clubs, attracting and converting high-quality members is paramount. Yet, many clubs still rely on outdated methods for managing inquiries, leaving valuable new member prospect leads lost in the shuffle.


Imagine this: a prospective member expresses interest in your club. You send your template email, pricing sheet, and maybe your club brochure, and...silence. Perhaps the prospect reaches out for more information or requests a tour. Maybe not. The problem here is that there’s no reliable process that ensures this prospective member is qualified in any way. 

“They’re [Membership Directors] just sending over whatever information that particular person is looking for and crossing their fingers hoping an application comes in soon after,” according to Kevin Page, lead management expert and HubSpot strategist at StoryTeller. Page, who has helped private clubs with their lead management since 2015, says many people inquiring about membership may be the right prospect, but not at that exact time.

“Joining a club and membership for most folks is a big decision — one that takes some time.” In some cases, that decision process could take months if not years. The path to purchase is not always linear.

The Peril of Reactive Recruitment 

Many clubs fall into the trap of “reactive recruitment”. They scramble to fill vacancies when membership numbers dip, leading to rushed decisions and a less-than-ideal applicant pool. This reactive approach is unsustainable and can damage the club's reputation if initiation fees are frequently in flux. 

Instead, clubs can build a funnel of future prospects and create a structured system for capturing, nurturing, and ultimately converting prospective members–just as most successful businesses do today. Rather than responding only to new inquiries or expensive “new member campaigns,” Page says clubs can take advantage of smarter processes.

“I’ve seen many clubs dump a lot of effort into generating leads and not as much effort into managing those leads properly.”

Lead management processes can transform your membership recruitment approach from a crisis-driven scramble to a proactive, strategic pipeline builder.

a system for long-term success

Club leaders may occasionally express sentiments such as, "This isn't a business; it's a club," suggesting that it shouldn't be managed in the same manner. However, this mindset is not only impractical but also contradicts the approaches adopted by some of the most successful leaders in the club industry.

Today’s consumer has changed dramatically from 20 years ago. With more options and experiences in which they can invest discretionary income, it’s incumbent upon club leaders to adapt to the changing landscape. Sales tools like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms act as a central hub for all prospect interactions and according to Page, “have come so far and can save membership teams tons of time.”

Clubs using an effective CRM will be able to:

  • Capture Leads Effortlessly: Integrate lead capture forms with your website and social media, allowing prospects to express interest with a single click.
  • Categorize and Prioritize: Qualify leads based on demographics, interests, and membership type. This allows clubs to tailor communication and prioritize outreach to the most promising prospects.
  • Save Time with Automation: Craft personalized email sequences that automatically engage prospective members with relevant information about the club's offerings and upcoming events. This keeps your club top-of-mind throughout its decision-making process.
  • Make Data-Driven Decisions: Gain valuable insights into your new member acquisition efforts. Analyze lead sources, track conversion rates, and identify areas for improvement.

Beyond efficiency: Building relationships

Technology doesn’t replace existing member referrals, club tours, and hard work, but it empowers your Membership Team to build stronger long-term relationships with prospective members. 

Using automation tools, your Membership Director will have more time to handle other member-focused responsibilities while getting notifications when the most qualified prospects show interest. Additionally, should your club experience turnover in the membership team, your contact data remains intact and doesn’t leave when the Membership Director walks out the door.

the competitive edge and long-term security

The days of 3x5 index cards, excel spreadsheets, and reactive responses are over. By implementing a lead management system, membership directors can unlock a world of efficiency, forge stronger connections with prospective members, and build a secure pipeline for the club's future. The result? A thriving club with a steady stream of qualified candidates ready to join your exclusive community.

Listen to the entire conversation with Kevin Page in this episode of Crushing Club Marketing anywhere you get your podcasts.

Read on:

How Strong Leadership Can Propel Your Club Marketing Efforts [Episode 20]

How Strong Leadership Can Propel Your Club Marketing Efforts [Episode 20]

Adapting to a changing industry is difficult no matter the business, and the private club industry is going through that today. The Country Club in...

Continue reading this post
Managing Shifting Demographics in Private Clubs [Podcast]

Managing Shifting Demographics in Private Clubs [Podcast]

John Schultz, CEO of Club Leadership Alliance, knows clubs inside and out. When he took over as General Manager of Carmel Country Club in Charlotte,...

Continue reading this post
Lead Nurturing: How to Turn Old Inquiries Into New Members

Lead Nurturing: How to Turn Old Inquiries Into New Members

Do you have a mild twinge of terror six weeks before the start of a new season as you stare at a blank spreadsheet or empty inbox and wonder where...

Continue reading this post