I often ask coaches how much of their time on court is spent working with adults, although I get a range of answers many times it can be as low as 10%. There is a huge growth potential in the adult market. We have to get the offer right and engage with these customers.
First we need to understand their motivation for playing. We know that adults play for many different reasons including taking up a new hobby, trying to beat their friend, getting fit, being able to play with the family. Sometimes players just want to play singles and doubles at the club and enjoy the game.
The question we need to ask ourselves are we working hard enough on our products and services to match their needs or might we be bit old school in our thinking.
Many adults believe that the coach at the facility will try and change their game and make them attempt difficult techniques, like changing their grip on the serve or make them hit perfect looking backhands this scares people and makes them disengage. So we have to be smarter!
How do we make a start?
Every programme is different and will have a different mix of activities. Before we do anything we need to research our market and create a simple questionnaire to determine what people want. This should include what is their interest in your different activities, what days, times and duration people want. It is always best to be with the customer as they complete the questionnaire as once they go home they may never return with information you need. You can also offer free taster sessions of your different products. This is a great time to collect information.
Once you have collated the results you are ready to design your new programme. Be prepared to throw out your existing offer and start again with a programme that is new and exciting. Set yourself a target number to see if you achieving success.
You and your facility – Important questions
How good is your new member induction?
The best time to sell anything to your customer is when they have just joined. They are ready and willing to be told about new products and opportunities. A group induction I always think is best because the session will have a good energy and not be as sterile as a one on one introduction. Make sure you give players a taster of your sessions and include an offer, could be first lesson free.
How do you market your programme?
I often see the facility and the coach marketing the same tennis facility on separate information literature. I do not know of any tennis business where the coach is successful and club not and vice versa. Quite often the two parties are suspicious of each other. So break the mould and sell your offer together with all information on a professional leaflet including club events, social nights, coaching programmes, pay as you go sessions and even coach profiles and individual lesson prices. This will start to feel you are in it together. Always try and be on a working party, committee as these meetings are where decisions are being made about your business.
Selling your programme
We must maximise our database before we spend money on marketing to a cold prospect. If we have 100 junior players on our programme we have access to approximately 200 parents.
These parents are already engaged in the club, bringing their child to the club and have disposable income to afford lessons.
A few ideas we can offer parents:-
- Cardio tennis next to a Mini Tennis class
- Offer tennis Xpress classes next to a large junior class
- Hold parent and child competitions
- Offer reduced memberships so the parent can play with their child. (reduced fee for reduced access)
The potential is HUGE!!!!
The tennis programme
Remember where we started the adult plays for many different reasons. We need to have a programme which caters for lots of target markets.
Here are a few different sessions and the reason the player might want to come:-
Beginner player – new to tennis wants to learn a new skill
Cardio Tennis – players wants to make new friends and get fit
Drills sessions – player wants competitive drills and is motivated by beating their friend
Ladies mornings – player loves being with friends enjoys the tactics and the coffee afterwards even more!
We must have something in our programme for everyone where possible!
START YOUR PROGRAMME WITH A NEW ENERGY AND GET PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT IT!
WORD OF MOUTH IS A GREAT WAY TO MARKET AND IT IS FREE