I was chatting to my favourite golf club the other day (the identity of the club will remain a secret!).
And they had good news – they’re at full membership AND they’ve got a 100-strong waiting list.
A position they haven’t been in for over a decade.
I congratulated them, and then my marketing head kicked in and I started asking a few questions.
“Okay, so you’ve got a hundred people on your waiting list – what do they get?”
“What do you mean?”
“You know, communication from you. Do they get a copy of the club email newsletter?
“No – that’s only for members.”
“Do you send them any emails?”
“Only when we have a space.”
“And how long could it be until you have a space?”
“A few months to a few years.”
“Okay, so how are you keeping them warm while they wait?”
“What do you mean “warm”?”
“Engaged, happy, still interested, all of that stuff”
“But a waiting list is a guaranteed new member whenever WE want them to join.”
“Are you sure? Do you take a deposit from them to put them on the list?”
“So, what is there to stop them from joining at another Club, or just deciding that they are actually happier with just paying green fees than a full year’s membership up front?”
“Nothing, but they would never change their mind, I am pretty sure…”
This Club didn’t have a waiting list at all.
Instead, it was a “potential client list”.
And as the private sector knows, “potential” is no guarantee of them becoming an actual customer.
Until the money’s in your account, the job isn’t done, which means that keeping in contact with your potentials, engaging with them, and ensuring that they’re still interested in working with you isn’t just sensible, it’s critical.
How often do you speak to your potentials list?