Pictured Above: Gary Tettenburn
(left) with co-workers Memo and Eric
Gary Tettenburn, owner of One Putt Greens
in San Diego, California, makes many golfers’ dreams
come true with his superb Golfscapes. He also makes his employees
dreams come true with year round work. Here’s what we
found out from Gary.
How did you come
to find putting green installations to be a profitable business?
We’ve been in the landscape industry for many years.
As golf exploded in popularity here in California, we realized
that we could supply our customers with a great niche service
by installing putting greens. We jumped on board as soon as
we could; especially when we found out that we already had
all the equipment needed to install them.
How many have
you installed since opening One Putt Greens?
We’ve installed about 1500 in just over 5 years.
of your sales are turnkey installations versus self-install
100% because we only provide complete installs.
If you did sell
self-install kits, what would be a number reason that customers
would want to install a green themselves?
We would think because of the price difference. Customers
can save a lot of money by installing greens by themselves.
of your business comes from current customer referrals?
About 20%, but that is hard to gauge because the ads we have
in magazines generate much more. However, some customers will
get the referral from their friend and then see the ad, so
then they are really sold.
What about getting
additional work from one customer?
Additional landscape work is one of our strengths! A $10,000
putting green may yield another $30,000 in landscaping. One
customer of ours installed a putting green and when he saw
our capabilities, he booked us for 3 months of work worth
What is your
The first step is always to fully educate the customers about
every aspect of synthetic putting greens, the benefits and
advantages, complete product info, its hybrid make-up, warranty
information, custom designs, undulations, and the technique
we use to install them. We always try to have both spouses
present when we go to their residence.
2nd, when we go to the home, we get to know
them if they aren’t already a known customer and we
head outside to make a border with the 100 foot cord. Then
we ask if we can paint out the border for them. If they let
us, we put a cup and flag in the ground and really get them
excited by putting to the area. We keep them involved as much
3rd, we present a quote at that time.
4th, As we discuss the quote, we give them
options such as, “We have an opening next week if you
would like us to get started then,” or “Which
size of green would you like, this one, or that one?”
You need to ask for the job at least 3 times before you leave
the customer’s home. We also have them watch our sales
video at this time.
And then we do the installation.
What is your
secret for closing such sales?
Asking for the job 3 times during the design consultation
or sales visit.
What is the
biggest objection to a sale that you hear from potential customers?
Usually they are weary about how long the putting green will
last, or they wonder how our product is better than our competition.
How do you counteract
Again, by fully educating the customer about the greens, and
of course, stressing the warranty protection. I show them
the pictorial magazine where they can see some greens for
What kind of
incentives do you offer potential putting green customers?
Depending on the customer, we give them a new Titleist putter
worth $300 if they purchase, or a coupon good for $300 off
What is the most
common mistake you see customers make with their installations?
By far the biggest mistake is that the green is too small.
I have never encountered a customer that thinks the green
is too big.
How do you try
to resolve this problem?
You just can’t. The turf is manufactured with different
dye lots every 2 weeks, so if you try to add on to the green,
it won’t match. However, we offer to install another
trends affect your putting green sales?
We target very upscale clients, so they don’t even know
what a recession is. The economy wouldn’t hamper their
do you think most putting green companies must overcome to
be successful like you?
They must make their company’s products and services
visible in their communities. Customers have to know that
putting greens are available because most people don’t
even know they exist!
What do you
like most about installing putting greens?
The flexibility. When we do a custom landscape design, I am
required to be on-site at all times. Customers can be very
demanding with landscapes. Rearranging plants and shrubs –
the plant isn’t in the right place, move it over here,
adding irrigation systems or redirecting sprinkler heads,
etc. But with putting greens, once the design is agreed upon,
the installation process is always the same so I don’t
have to be on-site as much. That extra time is great because
I can use it to sell more greens!
Do you have
any more tips or advice that you would like to share?
Don’t compromise any part of the installation process.
Always provide professional, first-rate customer service, and always follow up after the install .
. . Always.
Thank you Gary. Your information will
be very helpful for our fellow All Pro Distributors.