Vice President of Sales
Blue Tees Golf Company
Interview with Matt Ward
Taylor Herber is the Vice President of Sales at Blue Tees Golf, a rapidly growing producer of golf rangefinders and accessories. He is a golf industry veteran with over 20-years of experience. His reputation to grow companies, exceed sales goals and manage large teams to achieve multi-million-dollar gains makes him the ideal Vice President of Sales for Blue Tees Golf.
THE HERBERT STORY:
Taylor Herber grew up in the golf industry. He has been entrenched in the industry since he was noticeably young. Herber’s father, Paul Herber worked with Taylor Made Golf during the early stage of the metal wood boom.
At an early age Herbert was interested in the business side of golf. He would listen to his father and other industry leaders like Mark King, Sean Toulon and Eddie Langert discuss various business strategies and innovative ways to grow the game of golf. He was intrigued.
Herber’s first stint in the golf business was working for his father at La Jolla Club Golf Co. At the time, La Jolla Club was the leading manufacturer of junior golf clubs. This is where Herber received invaluable experience running warehouse operations, club building and design. Most importantly, he learned the value of an overall drive and the importance of passion and how to use it to run a successful business.
Eventually a position in sales opened and Herber jumped on the opportunity and never looked back. After his tenure at La Jolla Club Herber accepted a position as National Sales Manager at Trion:Z. A fast paced magnetic/ionic accessory company that took the golf industry by storm. Trion:Z had hundreds of recognizable professional golfers wearing and promoting their products all over the world. Herber’s passion and drive for the golf business blossomed at Trion:Z and it became a huge steppingstone towards his most recent endeavor.
Herber joined Blue Tees Golf as Vice President of Sales at the start of 2021. With Herber’s added experience and wealth of industry knowledge Blue Tees Golf is quickly becoming one of Golf’s fastest growing companies.
You wake up in the morning — what’s the driving passion?
I love waking up and interacting with customers. With the understanding that we both have the same goal. To provide more value to the modern-day golf consumer and ultimately sell more golf products.
What was the genesis for Blue Tees Golf?
The company founders are four friends who love to golf! They are average golfers who thought a rangefinder could help. They purchased an inexpensive rangefinder on Amazon and after using it a couple of times, it broke. The eye piece popped off. Gave it a mulligan, and bought another rangefinder and again, it broke.
Collectively, they thought, why is it difficult to find a high-quality rangefinder that is accessible or affordable? That was the genesis of Blue Tees Golf. Now golfers can buy a technically advanced, stylish rangefinder that provides value and is supported with a Blue Tees Golf 60-day return policy and two- year warranty.
Curious to know – how was the company name arrived at?
For average golfers, there is a common question asked at the start of each round – “are we playing from the white or the blue tees?” At Blue Tees Golf, we provide golfers with the equipment they need to have the confidence to play from the Blue Tees without breaking the bank.
What elevates your products over the competition?
One of the Blue Tees Founders Brandon Francisco is an Industrial Designer. Brandon is not only in charge of the technology and function of our products but has developed the overall feel of the brand. His passion for our products and brand vision is what set us apart from the overwhelming amount of off the shelf rangefinders out there.
A number of companies experienced the gamut of situations during the pandemic — describe how things went in 2020 and what you see happening for the balance of this year and beyond?
I joined Blue Tees initially as a consultant in September 2020. At that time Blue Tees was primarily a direct-to-consumer company and my job was to launch B2B. Holiday 2020 sales exploded as we partnered with Dick’s Sporting Goods, PGA Tour Superstores, and some of the best retailers in golf. We were extremely optimistic heading into 2021 but we could never have expected the products to do as well as they have.
We are now in all physical locations at Dick’s Sporting goods and PGA Tour Superstores and our green grass presence has exploded. I expect much of the same this holiday season and feel golf is in a great place heading into 2022.
From a sales perspective — what is the approximate percentage of your successes via green grass shops, brick and mortar retail outlets and online sales?
Our green grass business has grown exponentially since September 2020. By the end of 2021, we expect to be in over 700+ green grass golf shops. That means by the end of 2021 between green grass and big box retail customers will be able to find Blue Tees Rangefinders in over 2,000+ retail locations nationwide. Even with this massive brick and mortar growth we still maintain a 50/50 ratio between direct-to-consumer and B2B sales.
Many companies tout the importance of customer service. Define the term and the approach you follow from a company perspective?
If you are going to come in and try to disrupt an established category like the rangefinder space, you need two things. An amazing product and even better customer service. The goal at Blue Tees is to build relationships with our customers at all levels.
Whether it is an individual consumer or a huge retailer like Dicks we want the experience to be the same. You are spending your hard-earned money on our products, and we are overly grateful that you chose us. We want everyone to feel how appreciative we really are, and that mentality is there with the entire Blue Tees team.
You can change one thing in golf unilaterally — what would it be and why?
The underlying non inclusive nature of the game. I know this is an issue we are all aware of and that has gotten much better. The pandemic golf boom is proof that golf can be enjoyed by everyone. Now let’s continue to cast a larger net and include as many people as possible from every walk of life that we can. The game and the industry will be much better for it.
Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?
My father always taught me to conduct business the right way. That can have many meanings, but my father meant to treat employees and customers with respect. There are many ways to succeed in business but if you can do it in the right way that is something special.
The biggest challenges — short and long term — facing Blue Tees Golf is what? And the steps you are implementing in dealing with those respective challenges.
Whenever you experience extremely fast growth as a business there will be several challenges. The largest hurdle we have is finding the right team members to help us scale the right way. We do business a certain way at Blue Tees and have an overall view of the game of golf that is different from the norm.
Finding peoples with the right skills who can fit within this culture will be vital to our ability to continue to scale like we want to.