Golf and business have had a close relationship for a long time and that connection is only getting stronger.
Golf business networks are beginning to spring up all over the place offering people with any kind of golf ability the opportunity to impress potential clients.
What these networks don’t prepare you for is how to impress those clients. This can leave some people vulnerable to one of these 8 Ways Not To Do Business On The Golf Course.
1. There is no game like golf for attracting rich and influential business people. So if you want to avoid these people, play with people who are very good at golf but are not responsible for any of the buying decisions at their firms.
2. Take the game very seriously and be so focused in the beginning that you forget who’s there with you. This is guaranteed to make a bad first impression which is something you don’t need from a business point of view.
3. As soon as you meet up with a prospective client, start discussing business. This makes it very clear that you are not interested in socialising or golf. It’s surprising how many people actually do this at network meetings so you will get more respect by leaving any talk of business until at least the 5th hole.
4. Take your time on the golf course and let the day drag on. While you shouldn’t rush through your rounds of golf in anticipation of getting to the bar afterwards, it is worth speeding up the pace of play and playing ‘ready golf’. Ready golf means making sure you are ready to play each shot in advance and doing everything necessary to move around the course efficiently.
5. If you don’t know your prospective clients well, brag about your golfing history at every opportunity and don’t listen to what they have to say about theirs. Remember people like people who listen to what they have to say even if that can be chore for the listener sometimes. Keep the end goal in mind.
6. Once you have introduced business as a topic of conversation, continue on and on about work and your industry, the state of the economy, politics and anything else you can think of that will bring down the mood. Alternatively you could focus on lighter topics of conversation and make the day memorable. Being memorable can help a lot in business because that person may not buy from you today, but they may do in the future if you leave a good impression.
7. Don’t take your golf seriously. Be casual because this will create the impression that you’re not really into trying very hard. Your business prospect may even find this patronising if they are losing when it is obvious you’re not trying too hard.
8. If things aren’t going as well as you would have liked, go and buy yourself a beer without first getting an idea if the person you are paired with approves of drinking. If they do, then get them a drink as well and try not to drink too much because this can often end in tears.