Most people prefer to do business with someone they know, and one of the best places for getting to know someone is the golf course. It’s a great place for both developing new business relationships and enhancing existing ones.
Four hours on a golf course with players you don’t know is an opportunity to make good connections. With lots of time to talk between holes, and in the clubhouse after, it will enable you to engage in conversations that will allow you to get to know these other golfers better than a meeting in the office will ever do.
Here are our tips for successful networking on the golf course:
- Never dive straight into business talk, start a conversation about anything but business. As your round of golf progresses ask questions that will encourage your playing partners to share information about themselves and the work they do. Try and get a perspective of any issues they may face and how you could help them. This may be sharing some ideas you have or industry information, or simply an introduction to a useful contact.
- Always bring a few business cards with you and exchange before the end of the round. Be sure to follow up with any contacts you make. This could be something simple such as connecting on LinkedIn, or scheduling lunch or another round of golf.
- The best way to make new connections is to turn up for a round of golf on your own. You will usually be placed in a foursome with people you have never met before, a perfect opportunity to get to know them.
- Never cheat when networking at golf, well you should never cheat at golf at any time but definitely not when playing with business contacts. Cutting corners or cheating will give people the impression of someone who cannot be trusted. Networking at golf is about building relationships with business contacts and creating trust.
Playing 18 holes of golf can really help to increase the number of new business relationships. The information shared during a round of golf can prove to be invaluable to helping you progress in business.