Successful business relationships don’t always start in an office or meeting room. Usually they are nurtured through something informal such as a drink in the pub, a social event, or increasingly on the golf course.
If you’ve been invited to a golfing event, then read on for our four tips for successful networking on the golf course.
If you are going to be playing at a golfing event you should familiarise yourself with the rules and club code of conduct of the club you are playing at as they can and do vary. If you’re a beginner make sure everyone knows. Play with honesty and integrity as it’s not about your final score and winning-it’s about having a good time and building rapport with the people you are playing with.
When to talk business
Be patient, the golf course is not the place for a hard sell. Keep conversation light and try to establish common ground early on. Take an interest in your fellow players as making a good first impression will go a long way. You should use your time on the course to develop a relationship, not sell a deal.
One example of this is sandbagging-inflating your handicap in order to give you the edge. This is easily detectable and will lead to your playing partner (prospective client) thinking you are untrustworthy. If you cheat and it is discovered you will certainly sour any relationship you had built during the game.
After the game
The 19th hole, (the clubhouse) is a chance to have a drink with your playing partner/partners and exchange business cards. This is also the perfect opportunity to arrange a follow up game. We would always suggest sending a thank you letter/email after the game which helps keep the conversation and relationship going.