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“Eighteen holes of golf will teach you more about your foe than eighteen years of dealing with him across a desk” Grantland Rice, US sports columnist

golfGolf and business go together like fish and chips. It’s long been used as a way to build relationships, to talk shop in an informal environment, and of course, to seal the deal before you get to the 19th hole.

It’s a great sport to play for business, as all ages and abilities can easily play against each other, and there’s plenty of time to talk compared to other forms of corporate hospitality, such as football.

So, if you’re thinking of dusting down your driver and polishing your putter now that the weather is getting warmer and as part of your business development strategy, here’s some things that you can learn about how to do business on the golf course.

  • It’s all about the relationship. It will be a good few hours that you’ll be spending in the company of your fellow golfers, so be prepared to talk socially as well. Don’t try to force the conversation towards business if it doesn’t flow naturally, it’s more important to focus on creating a good rapport
  • Golf can teach you a lot about the character of the person you’re playing with. If they get mad, chuck their club in a tree because they’ve put their ball in a bunker, or cheat on their scorecard, it might make you think twice about doing business with them
  • Be on time! There’s nothing more annoying than having to wait for someone before you can tee off. It gives a really bad impression about who you are
  • If you don’t know what you’re doing, then ask! There’s a whole etiquette you need to follow, and if you don’t know that you’re supposed to fill your divots, or that you’re not supposed to walk in someone’s line (and you pretend that you do), then you’ll just look like you’re not paying respect to your golfing partners
  • As with all informal business gatherings, be careful of your alcohol intake
  • Compliment your client on their shots, and don’t make it too obvious if you’re trying to let them win…
  • Try not to be too competitive
  • Factor in time for lunch or dinner back at the clubhouse. Your conversations can carry on there, and it’s a great place to finalise any actions/partnerships/deals etc.

Above all else, go out, enjoy yourself, have fun meeting new people, and build relationships with your clients and prospective customers. It’s a great way to network, and you’re getting some exercise at the same time. And if you’re looking for someone to make up the numbers, then there’s some keen golfers at Blue Rocket!

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