It can be hard to build strong business relationships over conference calls and Zoom meetings. Work lunches and client dinners get old. We have a better idea. Why not use the golf course to create or strengthen business relationships?
We don’t care if you’re a scratch handicap or a weekend golfer. You can use business golf to meet new people and to help existing acquaintances grow stronger. The best thing about a round of golf is you have plenty of time. You don’t have to feel pressure to push the “business stuff.” You’ll be on the golf course for 4+ hours, so let the business talk happen organically.
Instead of making a reservation at Chili’s call your local pro shop for a tee time. Your clients and colleagues will be pleasantly surprised. Use business golf to drive more sales and create a cohesive team!
Tips For Building Business Relationships Through Golf
Get people out of the office and they’ll thank you for it. Here are 4 tips for how to use business golf to build better business relationships.
Participate In A Charity Tournament
Did you know that one of the best ways for a charity to raise money is to host a captain’s choice (scramble) golf tournament? It’s true, and most golf courses close on Monday afternoons to host these events.
We love to kill two birds with one stone. Find a cause that could use your support, enter a team (foursome), and invite some business clients or colleagues. Charity tournaments are perfect for business golf because the format (captain’s choice) is designed for all skill levels. Even a beginner can help their team do well.
We also love this idea because you’re competing on a team together. You get to cheer for each other and celebrate great shots. How often do you get to give “high fives” or “fist bumps” during a conference call? Relationships built on the golf course can last years, if not decades.
Golf As A Single To Network
Could it help your business to meet and talk to new people? Call your local golf course and make a tee time as a single. Let them know that you’re willing to play with other golfers as needed. The other players don’t need to know you are using the round as business golf.
The key is to let the conversation naturally flow. We promise that by the 3rd or 4th hole, someone will ask you what you do for a living. This is your opening. Don’t be pushy, just let them know your line of business. Who knows, by the time you make the turn you might have a new client or you may have discovered the new team member you’ve been searching for.
Playing a round of golf is more fun than searching through LinkedIn!
Plan To Golf With A Group Of Colleagues
We can all agree that teams and colleagues are more effective when they enjoy working together. The challenge is to find the best way to build these relationships. We think business golf is the right answer.
Make a plan to play a round of golf with a group of colleagues. Try to avoid talking about work. The goal is to get everyone to relax, get some fresh air, and to enjoy each other’s company. Don’t measure success by how much “work” gets done, but by how many smiles, laughs, and jokes you observe.
The golf course is a great place to build a strong team. You can combine a couple of our tips by inviting your team (colleagues) to play in a charity tournament with you. You’ll most likely have different skill levels, so do your best to make everyone feel comfortable.
Business golf can bring your team together.
Meet With Clients To Golf
An important first step for any client relationship is getting to know them. What do they enjoy doing outside of the office? If you learn that a client loves to play golf, you’d be crazy not to make a tee time. We promise you they’d prefer to play a round versus listening to your “sales pitch” over lunch.
The great thing about business golf is that you’ll have hours with your client. You don’t have to feel rushed to make an impression quickly. You can build both a personal and business relationship.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid “talking shop” until at least the 6th hole. If possible, let your client broach the work subject before you do. Show them that you’re on the course to enjoy the day with them, not to try and sell them something.
You’ll be amazed by the long-term client relationships you can build on the golf course. Before you know it, your clients will be calling you to play.
Golf For Business: Frequently Asked Questions
Should I learn to golf for business?
Yes. If your line of business includes managing a team or working with clients, business golf is a great way to build stronger relationships. A round of golf gives you 4+ hours to enjoy each other’s company and get to know each other.
Is golf a business sport?
Yes, golf is perfect for business. You get to build a rapport with your clients and colleagues while enjoying a nice afternoon. There’s plenty of time during an 18-hole round to talk business and build personal relationships.
Use Business Golf To Grow Your Business & Strengthen Your Team
One of the best things about the game of golf is the lifetime relationships that are built on the golf course. Why not use the power of this unique sport for the good of your business? Establish strong relationships with your clients and build a super-team while you stripe drives down the fairway.
Golf takes care of the hard work. You don’t have to force it. Enjoy the day and you’ll go home with new or improved relationships. You don’t have hard sell yourself or your business. Simply have fun playing this great game with your clients and colleagues.
Add business golf to your toolkit today!