Nowadays, there is less pressure on a golf game to deliver the deal, there are more and more women on the links, and golf courses are more accessible than ever.
Business golfing is now an invaluable networking tool that is open to all. Here's why a few lessons to get your handicap down might get you far:
- Go prepared. Great networkers need a combination of confidence and practice to be successful. Like any other skill, you can learn how to get better at it but you'll lose your touch unless you keep practicing by attending as many networking events as you can. Brush up on your conversational questions, remembering that your goal is to learn as much about other people and their business as possible. Always make sure that you are not the one doing all the talking - keep listening.
- Bide your time. A beautiful golf course on a lovely summer day is one of the best places to be, and people tend to be relaxed and in a great mood. What better conditions to expand your network and make personal connections while enjoying an afternoon out of the office? If you plan on making a pitch to one of your fellow golfers just be careful not to make it too soon. If your idea doesn't fly, it can make for an uncomfortable ride in the golf cart for the rest of the game. Wait until the back nine, and wait till you are near the end.
- Be strategic. As I've said in other articles, you should have an overall networking strategy that guides where you go and how often you go there, and helps define your goals for every event. Look at a golf game through the same lens and worry less about your golfing score and more about the people around you. Remember that golf tournaments especially are great for bringing out golfers of all abilities and meeting new faces, with a friendly format and great prizes and contests. Look out for them in your community.
Can I say a 'slam-dunk'?
Author: Karen August is the Manager of Membership Services for the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705.748-9771 x200