Golf for Business Networking? Join the Club.
Do you need to chat up a new client, show thanks to a partner, or explore new networking opportunities? The golf course can be an ideal setting to talk business, expand your client base, or simply help personalize an existing relationship.
Over four hours of uninterrupted time with clients on a beautiful landscape – it’s the proverbial hole in one.
“One of the biggest benefits of golfing with a client or prospect is that it affords you the opportunity to spend four to five hours in a relaxed setting getting to know your client,” said Robert Murray, NJM vice president for Commercial Lines. “Golf takes you out of the structured setting of a business meeting or lunch. Even one round of golf can really build on a business relationship.”
Networking through an activity like golf produces a shared experience that can enrich future interactions. Playing the course together is one aspect of that experience, but a good meal, the weather, personal anecdotes, or a humorous incident are all moments that serve as a connection.
You can also get great reads on your business partner or prospective client during a round of golf. Certain personality traits are on display that may not be during a conference call or Skype meeting. This can be helpful when planning a presentation, collaborating on a project, or preparing for negotiations.
Questions a round of golf can answer about your client:
Are they a Type A or Type B personality?
Is the person a strict rule follower or do they bend?
Do they like to commandeer conversation or are they a listener?
Are they methodical or do they adjust to the moment?
How do they respond when things go wrong?
Do they have a sense of humor?
Are they the modest type or ego driven?
Do they have a special interest to call on for future showcases of appreciation?
At NJM, representatives play in a handful of chamber outings each year to build on their business relationships. The company also sponsors many nonprofit golf outings to help support the communities it is privileged to serve.