Finding the right time to make a sales pitch or secure a new partner is tricky, but what can work better than a relaxing game of golf to iron things out? Depending on the golf course you choose – our favorite is Deerfield Beach in South Florida – you will have a secluded space with plenty of time to talk business. However, when you’re playing golf and conducting business, there are a set of unwritten rules you need to live by, which we’ll outline below.
Relax and Talk Non-Business
Holding a business meeting on the golf course is supposed to relax the mood, so remember to take it easy and talk about non-business-related topics; loosening up your audience is more likely to provide you with success. As a general rule, you should talk shop for around five holes and then switch up the mood to something light, which gives your audience time to think everything through. When you’re making your way between holes, you should maximize your enjoyment with these golf cart cup holders – a refreshing drink will help sweeten the deal.
You probably feel like you’ve got whiplash right now, especially following the previous point. However, you need to keep in mind that business is the main purpose of your golfing trip. Winning the game and becoming friends is never the goal, so don’t get sucked into the fantasy.
You need to build a strong connection during your business meeting, so throw out a couple of inside jokes to move things along. Once you’ve established a positive rapport, you should give your potential new partner a reason to see you again – you can even invite them back for another round of golf. If you both like the golf course and the new partnership will pay off, invest in a couple of platinum memberships and come back at least once a month.
You need to squeeze plenty of talking into your round of golf, but there’s a time and a place for it. For example, when your potential partner is eying up the shot and about to backswing, don’t talk. Further, when you tee off or you’re on the green, keep chatter to a minimum to keep the game flowing. Communication should be saved for between holes and time in the golf cart.
Aside from relaxing the mood, conducting business meetings on the golf course will give you plenty of time to secure your deal, so don’t rush through the game. You need to find the fine line between a dragging game at seven hours and the sweet spot at 4.5 hours. If you need to squeeze some extra time, suggest heading up to the club for a drink afterward – or purposely miss a couple of shots along the way.
If you’re a novice golfer but want to benefit from a golf business meeting, consider taking lessons and improving your game. You’re trying to impress potential business partners, so don’t put them off with your terrible skills. Further, if you’re focusing too much on playing the game, you won’t be conducting too much business.
Business meetings have been carried out on golf courses for as long as we can remember, and it’s even a popular feature in Hollywood – especially in rom coms and sitcoms. When you head out to your favorite course to talk business, you need to follow the rules of golf etiquette. Don’t talk during a backswing, keep business talk to the first five holes, and know how to play the game on a basic level.