There’s probably no better place in the world to conduct business than on the golf course. Business executives all over the world know that sharing a common frustration with their golf game promotes the perfect environment for business talk. More partnerships and businesses have been changed on the golf course than you could ever imagine.
When you are conducting business on the golf course, you have the luxury of sharing a common goal – to beat each other. Yet at the same time, when you are playing with business associates on the golf course, you really need to practice some decorum when playing golf with a potential business affiliate.
So how do you balance business with sport on the golf course? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. Just as with any decision in business, you have to weigh the outcome with what is happening. If you are trying to land a big account, you probably won’t want to make fun of your potential client’s missed chip shot.
However, you won’t want to gain a reputation as a suck-up either. If your potential client makes a 7 on a par 3 hole, you really don’t want to whoop and holler because it will be obvious you are just trying to stroke his (or her) ego. Conducting business on the golf course is a delicate proposition, so start with a plan in mind.
DO NOT – and we stress this a lot – DO NOT begin your golf match with a declaration of what you hope to accomplish by the end of the round. If you want to insure that you will be landing that big account, don’t put on your golf glove on tee #1 and declare your intention. The idea behind conducting business on the golf course is to make friends first and then do your business.
As you are playing, keep in mind that you will want to bring your “A” game as much as is humanly possible. Sure, you might be playing against a person who is head and shoulders above you, but if you are the better player, DON’T let them win just because you want to gain their business. Play golf like you mean it and gain that prospect’s respect.
There is much business that is done on the golf course every day of every week. You won’t find a better place to make a business deal than on the links. However, you will want to use some form of decorum to insure that your business goals will come to reality. Taking business on the golf course could be the best business decision you ever make!