Lots of businesspeople are joining golfclubs, businessclubs or serviceclubs with the idea in mind that it might have a positive return for their company.But how does this work ? Will you really get sales through your membership?
Earlier this month I read a great article with the subtitle “Why relationship building on the golf course may be as important as ever for business networking”
(Link to the article : http://www.inc.com/business-travel-2011/business-lessons-on-the-golf-course.html)
Basically this is very simple : People like to do business with people they know very well.
It’s an easy way to avoid negative surprises.
When you are playing a round of golf with another businessman or –woman, you are out for at least four hours in a relaxing, quiet and natural environment in which often mobile phones aren’t even allowed. This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know each other and watch with your own eyes how the other person is handling stress. A golfball won’t always do what you want it to do and this may lead to an occasional explosion of emotions. Of course this never happens to you and it’s strictly against the rules of golf etiquette ;-)
Networking is nothing more or less than building a database of high quality business contacts.
These are people you know very well professionally and they also know you very well.
Will you do business with these people? Will you sell your products and services to the other members of your club ?
This might happen occasionally, but it’s not even the intention of business networking.
What we really want to happen is that people will remember you and actively refer others to you when they think you might be able to help them. When you are building a network in the proper way, you will create a network of active promoters for your business.
Will this lead to real business? Will this lead to sales? Absolutely !
Here we also come to the point where tax control services hit their golfballs into the woods. I have seen several examples where tax controllers demand a 100% evidence of sales directly linked to a membership of a golfclub, a businessclub or a serviceclub. That just isn’t the way it works …