Picture a typical business networking event where most people are trying to talk to as many people as possible and handout as many business cards as they can in an attempt to build their network. But then what happens after the event? More often than not, either they do not follow up or spend the next few weeks trying to build a relationship with the person that they met for about 10 minutes! Not always the most successful way to do things….
In business everybody knows that it’s not what you know, but who you know. However; creating, maintaining and growing your network of useful business contacts can be frustrating and time consuming. There is no quick fix and no one trick. Successful networking comes from spending quality time with people, showing them who you really are and what you can truly offer.
All sports build trust, confidence and friendship – that is, as long as you play honestly! However, golf does have a very real advantage over other sports.
Firstly it is the only sport where people of different abilities can play along side each and secondly, unlike other fast paced sports where it is a little hard to discuss business when you are sprinting up and down a court (or having to shout to each other over a net) golf is played on beautifully maintained green lawns amidst ponds and trees. This tranquil environment is ideal to talk to your associates; to build both relationships and discuss business.
So despite the cliché of middle age men dressed in clothing one normally dream of wearing, golf actually is an excellent way to build and create business relationships for both men and women alike. And although there is a dress code, dressing akin to Rupert Bear is completely optional.
Golf is a very skilled game and even the best of players have off days but it is how you play, not your handicap, that matters. An honest, well played game of golf, will increase people’s confidence and trust in you as an individual.
If you feel that you would gain more confidence to network by having a lower handicap then there are several options available to you. A few private lessons with your local PGA coach can help brush up on targeted areas or alternatively a good book, DVD or golf tuition App can also work wonders.
The added benefit from the later options is that when you are out practising your drills from the said book or App (DVDs are a little harder to take out on the course…) you will get further opportunities to network with other people also brushing up on their skills, thus increasing your network even further.
As you can see; golf is an invaluable tool for businessmen and women alike. It’s a real opportunity to show others who you are and learn more about your current and future associates. Furthermore, it lends itself to discussing business and fostering the relationships that will assure your future success. Take a swing at it and don’t miss out.
Jenni Biggs is co-author and co-designer of Golf2Win tutorial app aimed at making golfers more confident on the course by lowering their handicap with proven techniques by one of PGA’s top coaches.
Further information on how to gain confidence as a golfer can be found at www.golf2win.co.uk