Win at golf…….even if you lose

by Brendon on March 8, 2005

I played golf with a client today. He thrashed me (and if you’re reading this David, I only let you win because you are the client!………………I wish!). He managed to fall in for the narrowest of wins………………..12 shots.
In just about any sort of business, spending time (such as playing golf) with your client in a relaxed and social atmosphere is always a good thing. And it’s a good thing because business is about relationships.
If you build a close relationship with your client you will be more successful. Not maybe. Not sometimes. Always. You will be more successful.
Play golf for one reason only
I play golf with my client David for one main reason. It’s fun. He’s also a great guy to play golf with, he’s funny and we have a lot of fun.
David has also given me a lot of business over the years, and has referred plenty of new clients.
The cynical amongst us will look at me playing golf with David as a purely business-driven pursuit. But it’s not. It just happens that it turns out that the more golf I play with clients the more work we get. The more I develop the relationship with clients’, the more successful we become.
It’s getting to know your client well – that’s the key
And that’s the key. If you get to know your client well, then they have a real sense of who you are and where you’re coming from. They will be far more likely to deal with you. People like dealing with people they know and like. It’s that simple.
Let’s say my mate David needs some media work done (we’ve never done media work for him before). He knows we do media work (I’ve mentioned it during our long chats on the golf course). Do you think he would ask me to do his media? Of course he would.
What about if I said to him, “David, bad luck on missing that 3 foot putt! I have some ideas for some PR strategies for your business over the next 3 months that I think could be sensational. Do you have some time on Tuesday to get together?”
He’ll say “Yes”
What will he say then? He’ll say “Yes”, of course. And he’ll say yes because he knows I’m a no BS sort of guy who knows what I’m doing. And he knows that because we have developed a relationship and he knows me better than a person making a cold-call to him in his office during the week.
Business is about relationships. Take some time to develop decent relationships with your key business people. It’s good for business and it’s a good way to get to know some good people.
(from post July 2003)

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