With the golfing season in full swing and high profile competitions about to get lots of media attention (The Majors, golf returning to the Olympics and the Ryder Cup), it may be a good time to dust off those clubs and arrange a few ‘green meetings’ with clients and contacts.
Collingwood has a number of keen golfers in the office, who occasionally attend client golf days and catch up with clients old and new on the course. Here are some of the things we’ve learned over the years; our tips and advice for a successful business meeting on the course.
1) Choosing the course
Before play even begins make sure you pick a course which suits the people playing, but one that is to a good standard. Tight, tree-lined courses or courses that are too long will tend to be less enjoyable for the higher handicap players. You want to entertain your clients, not leave them feeling highly frustrated! Also, ensure that the course has a good reputation and is in good condition. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a green fee, but do ensure it is a step up from the local municipal!
2) Golf club facilities
Make sure the course has good facilities for pre and post round conversations. How about meeting up for refreshment beforehand? Is there a good bar with a lunchtime menu to enjoy a post-round drink and lunch? This will allow you to reflect on your game as well as finalise any business discussions you may have engaged in during the round.
3) Choosing your playing partners
If you are playing in a four-ball you may have two from your business and two from the client. Make sure you split yourselves up if you’re having a friendly match (one from each business in a pair). This guarantees you more time with your clients during the round, allowing you to learn about any current business situations.
4) Attend client golf days
Does your client have a company golf day already? This is a great opportunity to meet more people within the business and extend your network. Often these events provide sponsorship opportunities, again another chance to raise your profile within the business. Corporate golf days often have a formal sit down meal and prize giving afterwards, which may open up opportunities to sit next to new contacts and even new potential business prospects.
5) Finally… don’t talk business too much
A game of golf is an opportunity for your clients to spend some precious time out of the office. Let them enjoy this 5 hours or so out of the office. Don’t start talking business as soon as you’ve hit your opening tee shots. I have been told in the past that it is best to talk business between the 5th and 15th hole. Keep it as conversational as possible; up and coming projects, positives, future plans, new people in the business etc. Don’t start talking complex financials or look to close deals. A good objective from a game of golf is to look at arranging a follow up meeting back at their office to finalise any deals or find out any more information.
Collingwood are always open to a game of golf with contacts old and new, feel free to get in contact and we can look to arrange a four-ball.
Over the last 11 years, Collingwood has partnered a number of leading FMCG and retail businesses across the UK and Europe to headhunt senior executives across commercial and operational roles. In 2015 Collingwood also added leadership consultancy to our portfolio, providing executive level coaching, development, and transitioning and strategy assessment.
For more information on how Collingwood can add value to your senior executive recruitment and leadership development please get in touch on +44(0)1829 732374 or visit www.collingwoodsearch.co.uk