What do you do when you run into someone at a business gathering or TweetUp and you find they play golf? Do you jump their bones to go play golf or do you pass them by since your focus is collecting business cards so you can scheduled a follow-up “Coffee Chat”?
In a study I did in mid 2009 I found if you are focused on developing more business leads then it would serve you better to spending a half day with one person playing golf than nine hours going to 4 Networking functions.
The reason is simple. Trust opens up many, many more doors than Talk. And the one thing Golf does that Talk does not is build Trust.
In my study I spend four months going to TweetUps and Networking functions all to market my business. In each one of those functions I averaged finding 1.6 golfers (that is the raw figure so round it down to 1 if you are into stats, either way it shows that the golfers are not hanging out at TweetUps or Networking functions). Out of those golf contacts I ran a very pleasant 89% rate of securing a round of golf with these individuals. So, needless to say (but I will) I got to play a few rounds of business golf. Tough work, but someone had to do it.
Now, also at these business networking functions I gathered up a large number of business cards from those who did not play golf. As was the case in all of the contacts I made, golfer or not, everyone was a top notch professional in their field and had very pleasant personalities. However, one of the methods of developing business contacts and leads that generated business worked better than the other. Guess which one that was…?
Out of the rounds of business golf, I was actually able to make from each round of golf played an average of 4 more actual live leads that lead to actual business where as with the ‘coffee chat follow-ups’ with the non-golfers lead to approximately .4 leads per contact that lead to (guess what) zero business.
To be fair, I offer this disclaimer. Not all of my conversations or meetings with these contacts were on the Business Golf part of my business. All aspects of my Innovative Business Golf Solutions operations was discussed in each gathering I attended which included my Business Operations (Virtual COO) service, Business Mentoring as well as my Social Media Training services. So, not all rounds were consumed with Golf, Business Golf, Business Golf Country Club recruiting or ClamBake Cafe operations.
The short and sassy conclusion shows business golf maintains the lead in being the best method of generating business.
But, Why Does Golf Work Better than Other Methods of Business Networking?
I am finding the answer to this question get easier and easier to answer. The one thing golf develops over the business “Coffee” or “Lunch” meeting chat is golf offers an opportunity to develop Trust. Showing someone what type of person you are can be done playing golf. Talking only shows a person that you have manors and a vocabulary but does absolutely nothing to build trust.
If you haven’t got the memo, or refused to read it when you got it, then let me explain to you what has taken place in the business arena.
Trust is now the number one requirement of doing business anywhere in the world. If a business person can’t trust a potential employee to do the job, they don’t get the job. If the Company executives do not trust a vendor to do the work or supply them with the product or service, then business is not done.
The trust factor requirement for the consumer is double. What a salesperson says has little to do if a consumer is going to buy. If a business is not on the internet there is little chance the volume of sales needed to survive will happen. Consumers are requiring data and information on not just the product or service they are looking for, but also information on the (yes, this is real) the person or persons who run or manage the business that manufacturers or sales a product or service.
If TRUST cannot be established in any form then the likelihood of doing business starts falling to near zero change. I would say in this failed economy learning to play golf starts making more sense than standing around collecting more business cards. If you are interested in learning to play golf and business golf..let me know how I can help.