A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me if I ever tried to talk business or truly market myself to the others in the group while on the golf course. Did I view it as part of my overall marketing plan?
Now my wife and I have had this "argument" and marketing discussion since time eternal. Bottomline, she thinks I"m full of hooey when I'm telling her my upcoming golf round could mean business for me down the road. It's become sort of a joke between us over the 32 years of our marriage.
But, truth be told ... we both DO view the golf as part of the marketing plan we put together for me each year.
This marketing plan of mine goes beyond the normal golf outing participation and door prize give-aways that seem to be considered as part of our industry's yearly dues. Ask any loan officer or realtor if they get requests to attend and donate for a golf outing (or two, or three, or more) during the year and most likely you'll get a huge "YES"! Almost guiltily, I will tell you that my marketing for the year includes funds set aside for golfing "adventures" that go beyond those typical opportunities for participation.
I host weekly Wednesday night golf lessons year-round. In Illinois, that's quite a trick in the winter. Don't remind my wife! (Thank you Ditka SportsDome in Bolingbrook!) Business partners are asked to join me at our home in Galena, Illinois, for a few rounds of golf during the summer. (BTW, Galena, and the surrounding area, has some of the most scenic and budget-friendly golf venues in our state. And yes, that's part of the reason I chose our home there ... guilty again!)
Recently, I hosted a group of business partners at a PGA tournament held close by. I was able to land a great deal on the tourney tickets and everyone in attendance enjoyed the day together immensely. My wife says I'm pushing it, but I even see these get-togethers as mini-"leads" organizations. The relationships within the group are strenthened and we all benefit from that too. There are always other golf rounds and opportunities that routinely wind up on my calendar too.
But ... does any solid BUSINESS get discussed during any of those golfing get-togethers? Probably not. So what are the true benefits then?
I know I learn alot about the personalities of my business partners on the golf course ... good and bad. It can be a real education for me and I gather real insight. Let's just say I've discovered a few "sandtraps" and "water hazards" concerning personalities during a round and let it go at that.
I also see these as great opportunities to re-solidify old relationships. I get a chance to celebrate the friendship and also just show my appreciation for what we share. Newer relationships have an opportunity to gather steam during these times, as well. I see this all as a great benefit to me moving forward into my actual business day.
I am convinced that I gain much (both personal and business-wise) through my participation in golf. And especially when I'm trying to convince my wife that I need to enjoy another round on a beautiful day ...
That's my argument and I'm sticking to it! See you on the golf course!