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May 13, 2010 6:37 pm

Yay, golf in the northern climes is here! Hoping this thread will attract all kinds of golf banter during the season. What is your golf goal this season?

For me:

1. Index reduction of 3 or 4.

2. Aquire 7 high net worth clients (avg. 500k) this season.

Venue: outside tournaments, natural market at the club, random pairing at the public course, referrals through golfing cients (entertainment).

May 13, 2010 9:21 pm

The whole concept of acquiring high net worth clients through the "business golf" approach has always intrigued me.  I'm a hacker (at best), so I've never felt comfortable really pursuing that as a strategy, for fear that I'd embarrass myself and my prospect beyond redemption.  I'd be interested to know who is successful with this approach, and if it's essential to be a low handicapper.

Coming out of training at AGE, one of the guys in my class who made it back for Phase Two in St. Lou was putting up some pretty respectable numbers early out.  I remembered him saying while we were in Phase One for 3 weeks that he planned to spend one day a week at the course, just hanging as a single and seeing who he got paired with.  I made it a point during Phase Two to ask him if he had stuck with that strategy, and if that was working well for him.  He said he had done it a bit, but not as religiously as he had planned to.   Continuing to compare ideas and experiences, we talked further and he finally let it slip that HIS MOM WAS A REGIONAL PERSONNEL DIRECTOR for a huge company headquartered in Texas.  Hmm, maybe that source of pre-retirement and rollover contacts was just as good as showing up at Sagebrush Muni and riding 18 with the 349 pound guy who's butt cheeks make a cheery whistling noise everytime he bends over to tee it up.

May 13, 2010 10:40 pm

Nice, butt cheeks.

Beems, it works. Welcome to the golf club. Here is my advice:

1. Get yourself  in a position where you can dedicate some golf marketing time ( block out AMs for work, pms for golf).,

2. Call ahead or just show up and asked to be put in with 3 others.

3. Have fun.

High handicappers or hackers should simply do this:

1. Get a cart, so you can keep up and have fun.

2. Be prepared to pick up your ball and move on, when appropriate

Everyone can chip and putt.

The valuable golf advice I ever got, was: " Nobody cares how well you play, they only care about how fast you play."

Remember, this is work. While it's true that you should never tell what you do unless asked, our job is to find out all we can about our opponents, during the round! In a low-key way, of course. If you're with guys who don't do anything but golf intensely, and talk about the golf, it's still not a wasted round, you get to practice.

You can always sneek in a quick question, what do you do, " I guess you're retired, huh Bill, some of us have to work for a living.

No, I'm not a rich kid. Yes, you can get clients on the golf course. I expect a full report here. Without saying too much, I'll say that yesterday, I made a contact and today, made my follow-up email. It was slightly warm, but it has resulted in a meeting with an excellent cold prospect referred by the warm aquaintance.

This reminds me to THINK BIG and expect new accounts to be affluent investors.

More business golf advice:

Never, EVER diss yourself, or make excuses for your play.

Be ready to take your shot quickly, mark your ball quickly, stand out of the other guys line, get you shadow out of the way on the green, etc

Always compliment the other guys good shots, but be cool about it. Give eye contact, take off your shades and look at the guy and smile.

Don't EVER comment or commiserate when the other guy makes a bad shot. Don't even give eye contact.

Most low handicappers like to give tips, ask them for ONE tip if appropriate. Be cool about it. Don't act on the tip unless you feel like it. This is about building rapport and genuinely complimenting a player who is better than you, not necessarily you  learning right then and there.

Be ready to drop a ball when you lose one, don't waste any time looking for your ball. When the other players offer to help you look, wave them off. Make sure you help them look for their lost ball. ( In handicap play, you are required to make a serious effort to find your ball).

May 14, 2010 8:00 pm

Good advice $$.  I think the other point that is clear from your message is that you have to play regularly (just like networking, cold calling, seminars, etc.) in order for it to work as a business-building technique.  You can't go out one Friday morning and expect to pick up three clients.  And you must have fun - if not, you're better off just cold calling or something.  It might help to know what days are best for finding the type of person you want to meet. 

May 14, 2010 8:29 pm

YEs, and you can play at any level. Golf wants new golfers. Golfers want new golfers.

It's true low handicappers want to play with better players, but if you just show up at the muni and play with who shows up, everyone has self-selected their position, so everyone can be comfortable.

I started playing golf about five years ago to help my business, and now  the contacts and playing opportunities are like trying to drink from a fire hose. Big business has yet to roll in, but in retrospect, I have been just a little too low key in terms of my perception of handicap index as it relates to doing business, and how to let people know what you do in a low key, systematic and meaningful way.  Anyone else here?

May 17, 2010 2:20 pm

Milyunair said

"Give eye contact, take off your shades and look at the guy and smile."

Not my thing...just be yourself and people will either connect with you or not. People will see through attempts at being contrived/phony.

May 20, 2010 5:22 am

Sorry, I'm sure you know how to be cool from experience.

Did you see this:

I hope someone else here is interested in golf marketing. I have been adding natural market contacts and following new contacts with emails - great response. Find a reason to follow up. Web sit hits are spiking.

It would be fun to have a couple of RRs on the site comparing notes on this over the summer. If you are at all thinking about do this - go for it. The courses are full of hackers or better players, and it is a great way to have fun and do your PR.

Do not fear what you have not done.

May 21, 2010 5:45 am



Jul 2, 2010 11:32 pm

Nice advise guys 

Jul 3, 2010 1:10 am

Great thread!!  I've always had a hard time bringing up business on the golf course.  I must be too busy looking for my ball in the rough.

Jul 7, 2010 8:02 pm

I'm up to 80 souls listed in my golf email prospecting list. Lots of small business owners. No $$ moved yet, this is a long term, low-key "drip" project. Will need to do some kind of financial education event in the fall ( RSVP wine and cheese?) to pull it together. Just concentrating on meeting folks and doing a friendly email followup after the round this summer is dedicated to building the list. Summer is passing quickly. Talked to a fellow with 300k ( all in American Funds growth) today, he's looking for ideas.

Jul 9, 2010 6:24 pm

Awesome, Mily.  Keep us posted if your wine and cheese party works out at all!