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How to win over a

client in 18 holes

Not sure how to mix business with recreation? Here’s a hacker’s guide to limiting career damage on the course, adapted from tips developed by Golf Magazine.

  • Arrive early.

  • Wear a shirt with a collar.  If you’re wearing shorts, go with mid-thigh length.

  • Make sure all your equipment – clubs, bag, shoes – is freshly scrubbed. Even if you’re not a good player, “your aim is to make certain you look like a golfer who is merely having a bad day” write the editors of Golf magazine.

  • It you’re the host, have everything ready and paid for in advance: Green fees, cart or caddie, range balls.  A sleeve of your client’s favorite balls is a nice touch.

  • Leave the cell phone and BlackBerry in the car.  If you can’t afford to take a day away from the office, don’t. Stay at work.

  • Bet on the round.  It’s bonding.  And bring cash. IOUs are beyond tacky.

  • Don’t speed in the golf cart, and never, ever throw your clubs.

  • Obey the golden rules of pro golf caddies: Keep up and shut up. Let the client talk, while you listen.

  • If – surprise, surprise – the customer is worse than you, don’t let him win.  It doesn’t build trust.

  • Unsolicited tips or golf lessons quickly ruin a round. 

Source: The Globe & Mail, June 27, 2004.


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