Advice From a Pro

In golf there are a lot of choices out there to be made. For example, should you use one ball position for all clubs or move it around? Should you chip like you putt or chip with wrist hinge? When searching for a better game one seeks advice-this comes in the form of varying and at times conflicting statements on the same subject. This debate has been around as long as golf has.

The truth is, there all correct to some degree. No matter how much we want to help everybody, golf instruction is rarely universal. It is individualized based on variables like situation, skill level, or physical makeup.

The only thing we have in common, is that we are different. Some of us are right-handed/left. Some play a high fade-swing with a little inside-out. That old college knee injury makes one lean to one side. One design for a golf club will never be perfect for all of us. There is no sameness in golf. This game is played by different people in different ways. All have different swings, each shaped under different conditions. The swing is put to a test on each hole, and its honed by an infinite number of different factors.

If you want to get more insight; then please take a moment and step up to the tee with Network&Golf!!

Jeff deCoen
USGTF Certified Teaching Professional
LIFE Team Member
LPGA Caddie/Coach/ Golf  Consultant
Living Intentionally For Excellence

Success in 18

golfer, golf, network

I wasn’t brought up with a lot of money. We were pretty average middle-class kids brought up in an entrepreneurial environment. We didn’t want for much but we certainly weren’t wealthy. We knew the pain and stress of the mortgage being due and not being able to have some of the fancy designer clothes we believed ‘every kid in America had but us.’ So when I met my first ‘millionaire’, I knew that I wanted to pay attention. I knew that there were things this person knew that hadn’t been passed down through my bloodline.

I remember getting up the courage to ask him what the secret to success was. “Golf,” he said. That was it. One word. I was a sophomore in high school and that really meant nothing at the time. Neither parent golfed. It wasn’t a course offered at my all girl private school that I was graced to attend. It certainly wasn’t something I saw as a trait of successful business leaders. If anything, golf was something you got to do more of the more successful you were. His word was lost on me. My brief moment of courage that was displayed in an effort to seek out the secret to a glamorous life – was gone. I didn’t realize this gentlemen’s sage advice at the time, instead, I mistook it for a flip comment he threw out to a pestering 15-year-old in a plaid skirt and knee socks.

The next several years I’d started to recognize golf as a reward for hard work and money earned. I learned the sport for just that reason. I had worked hard and I thought I should know how to reap the reward. Turns out, I loved the sport and hated it simultaneously. I loved that it brought me fresh air, great company, relaxing exercise and a fun social afternoon. I loved that after golfing my head always felt clearer. I felt refreshed and reminded of how beautiful the earth is. I loved that it seemed like I could slow down in a sped up world just by toting around a bag of clubs.

I hated that it kept me humble. As an athlete, I expected to go out and get better every single time I played. Thankfully no one I ever played with expected the same from me.

It wasn’t until I was 29 and met a relentless pair of salesmen on a train from NYC to New Haven that I started to realize what I was missing. I ended up playing golf with one of them weeks later to learn about his success (he was currently a VP at a top insurance company and would go on to become the head of his own multi-million dollar empire – and a mentor.) Golfing with him made me better – but in ways you wouldn’t expect. We golfed with a variety of partners, but what I learned about business in 18 holes was invaluable! I learned about leadership, overcoming adversity, motivation, sales, and execution. I learned from their mistakes and successes and from their stories and their technique. I made connections I still have and ones that I cherish. To me, these golf outings had been better teachers than any class I could recall.

A year later I started to take the ferry back from Port Jeff weekly as my job took me to Long Island on a regular basis. It was during the crossing that I met leader after leader who had spent the day golfing on Long Island. Every Friday, like clockwork, I’d find this ferry filled with successful business leaders ending a “hard” day on the course. I’d hear of the deals they closed and I swear there was never a Friday that I didn’t find a bar full of celebratory clinks on the passage home. As I learned more, I found all different industries and leaders of different positions and statuses clinking their glasses. It wasn’t all about sales; it was about getting things done. Not shy, I jumped into the conversation like I was still 15 and wearing those navy blue knee socks. One older gentleman said to me, “too bad you’re a woman because if you really want to get somewhere you’d get on the golf course with us.” (Thank God times have changed!) Someone else said, “Colleen, you get a couple of the right people on a golf course and that’s when you’ll really get things done.” I had a boss who would tell me, “Colleen, it’s not about the meeting, it’s about the scotch after the meeting. You either need to learn to drink or take up golf.”

The picture started to become clearer. Unfortunately, I wasn’t (I believed) good enough to play for business but it was very clear that the advice that I received when I was 15 was far better than I had known. This fact would soon help me:

63% of all golfers shoot in the 90’s or worse (NGF 2010)
As a matter of fact, only 5% shoot under 80 and most players don’t mind playing with someone who’s only a stroke behind each hole.

Here’s what I also didn’t factor in:

It’s easier to get a meeting on a golf course than anywhere else
There’s a lot of down time in a round of golf. It’s perfect to talk, build relationships, and listen. No one is rushed to get to his or her next meeting. It creates a more enjoyable and productive meeting.
It forces you to slow down. You can’t speed it up or rush ahead. It’s the most productive meditative brain session you’ll ever experience.
Golfers earn more. I didn’t understand it – or even believe it – at first. It’s true.

Mathematically you’ll never have 3 meetings in a 4 hour period and still be relaxed, get to know people as well, nurture relationships, or feel as relaxed coming out of them.
The invitation is the hardest part. In corporate America, I waited to be invited. When I started inviting, things became a lot more fun. Add one game to your routine every week and you will change your success rates. For a thousand different reasons, slowing down will help you speed up. Better relationships will make you smarter, better and faster.
Here’s to the 2017 golf season. May the greens be lush, the wind gentle, and your conversations rich.

Colleen Bader is the President of Network&Golf (www.NetworkAndGolf.com) and Small Business USA. Network&Golf is helping business leaders meet on the golf course while helping golfers of all levels learn, golf with leaders with similar skill levels, and grow their business. Join free at NetworkAndGolf.com.

Relationship Sales

770 marketing images daily. 5 new contacts daily. 10 sales calls daily. 300 emails daily. 2,500 new content posts on your area of expertise daily (this one is totally a guess.)

How do you stand out?

The holy grail of any sales person is the ability to get the appointment that reaps time to build a relationship with a prospective client. Perhaps you’ll meet 3-4 times prior to closing a deal; maybe more. If you’re lucky, after a couple meetings you’ll get some time on the golf course with them. Smart business leaders know that 4 hours on the links proves to be just as valuable for the client as it is for the salesman. Several studies have actually verified that business owners whom golf earn 17% more than those who don’t while 84% of executives surveyed found golf to be an important currency in the business world. It simply gets you where you need to be, faster.

So what if you don’t golf?

Well, it’s time to learn. NetworkAndGolf (www.NetworkAndGolf.com) will be creating handicap specific networking events starting spring of 2017. You can learn the sport with other business leaders while you get to grow your business. Visit their site to get an early invitation.

And if you do golf?

Join golf networking groups or leverage NetworkAndGolf (www.NetworkAndGolf.com) to meet the people you want (and need) to meet directly on the links. Stop wasting time looking for appointments. In late spring you’ll be able to invite others to golf and set up tee times for both of you in seconds. You’ll be able to see whose golfing and join foursomes while you travel or at home with other business golfers looking to network.

Here are some other steps to help you build better relationships and stand out from your competition:

  1. Do your homework

Do you pick up the phone and call someone and have nothing to talk about besides getting an appointment or selling your wares? This happens to me 10 times a day from solicitors. When I pick up a phone and someone has done his homework (i.e. has read things I’ve posted, knows about my companies, has checked out my Facebook page and has taken a genuine interest…) that’s a call that’s easier to take.

2. Appropriately target your audience first.

While I was in temporary housing and looking for a new home, I started becoming aware of the irrelevant phone calls and email I received. I received calls from contractors, solar panel and electric companies, landscaping companies and more. In several cases, I asked if they knew my current address (an apartment complex), which they did. Why I wondered, would they be wasting their time with me?

What do you do when you receive irrelevant (read “annoying”) calls or emails? If you’re like me, you permanently block them with your phone or spam filter – never giving them an opportunity to spam or call you again.

What if those contractors were instead reaching out to build relationships with realtors who were selling outdated homes? They could then become part of the sale process – a far better way to reach me.

3. Don’t sell!

Dear Lord, don’t sell! Build. Build relationships, connections, rapport, laugh… going in for the sale will NOT build a relationship. Yes, there are some exceptions. Every time you go for the sale first, you risk the relationship forever. Take your time. Once the rapport is built, you’ll be surprised how easily the sale can come.

84% of sales are built on trust. -Gallup poll 2014

So please, please, don’t cheat on the golf course.

Colleen Ferrary is the founder of Small Business USA and CEO and Founder of NetworkAndGolf. She has been helping businesses grow for 30 years.