Dollars and Sense: Golf is great time to entertain clients

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 14, 2006

In parts one and two of this three-part series, we learned why we entertain customers and prospects, what entertainment isn&8217;t and picked up some specific tips relative to meals.

One special entertainment venue, the golf course, can be especially effective, provided it&8217;s handled properly.

As with meal entertainment, the key word here once again is think.

For golf outings, it&8217;s especially important to think through the logistical details, lest you destroy the comfort and enjoyment you&8217;re trying to provide for your guest.

The first piece in your thought process is to evaluate your guest&8217;s and your own game.

The casual player&8217;s expectations and demands will differ from the accomplished player.

-Arrive early.

If you&8217;re at a private club, make sure the staff has a locker ready for your guest. Be prepared to have their shoes cleaned and shined for them. Sign them in ahead of time with the clubhouse staff, and make caddy/cart arrangements as appropriate.

-If you&8217;re not at a private club, select a course that has at least a decent reputation. You don&8217;t want your client telling everyone they played &8220;that cow pasture down the street.&8221;

Pay for the golf before the client arrives, along with caddy/cart arrangements.

-Most golfers like to play a game of some sort, so have a couple of ideas in mind ahead of time that reflect the interests and talent level of your guests.

-Provide each client with one to two sleeves of golf balls. Your company-logo balls are fine for most casual golfers. It&8217;s a welcome touch to have high-end balls available if you&8217;re entertaining accomplished players.

They can be logo as well.

-Plan extra time for lunch and a beverage. This is good relationship-building time and allows your client to gloat over the three-foot putt he made to beat you.

-Have lots of tip money available.

The locker room staff and bag boys are bare minimums at most clubs and courses. You may also need to take care of others with cash.

With a little planning and thought, you can arrange the perfect outing and enjoy getting to know your customer