I know, I know! The word Idiot is pretty tough and insensitive of me to use such language, but if you look at the definition of idiot then it seems to fit the description of the person I had a discussion with a few months ago.
Idiot – An Idiot is a mentally deficient person, or somebody who acts in a foolish, self defeating, uneducated or counterproductive way.
There are events I have withstood over the past five years that stand out in my memory as examples of the challenges Golf faces to gain more support from business people who really could use the virtues golf presents in developing business. A few months ago I had a conversation with a gentleman that covered his misunderstanding of what golf is all about. Since this initial conversation I have heard several times now similar sentiments from men and women who just have no clue or interest in gaining knowledge of how playing golf as part of doing business really works.
These business men and women either go head strong into playing golf as part of a sales pitch or take the misguided advice of others who may have succeeded in making golf into a six hour sales pitch that worked may once, so now they are an expert.
I have kept my notes of this conversation for sometime now. It is hard to summarize the conversation I had with gentleman who claimed to be a business man. So I thought I would put it in a format in the way it happened:
This all took place at a Networking Event
MBG: High, how are you?
Idiot: Don’t tell me, you’re a Real Estate agent?
MBG: No!? Do I look like one?
Idiot: So far I have met five Real Estate agents, thought I might be on a roll.
MBG: No, I am not into Real Estate, just helping golf businesses with their social media.
Idiot: Social Media? What’s that? A new phrase for pitching Viagra? Just kidding!
MBG: HaHa, that was a good one, but NO! Social Media is how businesses get the word out about their business. …or at least should be done.
Idiot: Hey, this is not one of those MLM schemes is it?
MBG: Nope, wouldn’t have anything to do with an MLM myself. Social Media is more or less what we are doing right now, but with more talk about our business needs.
Idiot: Really?!?! Never heard of it?
MBG: Really? What business are you in and how long have you been in business?
Idiot: I own a street paving company. Actually, it a family business. My dad started it. He gave company to me when I graduated from college. I worked for him before that so I have been doing this for about 30 yrs. What exactly do you do in golf?
MBG: I introduce people in the golf industry, golf instructors, golf professionals and country clubs to how to change from old ways of promoting themselves in their markets to using social media methods of marketing. I also show people how to use golf as a business tool.
Idiot: AAAh, golf..what a friggin waste of time..especially if you are using golf to win a customer.
MBG: Really, do you play?
Idiot: Not anymore.
MBG: Why are you down on golf?
Idiot: I guess you don’t really get it do you? There is no way of making a return on the investment you make in golf.
MBG: Yes, there is a good initial investment in learning to play.
Idiot: No, that is not it. It is just trying to use it as a way of doing business. All that does is waste a lot of time and a whole lot of money when a business meeting would get to the bottomline with someone which is…are they going to buy something from me or not. Why waste all that effort to play golf with them if they are not buying anything from me.
MBG: Sounds like you you have had a bad round of golf or two.
Idiot: Like I said, I use to play golf a lot and just got tired of not being able to get a sale out of the person after all that effort. Ever since I found this out I just have nothing good to say about golf. To me people who play golf are slackers and really don’t see any reason to play golf.
MBG: Sounds to me that you may have been going about it wrong.
Idiot: Nah Buddy, I have gone round and round with this with a number of golf professionals who claim I am fighting the process, but it is not me that is the problem..it is the people who think playing golf makes anyone more business. Just like this conversation..I can see you are not interested in me doing any work for you so why am I wasting my time with you..have a great day.
Now, I hope you have not run into people like this guy, but sadly you probably have. Yes, there are still some lost souls out in the traditional offline business arena who have a strange impression on golf.
The concern I have is these guys and gals who feel golf has no purpose in their life are very persuasive in their opinion with those they speak with who have yet to tried golf. This misguided attitude just grows more negative towards golf and the people who play it.
It is very unfortunate this opposition is out there and it is troubling to have to deal with it in the economy we face. Hopefully, showing people what golf has to offer would a better approach. How does one do this…play golf and a lot of it. Playing golf and telling people you play golf is the one action will draw in other golfers. Once more non-golfers see that golfers are not a bunch of non-committal freaks of nature more will want to learn to play golf so they can belong.
As for dealing with Idiots like the one I spoke with here..well, just roll with the flow. Everyone has their opinion…right?