The groundwork for business deals is often made not in a conference room, but in a social setting (frequently, that’s out on the golf course). The simple reason is that this non-business interaction allows people to establish a non-business relationship, which carries over into business.
In fact, Cliff and I were talking about this recently. You get to know a person on the golf course. You find out how they face challenges, if they have a temper, if they are humble, witty, etc. And at the end of the day, a friendship and trust has developed (you would hope!). All of this while quite possibly talking about everything other than business.
As I’ve tried to explain the power of Twitter to tweetophobes, I’ve come to the realization that in one way, Twitter is the new golf course. I can establish a relationship with another person based on some shared interest (which could be business, though that isn’t necessary). The idea is that this relationship (and developed trust) will persist at the time that one of you has a business need that the other can meet.
An example: Bob lives in Seattle and loves progressive jazz. Joe is a realtor in Kansas City who just happens to also love progressive jazz. Both are on Twitter. Bob found Joe because Joe tweets a lot about jazz (as well as the Kansas City realty market). After following Joe for 6 months, and perhaps a few messages shared back and forth, Bob’s job will relocate him to Kansas City, a city he knows little about. At that point, who do you think Bob will call for help finding a house? Joe, obviously!
This example may initially seem far-fetched, but it’s just one of the many ways that Twitter impacts business each and every day. Granted, a beautiful day on the golf course is tough to beat. But if developing relationships and driving business is what you’re after, maybe you should consider loading a Twitter app on your iPhone and taking it out on the course with you.