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Plan Ahead – a Tip for Attending the PGA or for Managing Strategic Accounts

I’m getting ready to attend the PGA Championship this weekend. As opposed to other sporting events you may attend, I find that it pays to do some prep work before attending a major golf tournament.

Here’s the challenge: There are 156 players in the field all teeing off at different times and on both the front and back nine (see schedule) for the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday. How do I make sure I see the players I want to see?

Preferred Strategy: Pick 2-3 key holes or locations on the golf course to be at certain times of the day. Be at those long enough to watch a string of groups you want to see come through.

I like this plan better than following one group or player all day, though there are thousands of fans that take this approach. 

How does this apply to strategic account management? In lots of ways:

-It’s usually best to not give all of your time and attention to just one customer, even if they’re your best one. (It’s fun to watch Tiger, but you miss a lot of action and opportunity if that’s all you do.)

-Planning ahead for whom you want to spend time with and when will pay off. (There are some great strings of groups. The 12:55-1:45 tee times from the first tee have groups that are chockfull of favorites: Anthony Kim, Bubba Watson, Davis Love, Steve Stricker, recent British Open champ Stewart Cink, and hometown favorite, Phil Mickelson. Park it somewhere and watch the parade of amazing golfers come through.)

-Prioritization of targets is key. Always have a top ten list of people you want to be building or expanding a relationship with and use this to help you manage your time. (In addition to the golfers listed above, I’ll also be sure to catch Fred Couples, Camilo Villegas, John Daly, and of course, Tiger.)

Have a plan and work the plan – it can make your work life as well as your leisure activities as fun and productive as possible.

Sonya McAllister
Principal, Senior Vice President

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