Sage CRM Blog

Learn how to sort your prospects from your friends

As a marketing speaker and marketing coach, I've made about 977 mistakes, gaffes, and blunders in my career.

And I'm nowhere near done. What do these mistakes look like?

Well, let's see...

I've overspent, under-spent, trusted the wrong people, accepted work for the wrong audiences and with nightmare clients, dipped into and out of more niches and service offerings than I'd care to name - and I’ve learned a few lessons along the way.

The punchline that’s emerged is "I've made all the crazy, expensive mistakes and wasted years of effort so YOU don't have to." Which brings us to the topic at hand - the mistake of separating your prospects and your friends. As I was sorting my email this morning, this dilemma occurred to me…

I got a very nice catch-up note from a speaker and trainer in California whom I hired on several occasions when I was a conference producer and with whom I have stayed friendly over the years. We've even talked about the possibility of doing some work together since she is great at what she does but not so strong in the marketing arena.

Problem: Where do I file her email?

I have one folder called Archives where I put notes from my personal and business friends and another folder called Leads where I put folks with whom I’d like to have a conversation about working together. So where does she go? I dunno... and it turns out that that's a GOOD thing! You've heard the cliche that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. That's not a stranger. That's a friend.

Business friend - personal friend - is there a difference? In the words of Harvey Mackay, there is "no such thing as a business relationship. ALL relationships are personal relationships."

Another way to think about it came from a quote that I randomly came across - I wish I could remember the source, if you can help, drop me a line - "Your Rolodex is your ministry"


There it is right there - the people you know, like, and trust. Although we don't use Rolodexes anymore because we now use the magic of CRM, those are the same folks who are in your iPhone Contacts or Outlook or Gmail address book. Those are your peeps. That is your tribe.

Those are the folks you are meant to serve. So why are you still reading? Pick up the phone - send that email - write that card. Your ministry of friends, prospects and clients are waiting to hear from you.

About David Newman

David Newman is a marketing expert, professional speaker and founder of Do It! Marketing, a marketing strategy firm dedicated to making thought-leading entrepreneurs and executives more successful. David’s book, "Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition" is available at  Free resources are available online at Contact David directly at or call (610) 716-5984.