My Best Referral Is Anyone with a Pulse

Last week I attended a well orchestrated business to business networking luncheon.  I was very impressed with those in attendance until I heard one small business professional tell the other 20 people in attendance the following:

best-referral“My best referral is anyone with a pulse.”

I had actually spoken with her before the meeting started and she appeared to have a somewhat cohesive marketing message.  When she said “anyone with a pulse,” I was taken back.

Her misspeak provided me the opportunity to say with a smile “my ideal clients must have more than a pulse.”  This response brought positive attention (chuckles and smiles) from others around the business to business networking luncheon table.

After being in business for almost 20 years, I have lost count of the times I have heard enterprising small business owners and sales professionals say “my best referral is anyone with a pulse” or “all of you are my best referral.” When these statements are made I know there is no strategic plan, no clearly defined target market and no ideal customer profile.

Beyond not having a strategic plan, when a statement such as “my best referral is anyone with a pulse”  is made, this presents a less than professional first impression.  Additionally, such a statement may indicate the salesperson has drunk some “Kool Aid” and is so enamored with the solution he or she thinks everyone should share that same belief.

Small business owners and sales professionals who have 100% clarity about their ideal customer or customers and their target market definitely have a competitive advantage.  Your Monday marketing mission if you decide to accept is to finish this statement so it informs and inspires others to immediately reach out to you:

“My best referral is….”

* * * * * * * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals in the key areas of strategic growth, people development and process improvement. She speaks and writes specifically to high performance sales people who require a tailored executive coaching solution and to small businesses under 50 employees whose challenges are more unique and resources more limited. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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