Don’t you love a headline fraught with danger? There are some who would say I know very little. I’d suggest most males don’t really know much about women, but we won’t go there today.

However, the headline is appropriate as a metaphor, as what I knew about women when young, single and stupid, is similar to the way marketers try to grow their businesses.

In my single life, like most blokes, I had no idea how to cold-call women. Because that’s what it is when you walk up to a complete stranger in a pub or at an event, and start talking with them in the vague hope they will instantly be attracted to your charms and immediately want to spend time with you – if you get my drift?

What red-blooded male hasn’t trod the deserted-dance-floor-of-death, in full view of all others, after finally getting enough courage to cross the room to front a lady they don’t know, only to be rejected and return to their mates completely humiliated and thinking ‘now I have no chance of meeting anyone, as all have seen my lone march of shame’. It’s no wonder we drink.

woman rejecting man

Luckily I had a number of female friends who took it upon themselves to introduce me to their single girlfriends. I believe they’re called wingmen these days.

I realised that the best lead in single life is the same as the best lead in business – a referred lead. That’s because you have far more credibiltiy when a lady refers you to their girlfriend, than if you cold-call said girlfriend yourself. Though it didn’t always work in my favour.

Once I was referred, actually I was partnered, with the daughter of a Middle-East ambassador for a black-tie event – this was when the Shaj still ruled.  After being greeted at her door by some henchmen, I was more concerned with what might happen if I got involved and then decided it wasn’t right for me. My desire for self-preservation over-rode my male desires, so to speak, and I didn’t pursue another date.

Another time the matriach of an Italian I was introduced to, threatened that she would chop off my legs if I didn’t do the right thing by her niece. She didn’t even blink as she said it while munching an olive. Visions of a dead fish in newspaper entered my head, so I didn’t eat much pizza at that gathering.

This is not to say the introductions weren’t worthwhile – quite a few led to repeat dates:)

The point is this – and you have heard me say it before. If you want to grow your business, grow your referrals. Not all will become customers – you will drink a lot of coffee, sometimes over awkward conversation. But the more prospects you can get in front of, the more opportunities you create to get more business.

I’m off to a meeting. My bride has referred me, so I have way more credibility than usual…