Quick Tip: Associating Contacts, Companies, and Deals - A Case Study in Lemonade

Community Manager

Hi there,


My name is Jenny Sowyrda and I am a Community Manager for the HubSpot Community. 


One way to think of contacts, companies and deals in terms of the simplest business model there is: the lemonade stand.

  1. Contacts

In general, contacts are the human connections you are making for all elements of your business. A deal is pitched to a human, a company is run by a human, your emails are read and answered by humans.


In my lemonade stand business, the contacts are the potential customers I have. Drivers passing by, children out riding bikes, parents out jogging-they are all the contacts in my CRM because they are my potential customers. They are my contacts.


  1. Companies

Companies are more than where your contact works. A company defines your contact’s budget, resources, and ultimately whether your contact will be able to buy your product.


For my lemonade stand, the neighborhoods that I market my lemonade to are the companies. If I set up a lemonade stand in a neighborhood that no one drives or walks through, or a neighborhood that has six other lemonade stands, I am not going to sell my lemonade. These neighborhoods would not be the right companies for me to market to. And just like companies can have multiple contacts, neighborhoods can have multiple individuals eagerly lining up for my lemonade.


An important note—just like an individual cannot live in two neighborhoods at the same time, a contact in HubSpot cannot be associated with multiple companies at the same time.

  1. Deals

Generally speaking, deals are the business transactions that are associated with a contact or a company.


For my lemonade stand, a deal is when I begin to pitch my lemonade to a customer. While not everyone who stops by my stand will purchase lemonade, my deals are each transaction. And just like one customer can purchase two cups of lemonade, a contact can be associated with two deals.


 While contacts, companies and deals can all act independently in a CRM, using them together makes every deal as sweet as selling lemonade.


35 Replies 35

This is a B2C scenario. We're B2B so could use a somewhat different twist on this, but thank you for providing it. 


A helpful way to think about contacts and companies, and agree with SeanHenri's comments about industry.  I'm finding the one contact per company to be a significant constraint.  Let me paint the picture with the lemonade model first then share my specific scenario.


Many of the lemonade stand contacts belong not only to one household and one neighborhood... they may actaully belong to multiple households (kids staying with different parents thus different households) and multiple neighborhoods (kids staying with different parents in different neighborhoods, parents having a work neighborhood and a home neighborhood).  But, perhaps more signficiantly, contacts can belong to multiple organizations such as household, church, soccer club, softball team, boy/girl scouts, etc. and we could be trying to cut lemonade deals with individuals, households, clusbs, etc.   And, a contact who likes the lemonade stand might be able to influence multiple different organizations of which he/she is a part.


In my particular case, I'm trying to find a way to represent a coach (contact) who is a member of a coaching organization (company) but who also works with multiple clubs (other companies) which also have members (contacts).   To do this I would need a field associated with coach (contact) where I could include multiple clubs (companies).  Simply using a text field for this is not a great answer.  Any suggestions?

Participant | Platinum Partner

I understand the analogy, and while conceptually it works as a way to group contacts together, with many users it doesn't. I do this now as a way to achieve what we're looking for, but ideally there would be a way to change the Companies name to "Groups" or "Organizations" so that it could include households, etc and have multiple types.


Using the analogy here, if my neighborhood included schools, stores, neighborhood organizations, local businesses etc--this wouldn't work. 


The solution is to have be able to select other contacts and companies as properties and then run queries accordingly. 

HubSpot Alumni

Hi @shanestiles,


Currently this is not a functionality of the tool. If you would like to see this implemented in the future, I would recommend sharing this idea in our ideas forum.


Take care!


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I have a question around importing deals. We are trying to clean up our deal list so we exported to Excel to remove all the outdated deals and now I am trying to reimport the new deals (I copied to a new Excel sheet). I keep getting an error message saying that some fields are missing a header row (none are missing). Apparently some fields are read-only and cannot be imported. To save me doing a trial and error on every single column, does anyone know which deal fields CANNOT be imported. I thought the import would be straightforward but that is very much not the case with deal imports.  Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.


Community Manager

Hi @DRutherford8 


Thank you for reaching out. 


I can see you have a ticket opened with our technical support team, as your subscription gives you access to technical support. They'll be the best point of contact for your issue to troubleshoot forward as they can help you in real-time for this matter.


Thank you!



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