How Did You Hear About Us?

WhisperThe best piece of advice I can give any business person who wants to improve their marketing effectiveness is to ask every prospect and client one simple question.

How did you hear about us?

While this seems obvious when the phone rings and someone says “I’m interested in buying 10,000 widgets” your first reaction is to close the business. It requires training yourself to slow down the conversation and find out first where the heard about you.

How will this help?

  1. Compiling the answers over a period of time will help you gauge the effectiveness of your marketing.
  2. You can ask what specifically prompted them to call and determine if something needs tweaking.
  3. You want to make sure you properly thank the person who referred the business to you.
  4. If the person referring has a special price structure they may have indicated this to the person calling and you will need to respond to his possibly.
  5. IF one person is responding to a promotion or ad, then you can be prepared for others to follow.

But will they tell you the truth?

No. Not always. Not because they are dishonest, but because they simply don’t remember. In their sincere effort to help you, they will give the best answer and often they assume they heard about you on the radio or TV when in fact you don’t even advertise there.

Many will remember who referred them or where they learned about you or your product and this data will help you determine the effectiveness.

Because you are probably marketing through 3 or more channels it is hard to determine exactly what is working best as each medium is designed to provide different results; some build awareness, some advertise a specific sale and some are for building credibility.

Real Life Example

I have a client who is a mortgage broker. We have a 2″x2″ banner ad on the home page of 6 community websites, one of which receive 15,000 unique visitors each month. I was contacted by the advertising rep about renewing the contract and in turn called the client and asked what sort of results they had been getting. The answer. “I have never had anyone say they saw me on one of the web sites.” So I probed further. “Where did most people say they heard about you?”. The sheepish reply “Well actually I haven’t been asking lately so I don’t really know.”

Gues what this client will be doing for the next month?

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