Yesterday I stopped by a small locally-owned business.
After a few minutes chatting, the owner asked one really important question. One that every small business owner should ask every new customer.
Want to take a guess what that question was?
If you said “How did you hear about us?” you are correct.
As it turns out, I found him through the Better Business Bureau website—something they were actually thinking about discontinuing because they thought nobody saw it.
By asking that one simple question…just six simple words…he was able to get immediate and first-hand insights into how I found his business.
Talk about huge.
Instead of making inaccurate assumptions or random guesses, all you need to do is ask. The answer to that one simple question can help you understand your customers better and make more informed decisions about where you should be spending your time and your marketing dollars.
I know I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been asked that as a first-time customer. In this case, they assumed the Better Business Bureau website wasn’t working for them when, at least in our case, it was. All they need to do is ask a few more first-time customers and they can start to identify a trend.
Don’t assume you know where your customers are coming from.
Every phone call, email, and face-to-face conversation is a chance for you to gather real-time insights directly from your target audience. When it comes to marketing, it usually doesn’t get much better than that.
Once you gather enough feedback, use that information to help determine where you focus your time and attention. You just might just find something you thought wasn’t working was actually working quite well.
Best of all, asking won’t cost you a thing!
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user Kelly Teague]