Where do customers come from?

Ask them! If you’re not already collecting this data, start today!

“I don’t remember,” can be heard frequently from customers who don’t want to be bothered with answering the query.

Rather than letting them off the hook, consider the consequences of not knowing: You won’t be able to predict the growth of your business if you don’t know where it’s coming from or at what frequency. It also leaves you in the dark when it comes to spending your marketing dollars; you’ll only be able to “spray ‘n’ pray” your spending is hitting the right sources.

Obviously this new customer doesn’t realize how important their source information is to you in this newly establishing relationship. Try: “I ask because if you were referred by a friend, it’s important to me to be able to thank them for sending you to us. If it was something online or a postcard you received, then I know it’s important for me to continue advertising there. Do any of these ring a bell?” And there’s always the heart-softening, “I’d really appreciate learning how you found us.”

People innately like to help once they know their knowledge is needed and wanted. You just need to extend that olive branch so they understand how much you value the information.

“I saw your website!” and other non-sources

“Great! Thank you. I have one more question: How did you find our website?”

You’re wondering if this continued probing will incur the wrath of New Customer? Do they feel the glare of an interrogation’s bright light?

If you’re meeting New Customer in person or on the phone, you’ll probably have a good sense if you’re pushing too much and be able to gauge if you can’t ask for further clarification. But the answer “website!” is a conundrum because they’re like planets in the solar system. Websites out there in the ether all by themselves. People don’t just randomly stumble across them. They search for a specific solution to their problem in a search engine (e.g. “best chiropractor in XYZ town”).

New Customers find your business online via other major sources: Google, Bing, Facebook, YouTube, a search for the aforementioned “best chiropractor.” Those are the true sources that may have led them to your website. Even your website analytics can tell you if New Customer found you from a link on another site’s blog post. Isn’t technology grand? Be sure you’ve procured the real source.

Another non-source of new customers is “the walk-in.” Again, New Customer had to know something else before crossing your threshold. Was it a sign in the window that attracted them? The product in the window? Folks don’t just walk-in to stores and professional offices without a reason or a draw to be there. What is it? Perhaps they saw your ad in a magazine which propelled them to walk-in your front door?!

The magic of The Source

Do you truly know what percentage of customers are repeat business? Referred? Found you online? Saw your banner at the Little League ball game?

Once you know the exact mix of old and new customers’ sources, you can develop the essential marketing strategy to reach out through those sources over and over and over again to build your business. Better yet, the more you know exactly about any one source and the type of customer coming from that source, you can spend less money on sources you know don’t work and focus more on sources that have produced solid results in the past.

Spending less to get more is always magical in business.

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Not sure what types of customer sources you can explore for your business? I’ve created a cheatsheet. It’s not comprehensive, but it should stimulate your own gray cells about where you may find new customers. If you’re stumped on how to connect with all those prospective customers, just ask. I’m happy to provide suggestions. – Marcia@CornucopiaCreations.com