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How did you hear about us?

Posted in on Feb 01, 2018

My journey to marketing started off in sales. The question of "How did you hear about us?" was drilled into the sales team every time we picked up the phone. It was up there with “can I take your name” in terms of priority.

This was my first job as a Sales Exec at the Royal Armouries and 20 years on, I still take an enquiry with those details. How they heard about Doo, so I know where I get my business from and where to keep spending my money.

Why track the source of an enquiry?

For me, it’s simple but for some it’s not. People fit into three different categories on this.

  • They don’t ask the question.
  • They are put off asking for fear of being too personal.
  • They ask but do nothing with the answers.

Where do you fit? When taking a new enquiry over the phone for example, taking all their contact details and reason for the call.

Why should I ask where did you hear about us?

You are taking as much information as possible to add to your database and you immediately start thinking of how you can help. However, at this crucial time when they are interested in you, you don’t know how they got your number in the first place.

If you don’t know where the enquiry come from, you are missing a huge opportunity to link this with how you market your business. Where you spend your money AND whether it’s well spent. Not to mention the time and effort you put into those marketing actions. Equally, you don’t know how much you are wasting and when to stop.

When you have spent money on say, an exhibition or the annual fees to your networking club, even the monthly retainer to outsource your social media – how do you know that the investment you made, worked or keeps working from the enquiries you’ve had?

Whilst you can’t check pound for pound, wouldn’t it be better to know that “we had 30 new leads in November from that exhibition we did for the first time”, “since we introduced a referral scheme, we’ve had more enquiries through our existing clients”. Changing your data capture procedure to add this question is simple and so powerful. You can reap even more rewards with this knowledge or keep flushing money away on marketing campaigns, because you don’t know they are working.

When is the right time to ask how you heard about us?

You are put off asking. You feel a little awkward or even know when the right time in the flow of the conversation.

You have taken their contact details, talked through their requirements and agreed next steps. Now the call comes to a close. Or does it?

Don’t be scared, end on a high and make it a natural part of your enquiry taking process.

How to ask for source of enquiry – how did you hear about us?

Try this on your next new enquiry:

“Thank you NAME, I will ACTION AGREED by WHEN for you. 

Before you go, can I just ask how you heard about us?”

If they ask why …

“It’s for our marketing records, we like to know how people hear about us so we know we’re doing a good job there”.

Why would anyone not want to part with this information? You have all their details so it’s not like this final question will make a difference to them. But it will for you.

Get your team behind tracking enquiries to help your marketing spend

Now introduce it for everyone:

  • Email me for a copy of our ‘How did hear about us?’ PDF prompt and put it on a wall next to your phone or in reception close to those taking enquiries. 
  • If you have a CRM database make it a field which must be completed, so you and your team get used to asking this question.
  • Update your database with this key information after every enquiry.

With most CRM systems, you can create a drop down box with examples to help track success.

  • Tick one:
  • Client introduction
  • Referral
  • Social Media (split LinkedIn, Facebook to be even more organised!)
  • Website search
  • Email
  • Networking
  • Exhibition
  • WOM
  • etc etc

Add task reminder or a note section for auto follow up prompts and to record information to help with the next stage of the sales process i.e. setting up a meeting.

What do to with source of enquiry

Those who do nothing after they have asked “How did you hear about us?”.

You complete an enquiry sheet, you find out more about how they heard about you and add it to your database. That’s it. You don’t do anything with the data you are building up. The bank of knowledge that, at a glance, tells you where your enquiries come from, in what areas they have improved or took a hit. Using the example before, the exhibition you spent money on, has it done anyting in terms of new enquiries.

For this, you need to build procedures to measure, track and report your leads. A procedure that becomes engrained in your business growth programme.

Draw up a new system that includes:

  • Make a diary note with a date in the month to run a report on source of enquiry (or look back at enquiry sheets and make a list). Essentially stick to this date as the day you review leads.
  • Set up monthly marketing or operational meetings and include new enquiries, next steps and conversions in the agenda.
  • Raise this every month to formulate your plans, to monitor marketing activity and budget. With this information you can test, review and share:
  • Keep doing what you are doing, it’s working for you.
  • Look again and review what’s not working and define why.
  • Stop doing it or consider getting an expert in to do it better.

By asking “How did you hear about us?” at the enquiry stage will reap rewards as a natural extension to how you grow your business.

You will save so much time.

You will stop wasting money.

You will know exactly where your marketing spend should be.

You can spend more and get a better return on investment because you are winning business through the right channels and tactics.


To get a copy of the 'How did you hear about us?' PDF, email me at mariannesmith@doomarketing.co.uk - I'll send you a copy with my compliments and promise not to send you anything else unless you want me to.

If you do need help in getting more on your marketing spend, please do get in touch or call 0113 869 0107.