First up, “How did you hear about us?” is a bit of a cliché by now. Because of that, people answer the question too quickly with their own go-to response instead of really thinking about it.
What’s more, if you don’t give them a reason why you’re asking, they’ll just think you’re cynically checking to see if your marketing is working.
There’s a better way to get the right information and increase the chances of prospects and customers offering a referral down the road, whether they came from one or not.
Start with “Who referred you to us?”
This question is specific and different from what they’re used to hearing. If someone did refer them, they’ll tell you. To be extra sure, you can always add, “Because we’d like to send the person who referred you a thank you card.”
Now you’re cooking with gas. They have a valid reason for why you asked the question, and they’ll be happy their friend is going to be thanked. It shows how much you appreciate referrals and that you look after your customers. The prospect is also more likely to refer even more people to you.
But the benefits of this question don’t stop there. “Who referred you to us?” assumes the prospect came from a referral—and tells them you do a lot of business through referrals—meaning you’ll give them personal attention. Of course, they’ll want to work with you. And you’ll also learn which customers are actively referring others.
If they weren’t referred…
If the person wasn’t referred to you, they’re more likely to correct you after you ask “Who referred you to us?”
The response will probably go something like, “Oh, I just found your name when I did a Google search.” Now you’ve got valuable data about your marketing and/or SEO efforts. They’d be much less likely to offer these kinds of specific details if you’d asked “How did you hear about us?” instead.
“Who referred you to us?” is a question designed to build better relationships.
Changing what you ask will get more accurate info for where people are coming from, and you’ll also be putting them in the referral mindset from the get-go.
Plus, you’re subtly letting everyone know referrals are important to you, meaning they’re more likely to give them. We’ve seen that when people are recognized for a referral, they are several times more likely to do it again—so don’t forget to always say a big thank you.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits from such a small, simple tweak to the way you speak to customers and prospects. Start asking “Who referred you to us?” today and experience the difference for yourself.