“Where did you hear about us?”

If you’re like many bosses of small businesses, you probably take much of your advertising on faith.

That is, you prospect for new business by advertising — in the newspapers, on radio or television, using direct mail or other distribution of promotional materials. But you may not bother to follow up, and learn which is actually bringing in new customers. As a result, you continue to buy under-performing media and promotions, and don’t invest as heavily as you should in the advertising that’s actually bringing in the customers.

To stay current on what works for you and what doesn’t, ask each new customer how he or she learned about you and your company. You’ll soon get a feeling for where to heavy up, and where to cut back.

You may discover that most of your new business comes through word-of-mouth referrals. So don’t be shy about asking existing customers for new business leads. It’s easy. Just say: “Do you know anyone who could benefit by using our product?” You’ll find many customers are eager to help

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