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Jeff Layton: How do you find new customers? Is there a research that you can do? Lorrie Thomas Ross: Tons of things that you can do. There is the quantitative and the qualitative approach. What I encourage every organization to do, whether your for-profit or nonprofit, is to think about who your ideal customer is. And new businesses often think like "I just have to go get customers." Think big and think positive and think, okay, well, who is an ideal customer? Everything from they could be in a certain geographic location, if it's a type of customer, whether it's a certain education level or a certain demographic.
So, I'd say first start with the heart, and then secondly, you can use things like analytics to see where your website traffic is coming from, go look at your sales logs. If you have a CRM, which is a customer relationship management system, see where your best customers are coming from. This is a fun fact. At my agency we actually keep an Excel spreadsheet, and we've done this for years--and it's kind of old school, but it's worked for us--and we keep a log of where all of our leads come in from it we also look at where the sales come in, and we are very clear on not only where our business comes from, but the best ways for us to spend our time and our energy.
Jeff Layton: So you've identified patterns? Lorrie Thomas Ross: Exactly. Jeff Layton: And so you know where you are wasting time and where your time is well spent. Lorrie Thomas Ross: Right, so we look at the quantitative, but we started with really just the honest qualitative. And one of the easiest things you can do with online is to have a little question on your Contact page that says, how did you hear about us? And it's that little step that makes a big difference and you'll be surprised. It could be--it might come from one great customer. Maybe you have kind of a brand ambassador that's a big spokesperson for you, or it might become a business partner where you say, oh my gosh, I had no idea XYZ company was referring so much business. Or hmmm, I can actually measure my radio ads by seeing that little thing on the website--but just being open to that feedback.
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