Make it your “Columbo” question!


Picture yourself in an initial meeting with a service provider like a massage therapist, home renovator, doctor, consultant, whatever. Whether you’re at the beginning, middle or end of that meeting, they will inevitably ask: “How did you hear about us?”


I call it the “HDYHAU” question.


I can’t tell you how many first meeting conversations I’ve had where the person opened the conversation with HDYHAU.


A bit of advice – save that question for the end of the discussion.


I know that learning whether the person found you through a word of mouth referral, Facebook ad or Google search is useful for tracking your marketing efforts. Believe me, I’m in the marketing game, so I get it.


A successful business person knows the client must come first. That’s why when someone opens with HDYHAU, I respond by politely saying we’ll talk about me first before coming back to the HDYHAU part.


Open those initial discussions by getting to know your client and their business. Ask open-ended questions about their business, their goals and the problems they’re facing. Stay open-minded and subtly suggest ways you could help.


In fact, I recommend saving HDYHAU as your “Columbo question.”


For those too young to remember, Columbo was a tv detective from the 70s. Detective Columbo had a trademark move. As he was wrapping up a conversation, he’d turn back and say, “Oh, just one more thing.” He said it was like an afterthought, but really he was about to ask the question that would crack the case.


HDYHAU can crack your marketing mysteries. Make it your Columbo question, not your lead.