Imagine, for just a second, that you’re actually running a funeral home.

A profitable, successful funeral home at that.

And while you’re sitting in your luxuriously yet tastefully appointed office, you hear the incoming line ring. It’s answered by the receptionist.

Better yet, it’s answered within 3 rings.

Now, you tell me: what’s the very worst question that receptionist might reasonably ask the prospect on the other end of the line?


“How’d you hear about us.”

The poor caller recently had a loved one pass away, they are now trying to make funeral arrangements, and your heartless receptionist is putting your marketing survey ahead of the customer’s emotionally heart-wrenching needs.

My God, right? The question is in such poor taste you almost can’t even imagine a funeral home receptionist asking such a thing.*

But let me ask you this:

Is your business different in kind or only in degree?

How Different IS Your Business?

stop asking your customers this question In other words, are your customers calling you up because they’re happy as clams and everything is going swimmingly in their lives?

Or are they calling you to deal with an unexpected and unpleasant problem, hoping you can help?

If you’re running a home service business, your biz is really only different in degree, not kind, from that of the funeral home.

And, yet, your customer service reps might just be making that same tasteless mistake as our hypothetical receptionist.

A prospect calls in with a problem, and instead of addressing that problem with sympathy and reassurance, you’re asking them about your f-ing marketing.

Add This Question to Your Stop-Doing List

Please — for the love of all that’s holy — don’t do that!

One way or another, you paid an extraordinary amount of money to bring that phone call in.

Don’t screw it up by being selfish with your language.

Don’t ruin your relationship with that customer by starting it off on the wrong foot.

Put them and their needs first, and your business will grow faster.

And that’s a much more effective way to improve your marketing than some survey likely to provide garbage info in the first place.

* Hat Tip to my colleague, Mic Torbay who gave me this example from real-life experience with a client.