Grow Your Art Business Using Referral Love
Carolyn Edlund | ArtsyShark
Would you like to have appreciative customers telling their friends and associates about your work, and suggesting that they patronize you also? Referrals are like gold – they are the best advertising you can get, and one of the most effective.
Cultivating referral business is not that difficult, but many artists and other entrepreneurs don’t pursue them as often as they should. Knowing that referrals are so valuable, you should make them a priority to include in your everyday arsenal of marketing tools. Here are some types of referrals, how to ask for them and how to use them to grow your business:
Word of Mouth Referrals
Have you received word-of-mouth referrals without asking for them? If you have, then you know that you are referral-ready and your work is outstanding enough to have earned this accolade. Conducting your business in a completely professional manner, being thorough, following up and giving great customer service will put you in a position to ask your customers to refer others to you.
Set the stage for business referrals during every interaction with customers. Point out in your promotional literature and in conversations that referrals are an important part of your business. After you have delivered and a client is especially satisfied, mention to them that you would appreciate any referrals they could give you. At that time, you should also let your client know how you will handle contacting those referrals, so that they feel more comfortable in sending friends and associates your way. Assuring them that you don’t use hard sell tactics, or explaining that you make a phone call and send one letter, for example, will put them more at ease in giving you a recommendation.
Soliciting referrals can be uncomfortable especially if you haven’t done it before or are nervous about the response you might get, but keep in mind that the worst you can hear from your customer is “No.” You should ask if they have had any bad experiences in the past, and if so, assure them again that you are completely professional when approaching new prospects. If they still decline, thank them for their consideration and don’t pursue it further. Practice smoothly asking for referrals from your customers so that you are prepared to speak clearly when you have an opportunity to discuss the subject.