Focus your marketing in tough times – Part 4
During tough economic times, it’s easy to get discouraged by poor sales. Below is the forth of ten specific things you can do starting today that will give your business the boost it needs to survive:
Cultivate referrals. A referral is an endorsement of you by your customer to their friends. It should be the logical conclusion of every sale. The secret is not to call them referrals (sounds like sales) but instead call them “introductions.”
Ask for an introduction any time you get a complement from a customer.
When your customer says “my portrait was perfect,” the next thing you should say is something like “Thank you. Can you introduce me to anyone you know who might like one too?” Now wait a moment. If the customer immediately pulls out her address book, accept 2 or 3 names from them, and say thanks. If the customer seems unsure, you can add, “I depend on nice folks like you telling others about my work. If you could help me with just one or two introductions I’d appreciate it.”
If you get 2-3 names, call (or e-mail) them immediately and say, “I just finished photographing your friend, and they thought you might be interested in something similar for you.” If they are interested, book a session. If not, say “Can I e-mail you some upcoming specials at my studio?”
Either way you have a potential new customer.
Here’s an extra tip: if the referral makes a purchase, immediately reward the original customer with a special gift (a small framed print from your fine-art collection, for example) so that they make the connection between the gift and the referral in their mind.
These words may feel uncomfortable to say at first, but if you (and your staff) memorize them, you’ll be amazed at how many extra sales they will bring in.