Because word-of-mouth is so important and so valuable, artists need to learn to ask for referrals. If you have someone who likes your art, chances are they know others who will like it as well. You will never get 100% cooperation by asking, but you don’t need to in order to be successful. You do need to develop a comfortable way of asking for referrals 100% of the time there is opportunity to do so.
Having a pat way to ask is how you get good at it without seeming nervous or pushy. “I’m thrilled you like my art, or have bought my art. My business thrives on referrals. Can you give me the names of a couple of people you know that I should also get to know?” Work on that sort of format and practice it out loud until it comes from you as neither pushy nor desperate, but rather just a natural question for the normal way you do business.
Once you get the names, ask how and when introductions can be made. Follow up and make it happen, and then make sure you get some face time with your new prospect. Be sure to follow up to thank the person who referred you. It’s courteous, professional, and with certain “connectors” you will find them to be great centers of influence who can make repeated introductions to new prospects for you.
By Barney Davey of Art Print Issues.
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