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Will customers share you?


#1

Hi all. I frequently hear from past customers about how many
compliments they get. I always think: so how come the phone isn’t
ringing?

I mentioned this to my wife, and she speculated that perhaps
customers, whether consciously or not, choose to protect the
exclusivity of their find (me). In other words, they want to be the
only one they see in my work. What do you think? Could this be true?

Allan
silvermason.com


#2
I always think: so how come the phone isn't ringing? 

Allan, I see you do business at shows. Maybe people have the idea
that they need to arrange their schedules to see you at one of these
shows and that’s not always easy. I think maybe its not that your
previous clients keep you a secret but that it might be difficult for
them to relate how to contact you and difficult for admirers to get
their butts in gear. Maybe you could try a 'refer a friend’
promotion. Something tangible. Develop a prospects mailing list from
that. Tell these prospects that you’ll be at such n such a show in
two weeks. Give them a reason to come to the show specifically for
you, because otherwise they may not come at all if they are not show
going people.

I rely on word of mouth. I do precious little advertising. But then
I’m in one spot all the time, its easy for new folks to come at their
leisure.


#3

Do you ask them to refer you to their friends? Or do you just hope
they will? When someone new comes in, do you ask how they heard about
you, or do you assume they will tell you if they were referred? I ask
everyone how they found us, and to spread the word. I give them
multiple business cards to help them do so too. And for the most part
they do. When someone tells me about the compliments they have
received from something I made for them, the first thing I ask is
"Did you tell them about us?"

Word-of-mouth advertising is about the only advertising that can
work consistently, everywhere, and for almost any business. It does
take a long time though, and contrary to popular belief, it’s not
free. It takes time, money, and a total dedication to customer
service. You can never assume that because you don’t hear back from
someone about a job you were worried about that they must be happy.
If you ask them they’ll tell you, but they won’t volunteer that they
have a problem unless it’s a big one. They will tell their friends
though. A lot more of them than they’ll tell about a good experience,
and tons more than for an OK experience. But they won’t tell you,
unless you ask.

Dave Phelps


#4

Allan, your wife is partly right but there are also many others who
enjoy sharing. I have customers who have asked for some of my cards
to pass out to those who compliment my work but like you, my phone
isn’t ringing either. I think it takes a lot to motivate someone to
take the next step, pick up the phone, make a purchase, etc. If
anyone figures out how to make that happen, I would love to hear
about it.

Beverly
beverlyjones.com


#5

Allan

I mentioned this to my wife, and she speculated that perhaps
customers, whether consciously or not, choose to protect the
exclusivity of their find (me). In other words, they want to be
the only one they see in my work. What do you think? Could this be
true? 

I don’t think it’s quite like that. Although we produce different
jewellery to you, we also do bespoke work, and I think people do get
told about us by our customers, but those people don’t always feel
like they can come in and commission something.

Bespoke work is so alien to a normal high street customer now, that I
just think they are often intimidated by going to somewhere that
offers it. We have families where 3 generations spend with us, and
customers who drag (sometimes literally drag) their friends in to buy
wedding rings…etc. “Word of mouth” probably isn’t enough -
potential customers often need bringing in by someone who knows us.
Otherwise they probably think that they somehow aren’t “allowed” to
commission jewellery. One thing that helps us is doing repairs and
valutions - once people come in for those, they are likely to return
again.

Jamie
http://primitive.ganoksin.com