One important “trigger” that can help drive sales of your work is the use of testimonials from existing customers, and repeat customers.
Testimonials are a form of “social proof” that is an important source of referrals. Today, people are far more interested in what others have to say about a business or a product than they are in advertising. And they are far more likely to believe testimonials.
A testimonial is a statement about the value of your product, the experience of the customer, and their satisfaction level. It recommends your handmade work and endorses you. And, because testimonials are freely given, it makes them even more powerful.
Gaining testimonials is something you should pursue on an ongoing basis. You can certainly let new customers know that much of your business is referral-driven, and even have that verbiage on your art website. When you make a sale and have the opportunity to speak with a happy customer, ask if they would be willing to give you a short testimonial. You may be surprised to find that people usually say “yes.”
A simple way to ask for a testimonial is to write an email to your satisfied customer asking for one. At the same time, let them know how the testimonial would be used. Do you plan to put it in a brochure? On your website? In an advertisement?
When you get their written agreement via email with that testimonial, you will have been given permission to use the testimonial and this will be your proof if there is any future question. It’s important to be accurate when letting customers know exactly how you plan to use them.
A testimonial should always sound genuine, so it is best that it be in the customer’s own words. It should also be relatively short – even a phrase can be very effective.
Once you have asked for a statement, you might find that it is too lengthy, or not concise. In that case, lift a short phrase or sentence, or consolidate the testimonial. Then, email your customer back, thanking them for their time and kind actions in producing the testimonial. Let them know that you are not able to use a lengthy testimonial, and send your version of their shortened statement, asking if they would agree that it captures their sentiment. Usually this will also produce a “yes.”
Testimonials are very effective when they use the full name of the customer, and even more effective when you can share a photo or headshot of the speaker. If the person giving the testimonial is shown with a piece of your handmade work, all the better. You may not be able to get all of these accomplished, but do your best.
Each testimonial that you use adds credibility to your business. Continue to collect them and use them in tandem with each other to increase sales of your art or handmade work.