This is the first in a series of case studies highlighting how Pipedrive helps small businesses grow and thrive. You can see part two here.
In downtown New York, you'll find one of Pipedrive’s most entertaining customers, Pro Arts Management. The company was born out of the personal experience of the founders and one constant passion—to spread live music through solid business practices.
Co-founders Erin and Drew Coles share a deep understanding of the music industry and the often cutthroat nature of business for musicians.
Both Erin and Drew set out to create a dynamic and competitive organization to transform the industry.
“Our mission is to provide musicians with consistent and meaningful work so that they can do something full time that they truly love.”
Erin and Drew explain how the idea for their business came about while searching for a band for their own wedding.
“We couldn’t find something that we identified with and that we felt would be a really good fit for our wedding.”
Drew’s experience in music contracting during his master’s degree allowed him to recognize a gap in the market and put a second proposal to Erin.
He asked if she would like to put their own band together for their wedding—and make a business out of that.
She said yes. Again!
Pro Arts is now made up of ‘Divisions’ including artist management, education, and research. The main division is still The Metropolitan Players—the energetic band that Erin and Drew hand-picked for their own wedding.
The idea behind The Metropolitan Players is to ensure impeccable customer service, talent and quality for clients, while empowering the artists with work that they love.
“We just jumped into it. We purchased all the equipment we needed, we did auditions for the band members, we made the website, we chose the song list—we did everything we needed to do and started booking clients. It was a whirlwind, but such a good experience and great to be doing together.”
But setting up a business together wasn’t without its challenges. Managing stress is often a parallel job to managing sales.
The couple shares that when they first started out, Drew was full-time at university and they both worked several jobs to fund the company.
“That was quite a harrowing time. We used every coffee break to manage emails and worked nights into the early hours of the morning to keep the dream alive.”
Being husband and wife and business partners also presented its own interesting set of challenges for Erin and Drew.
“We’re married and also business partners which can bring about a lot of challenges and struggles and a lot of things that we have to work through. So just being able to do that—to work together and figure out a way to make it all happen has been such a proud moment for us.”
Erin and Drew explain that despite the challenges, launching a business as a married couple has made Pro Arts the company that it is today. It has defined the personality of the company and been a key driver for the personal and positive nature of the team.
“The fact that we are a family—the idea of family permeates through our business as well. We have a team that would go to the ends of the earth for us—and we would go to the ends of the earth for them as well.”
A key selling point for Erin and Drew, and a large part of what has secured their success, is that they extend this same feeling of family to their clients.
“One thing that makes us feel we’re winning is having spent months and months with clients and we’re finally at their wedding day. It’s such a big day—and we have the honor of providing this art form that we have spent a tonne of time perfecting. We get to do that for someone else’s enjoyment—it’s a beautiful thing to be part of.”
Pro Arts’ sales process surrounds treating clients with kindness and respect. Erin and Drew have learned that understanding the psychology of selling helps you develop stronger customer relationships.
Taking the time to really get to know your leads and their needs will lead to higher conversion rates.
“Taking the time to learn a little about who your clients really are, outside of what you're trying to sell really means a lot to people, especially when they know you've actually listened.
And even better? Use what you've learned about them to personalize the product or service.
For example, if someone had a sick parent that couldn't be part of the wedding, we might surprise our clients by playing their parents' favorite song, and dedicating it to them, or helping to facilitate a live video chat during the night”
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