The music business can be tough, but dedication and a professional approach to sales has struck the right note.
In downtown New York, Pro Arts is a company born from personal experience and one constant passion – to spread live music through solid business practices. With a deep understanding of the music industry and the often cutthroat nature of business for musicians, co-founders Erin and Drew Coles 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 share 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.”
With experience in music contracting during his masters degree, Drew recognized 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 handpicked 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. 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 answer 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 is built on treating clients with kindness and respect and taking the time to really get to know them and their needs. Erin and Drew know just how important it is to understand the person behind the deal.
“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”
Sales software that empowers
Erin and Drew explain how the sales software Pipedrive has been a key tool for helping them improve and personalize client interactions, and in turn, exceed customer expectations. For example, Pipedrive’s Email Integration and Customized Tabs features mean Erin and Drew can both optimize the client experience, and scale their business faster.
“We really love that we can customize the tabs in our Pipedrive interface. That allows us to clearly see where our clients are and be able to cater our correspondence with them to where they’re at in our individual sales pipeline.
Pipedrive has helped our business scale because we’ve been able to keep better track of our leads and ensure that we’re checking in with clients who may have otherwise slipped through the cracks, or off of our radar.”
Pro Arts is an exciting example of how a love of music and a love of business can give life to one another in such a powerful way. Erin and Drew recognized an opportunity to make the industry better for artists and consumers alike, and it’s their shared quest for progress and change that makes them truly successful.
‘We always like to change the way we do things, change the way people think about us, change the way people think about our industry because we feel we can make that change and we can always bring a better package to what the client experience is. We’re bent on changing the field – it’s really an integral part of the vision for the company.’
Follow Erin and Drew’s lead and learn how the right sales CRM can help you develop an unbeatable customer experience.