ArtId Art Blog
Excerpted from Art Marketing 101 by Constance Smith
Learning to Sell - Part I
Everyone who comes before you is a potential customer. If you have excuses, it is because you don't want to make the effort to sell to them. When you are in a confident mood, you will not make up these excuses. Practice not having these excuses if this is your problem. * He doesn't look like he has any money. * He doesn____t look like someone who buys art. * She is not avant-garde enough for my art. * Her fingernails are not polished. She doesn'__t have any money. * No one off a tour bus ever buys.
I was a juror on a court case. The prosecutor was a mild-tempered lawyer; you could barely hear his voice. The defense attorney was a power-infested madman. No one on the jury liked the defense attorney, although he appeared more like a winning lawyer. None of us wanted to listen to this disgusting defense attorney. I believe he lost his case mostly because people didn't like his personality.
Likewise, if you sound like a car salesman, people will walk away from you in an instant. Be natural, honest and kind, and you will sell more art. Pretend you are talking to someone in your own home about your artwork.
Keep in mind as you study the market which salesmen you would like to sell like. When you go to galleries, study how they do it. When you visit outdoor shows or an exhibit, see how they do it. Write your comments down. Make a special effort to study this topic. You will want to observe all types of salespeople and see how you react. You will find some common denominators in the people that you can deal with comfortably: * You trust them; somehow they have gained your confidence. * You like them; you might even consider them as a future friend.
When you hold a show, or exhibit at an outdoor show, the people attending are all potential customers. Perhaps, however, they've only purchased prints or limited editions previously. Most of the people you will encounter do not go into galleries. Galleries intimidate them. They go instead to outdoor shows or open studios where the setting is more comfortable, i.e., no salesmen.
Art is a unique commodity. People want to fall in love with an artwork. They want to show it off to their friends. If you know why it____s good to own original art, it will be easier to convey this to new buyers.
The author, Constance Smith, has devoted the last eighteen years to publishing art marketing information, researching and networking with art world professionals nationwide. Previous to that she represented fine artists in the San Francisco area. Art Marketing 101 is available at bookstores nationwide or you can order directly from the publisher. ArtNetwork, PO Box 1360, Nevada City, 95959 800/383-0677 530/470-0862 530/470-0256 Fax