ArtId Art Blog
LEARNING TO SELL, PART II
Your initial presence and stature must insure confidence. * If you sell at an outdoor show for several years standing, this insures confidence. You are not an art peddler: you are an art dealer, which requires a relationship on an ongoing basis. * You've been referred by a friend or associate. * Someone else has bought from you. * The local arts council or museum has a piece of your work. * They saw your name in an article in the local paper.
Sell the Benefits
People want to be sold benefits. Buyers want to know the benefits of owning your artwork. So make a list of them right now! A benefit generally saves time, energy or money while still appealing to the ego. Right color, right size, joyous feeling, the artist is collected by a loyal following, confidence due to critics saying good things about the artist, nicely framed with high-quality materials. All are benefits of owning a piece of your work.
Unless someone is ready to make a purchase, there will generally be objections to handing over the cash. As you proceed with your sales you will become more familiar with what is a normal objection and what is the difficult objection. One way to get around objections is by changing the subject and simply not answering them, or by asking another question. * Some people might not be sure if they actually like the piece. They need reaffirmation from a bystander, their mate, friend, etc. In this case you could offer to them a money-back guarantee. They can display it for two weeks in their home, of course with payment and the normal agreement. That way they'll have a chance to hear comments from friends and neighbors. * A common objection is, "The price is out of my budget." Your answer would be, "How about a lease?" or "Why don't you join my patron program and pay by the month?" or "I do have a layaway plan." If you accept VISA/MC you might even feel secure with giving them the piece with three installments on a VISA. * Price is too high. They are not familiar with the serigraph process and think it is a poster. Educate them. Suggest they compare your prices to the artist down the path, that you just sold a piece to so-and-so or that your prices have risen slowly over the years because you are more in demand. * The colors clash with my room. Show them a different but similar piece. Teach them an art piece is what sets off a room, not the couch. * They don't feel they deserve such a fine piece. This might not be said in words, but it is how some people have been trained to feel, especially new collectors who haven't had time to begin to appreciate art in their homes. Explain that everyone deserves to have a reviving impression to view daily. * I can't make up my mind. Make them feel confident in their choice. Introduce them to the patron program. * Silent objection. They won't look you in the eye, they have nervous energy, their arms are folded, they won't shake your hand. Make them feel confident in their choice. Show them your portfolio, explaining what museums collect your work.
When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, you have to feel comfortable with your closing. You have to do what is natural for you. Adding a little intelligence to the matter never hindered. Don't be too passive during the closing moments. People can like a passive, timid type, as he or she is less threatening. * Did you want to pay with VISA or Mastercard? * Did you want me to help you choose a frame? * Can I help you hang it at your office? * Which one can I reserve you for? I have a red dot you can put on it. * I think you are making a wise choice. Did you want to pay with a check? * Why don't you take both works since you can't decide? We can do a three-month payment through your VISA. * If you want this work, I would advise you to at least make a deposit so I can hold it 30 days for you. Otherwise, it might sell.
After you close the deal, shake hands and shut up! Let him say the next words!
Desire is one of the strongest motivators there is. If you have the desire to sell something because your rent is due tomorrow, you will be much more successful. Aggressive salesmen seldom accomplish more sales. Even car dealerships are finding this out. When a person likes a car, he decides without assistance if he'__s going to buy it or not.
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