ArtId Art Blog
THAT__™S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ASSUME!
When times are difficult, we are tempted to start selling ___from weakness rather than strength.___ This elemental aspect to selling that seems to evaporate so easily in trying times is something I call ___assumptive selling.___
Spell check will trip over this word ___assumptive___ because it isn__™t in Websters. I guess I made it up. But, despite its absence from the dictionary, it__™s still very descriptive. It refers to that special mindset we salespeople must have in place, before we put on our neckties, or turn on the gallery lights or walk onto the sale floor.
We must be absolutely convinced that the customers with whom we work that day will buy from us. We know it. We assume it. Like taking our next breath.
More than Confidence
My ___unique___ made-up word is effective in imparting this concept to salespeople__"novice and veteran, alike__"because it suggests that the concept is bigger than just being confident. ___Confident___ is acting as if, to use seminar jargon. ___Confident___ is sometimes ___appearing as though.___ Confident is often a behavioral thing. But, confidence is like a two-edged sword__"it can work against the salesperson, so you have to be careful.
Appearing confident can sometimes be construed as cocky. We don__™t want cocky salespeople. Confident can sometimes be perceived as condescension. We don__™t want condescending salespeople, either. It turns customers off, gets in the way.
We want to be salespeople who are so excited about the value and desirability of the art we are showing that we just assume the customer will want it. Foregone conclusion. Done deal. That__™s what I call assumptive selling.
Just Like Garlic!
This is not a cloak that we put on, as confidence can sometimes be. This is a belief. It__™s an inner dialogue we are having with ourselves.
And when we are successful at it, when we have inculcated the essence of assumptiveness into what we do and say on a sales floor, it will permeate the atmosphere around us__"like garlic emanating from our pores. And the customer will notice...be impacted by it... and be moved.
I used to wonder if assumptive selling wasn__™t in reality a closing technique. And it is, really. In selling parlance, it falls under the heading of ___closing early and often.___ You should start closing a sale the minute you say ___hello.___ And this kind of attitude, that of assumptiveness, does just that.
When you really and truly believe that the artwork you sell is wonderful, well-valued and beautiful, it is a short distance from there to selling in an assumptive manner. After all, who, once caught browsing in an art gallery, would not be interested in something that was wonderful, well-valued and beautiful? Once that attitude is in place, it has a palpable effect on what you do and how you do it, what you say and how you say it.
Consider the difference between these two statements: ___ ___Mr. Jones, I know you would really like this beautiful landscape by Robert Schnay if you were to buy it...___ As opposed to: ___ ___Mr. Jones, once you get this wonderful Schnay landscape home and hang it on that den wall we talked about, you__™re going to love it twice as much as you do here...wouldn__™t you agree?___
A world of difference in much the same statement, no?
Todd Bingham is a consultant and sales trainer to the art business, who, in association with Art World News, has written five books on the subject of selling art, and who just assumes you will want them all. Accordingly, they can be purchased online at his website, www.tbfa.com, or by calling his office: (800) 697-8935.