If you want to build long term success, read this short article written by Aletta de Wal, because, as she states, “we listen for a sale rather than build relationships”.
Beginning of Article
One of the most frequent complaints I hear from artists is that people browsing say they like their art, but then don’t buy it. But. . . that’s a lot of pressure to put on a walk-by comment! Not to mention, it’s unrealistic to expect sales from a first look. (And viewing people just as wallets eliminates any chance of a bigger relationship.)
I always walk the full gallery or show before going back to look at individual art. If I want to live with a piece of art for a long time, I want to have ample time to absorb what’s available. Then I go back to my short list and engage in conversation with the artists. The way they handle the conversation has a big impact on what I choose.
Besides, it’s stingy of you not to glory in the accolade for at least a moment. Accept what people say as the beginning of a process, then consider the compliment an opening to start a conversation by asking questions to learn what’s behind the comment. What do they like about your art? What does it remind them of? What brought them to the exhibit?
Each answer leads you a bit further past a throw-away comment and into the realm of a possible relationship. Who knows where that could lead? A new art friend, a potential collector, a source of referrals to buyers, a gallery opportunity. . . ?
In the end, when you look at people as people first, and work at building relationships instead of pursuing transactions, you can much more easily build bridges between you, your art, and your audience. And THAT’S how you build long-term success.
End of quote.
When it comes to signing people up for wildlife pastel workshops, making a sale from our gallery or an art show, I completely agree with the author! Getting to know people and building a relationship is how you build long term success! People don’t usually purchase major items at first glance. My experience is 7 or 8 times before they are ready. I believe in the no pressure sale. I hate pushy sales people. Give your customers time. Be ready when they are. Make the buying process easy for them. This experience will give both of you the best feeling. It also increases your chances of repeat sales in the future, and that’s a good thing.
And remember, People do business with people they like. So, work on your “people skills” and get them to tell you about themselves and what they like about your art. This business is not about you. It’s about knowing your customer and giving them what they want when they are ready to take action. Share your life. Make a new friend.