Why do people buy art? Why do they buy anything? Because the pain of not having what is being sold is greater than parting with their money.
So what is your mission when selling your art? You might think that it’s communicating the value of your art. Yes and no.
Remember. During a conversation with a prospect, you’ll want to talk about 20% of the time. Your prospect should speak about 80% of the time.
So how do you convey the value of your work and not talk so much? You ask questions. What kind of questions? Leading questions.
Remember the show Columbo? Peter Falk played a private investigator who asked suspects leading questions. That is what you want to do with your prospects.
What questions do you ask? First, relax. Selling is simply having a conversation. Your first job is just to establish rapport.
Once you have established rapport you may find that your prospect has just remodeled their dinning room, they have a celebration coming up, or they have been looking for something special for the wall in the den for a year.
Selling art is not a manipulation. Who likes that? You are simply helping your prospects come to their own conclusions. And if you’re effective they will conclude that what you have to offer will solve a particular pain in their life.
Please note. Everyone’s pain is different. Your job is to uncover it.
Pain? Isn’t art about inspiration? Well. That’s what I used to think, until I uncovered my collectors’ pain. The real reasons they bought my work. For example:
1. The real estate investment firm that needed to convey the story of their luxury resort property in a way that distinguished them from every other luxury property.
2. The busy CEO who needed to come up with a memorable, meaningful, and thoughtful gift for his wedding anniversary to, in his words, help him “save his marriage.”
3. The empty nester who was ready to indulge and celebrate her passion, not her childrens’ or her husband’s. Her passion is art and color.
Note this too. If you uncover enough pain it is interesting how their budget will increase.
During this process your prospect may conclude that what you have to offer does not provide an antidote to their pain. And that’s okay.
You can then let this prospect go and just ask for a referral.