Before you sell to an art collector get an “up front contract.” In other words, get permission from art collectors to sell to them. Then you will not be selling.
What is an “up front contract?” This is a term coined by the Sandler Sales Program. The sales methodology that I encourage in my artist coaching program and the one I use.
Essentially it goes like this. When you are pursuing a prospect you want to first get permission to qualify them and give permission for them to bail if they are not really interested in buying.
You might say something like this. “If you don’t mind I’d like to ask you a few questions. And of course you are welcome to ask me questions. Then when we are done talking I’d like to agree that we take the next step or we agree that it’s just not a good fit. Is that okay with you?”
This offers mutual consideration, to you and to them. And it lets you both off the hook.
What have you done here? You’ve done a few things:
1. You are inviting the prospect to ask you questions.
2. You are getting permission to ask them questions and to qualify them. They make be just an admirer or they may be an interested collector. Wouldn’t it be good to know this sooner rather than later?
3. You are taking the pressure off by giving them a way out. No one likes the pressure of being sold. So don’t do it.
4. You convey confidence rather than desperation to close a sale.
5. Most importantly, at the end of the meeting you’ll know if they are a prospect, a new collector, or if they are just not qualified. Qualifying meaning that they have the money, the authority to spend it, and enough interest in buying.
Why is the latter so important? I don’t believe in expending limited energy pursuing prospects that will not yield sales. Let them go and confirm who you should court.
Take your energy and attention back and focus on viable sales to collectors and your creative productivity.