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Thursday, June 9, 2011

How To Be Successful At Selling Artwork

Today, Graham spoke to the group about step three while also recapping the first two steps for me, as it was my first of these talks. The first step is to get to know the client, which Nina and I acted out. During our spur-of-the-moment skit, Nina was the employee and I was the customer. One of the things I learned after the skit as graham was talking to us was to never ask the customer “Can I help you?” because it can be frustrating to potential buyers who want to take a look around before committing to a print. Another thing was that once I crossed my arms, it was a sign for Nina to turn away because I was finished with the conversation. The goal of this first step is to establish a relationship with the client that can continue beyond this short, initial interaction and lead to a symbiotic relationship.

The second step is that once a client has found a print that he or she may be interested in, you explain that the print exists. At this point you, or someone more knowledgeable, should begin to describe details of the print, such as the origin of the print, what was going on during this time period and why it is important today. If you are unable to answer these questions, do not try to make something up, instead find someone who would know and introduce the client to them. By answering these questions, the salesperson is helping to bring the artwork to life for the buyer.

The third step, the step in which we began to touch on, is the idea that the piece of artwork they are looking at CAN be purchased. At this point, instead of being brash and asking if the person wants to buy it, you ask other questions. These questions can include: Do these colors work in the space you want it to hang? Will if fit in that space? Do you like what it is currently framed in, and if not, do you want us to change it? Another question which is beneficial to ask the client is, “Do you want us to bring it by so you can see what it looks like in this space?” This question allows the client to see what it would actually look like, which may help them decide that they just have to have that artwork. Each of these steps is important and must build on each other in order to successfully sell most things, and certainly including artworks.

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