There are 4 steps to successful sales. This essay is primarily about step 1.
As mentioned, the first step in selling art successfully is meeting and getting to know the potential client. An earlier post from May 26th discusses the “rules of thumb” to accomplish this objective, however, this post instead centers on the personal connection a seller should establish with their potential client. This essential piece contributes largely to the principle of tailoring the purchase to the customer, a principle necessary in achieving success.
A successful seller aims to establish an ongoing relationship with their clients, the result of establishing a connection with the client, rather than superficial friendliness or mere flattery. This connection with a client is often founded on common points of interest, which at times requires great effort, especially where there appear to be few—a conversation or even a Google will often aid this process. As one continues to establish common points of interest, the seller begins to obtain an appraisal of a customer's specific interests.
In order to establish and maintain this relationship, a seller should make a point of keeping informed of their clients' well-being and activity. This is done through a genuine care for the client's welfare. There exist ample ways to maintain friendly contact with a client. Through modest acts of kindness, such as sending a congratulatory, handwritten note after hearing of a promotion or a quick phone call to check up with a client, an abiding trust can be established between client and seller.
Trust between a client and a seller allows the seller to tailor what types of objects are offered to the client, which is the ultimate objective in a field such as rare maps, books and prints. This is what makes a dealer successful—coupling the needs to the client with an overall knowledge of the industry, specifically what works are available. The first steps in successfully selling art include: getting to know your client, establishing common points of interest which should lead to a relationship with the client, and maintaining this relationship through various activities, which establishes a trust between seller and client.