Selling art is a process that takes persistence and talent to get the results you deserve and desire. Art sales rarely are impulsive purchases. As a result, customers do not always know what they want. So when you learn how to sell art by taking the lead, you close more sales.
“There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking.” – Brian Tracy
A buyer has choices when they buy an artwork: They can buy it from you directly, or find it through a dealer who represents the artist, or they can find it through a gallery either physically or online. When you have direct contact with a buyer, you are in a solid position to take the lead and help them decide to buy your art.
With Covid-19 restrictions being lifted and more in-person events taking place, brushing up your art selling skills can help you help your buyers to make a purchase decision that pleases everyone. Let’s get started.
Your Art Career Deserves Your Best Selling Efforts
You work hard to make work art designed to fill your creative urge and satisfy the desire of your patrons. If you take as much care in selling your work as you do in making it, your art career will flourish.
The basic steps of selling art begin with creating engaging work. The process moves on to marketing to boost awareness, gain acceptance, and grow popularity for your art. The goal and conclusion are successful sales and the start or evolution of connections between buyers and you.
You Pay a Lot to Take the Shot So Take Your Best One
There is always a cost to create opportunities to sell your art in person: show, travel, marketing, networking, social influencing, and more. So, you want to be ready to do your best when you have the chance because you earned it.
Go with the attitude of “I’m here to help you” because you are. It’s your job to help them decide whether to buy your work. When you are genuine and authentic, it comes through. You owe it to your prospective buyers and to yourself to do your best. They had a cost to get there, and you have an investment in them and their interest.
The best outcome is your buyer loves your art and appreciates your thoughtful help in the transaction.
Learn How to Take the Role of Leading the Sale
Keep reading to learn how to sell more art by leading the sale. Your customers often need your help. They first need education on your artwork and you. That information lays the groundwork and allows you to help your customers make a buying decision.
Once a customer is engaged and interested, what happens next is up to you, as the art salesperson. Many customers waffle at making the buying decision. Rather than rambling on about your work, you should be using your time with your potential buyer to gather intelligence. You cannot help them unless you know what is causing them to hesitate. Is it size, which piece, price, number of pieces? It might just be they don’t know how to get the artwork safely home and properly displayed.
Asking questions gives you the information you can use in an information feedback loop. Your questions, obtained in a genuinely interested conversational approach, will demonstrate your interest in them runs deeper than making a sale. Casually have them describe where they live, what kind of home they have, and where they envision your art will hang in their home. Do they own other pieces of original art? How long have they been collecting? Are they local or visiting?
Meet, Greet and Retreat
The classic approach is to meet your prospect. Please introduce yourself welcome your potential buyers with a friendly, confident smile and manner. Learn their name/s and one other bit of information.
Then retreat to let them browse. Don’t stare or follow them around. Be available without hovering. You can come with comments on a piece they seem interested in and use the segue to gather more intel.
You can’t pepper someone with questions. Learn to mix in comments about the weather, notice, and comment on what they are wearing—an unusual piece of jewelry or clothing. Perhaps something special is happening in your area. Did this bring them in? Are they sports fans, golfers, foodies, hikers, or do they like visiting museums?
Give your prospects time and distance to view the art at their pace. Be ready to engage at the appropriate time. You want to come off as neither aloof nor desperate. When you re-engage, don’t ask a closed-ended question such as, “Can I answer any questions for you?” Use open-ended questions. “How long have you been collecting art?” “What other artists do you collect?” “What kinds of art do you own?’
Your Confident Advice Will Untangle Uncertain Thoughts
When there is an extensive collection of art on view at one time, it can be daunting for buyers. They will likely love more than one piece if they want your work. My thoughts on “Offering Big” are part of my new e-book, The Zen of Selling Art. But that only works when the budget fits the offer.
It would help if you honed in on what your buyer is thinking. This step is where your confidence and expertise will help you lead the sale.
Your intelligence gathering may have helped you discover the buyer’s budget. Perhaps you heard their indecision in comments to you or a spouse or partner. Their wavering is your opportunity to lead the sale. Now is your chance to help them make the decision.
Become the Trusted Adviser
How often has a knowledgeable salesperson helped you make a choice? This suit flatters your figure, but I recommend this color. It will look fabulous on you. These speakers are perfect for your room size. This coffee maker is not the highest-priced but is the best made and makes the best coffee. This firmer mattress will give you great back support and last for ten years. But, what you will truly love is the state-of-the-art gel comfort top.
You assume the expert role. Refer to how other collectors enjoy similar pieces. Remind them of the wall with the blue background in their home and how this piece will look hanging on it. Help them visualize the work you believe will be the best fit. Encourage them this particular piece is not just a good choice; it’s a perfect choice. You may personally like it so much you have a hard time parting with it.
Take your leadership role to ask for the business. If you do this with the air that the sale is a done deal and that you are confident it will happen, show no signs of nerves that it will matter; if it doesn’t, you will close the sale.
In Selling Art, Leading the Sale Leads to Closing the Sale
Move to the last step with a closing question:
- Can I wrap this up for you?
- Would you like to take it with you or would you prefer to ship or deliver it?
- Would you like to pay with a check or a credit card?
- Would you like to use our free delivery and hanging service?
- You can take it on a no-risk seven-day return policy. Would that work for you?
Treat your customers with respect. Take responsibility to help them decide what to buy. Be confident and authoritative without being arrogant, and you will earn their respect. They already like your work, helping them like and admire you will close sales.