The Art of Selling Art

Purchasing artwork is a very personal process. Therefore, it would be reasonable to assume that selling artwork is a personal process as well.
When a prospect stands before your art and studies it, their mind is hard at work. They are thinking about the work itself, where they would put it if they bought it and of course they wonder if they afford it. Art is a luxury for most people. It is a statement about themselves that they will display in their home or office for all to see.
You have to keep these things in mind as you approach the prospect. Art is not a "hard" sale. Your job is to give the prospect enough information to make them feel comfortable with making a purchase. Some prospects will have made the buying decision by the time you get to them. Most will require you to give them a reason to buy.
Your approach with these prospects should be to tell them a story about the piece of art they are interested in. Tell them why you created it, what you were thinking when you began the creative process and what the final product means to you. This is the time to communicate the passion you have for the art your create. Make the story as personal as possible. The "story" is very important because they will keep and treasure it just as they will the artwork.
Once the story has been given, have the prospect visualize your art in their home. This is much easier than you would think. All you have to do is ask them where they would place your art in their home or office. If they are really interested, they will tell you exactly where they would put it.
Now the prospect has the "story" and they have visualized owning your art. The next step is to ask for the sale. Ah... now you have visions of "used car salesmen" in your mind. No, it is not that hard. Once they tell you where they would put your art, there are a number ways to ask for the sale:
  • simply ask them if they would prefer to pay with cash or credit.
  • say, "well then lets wrap it up for you".
  • ask if they would like you to keep the work in the booth with you while they continue shopping (after they have paid)
  • tell them how thrilled you are that they will have a piece of your art in their collection.
There are a thousand variations, you have to find the right one that is natural for you. It must be your words and they must be sincere. Work to find the most comfortable way to ask the prospect for the sale. Remember, your prospect is at an art fair, therefore they have an expectation that they may find something they really want. Art fairs are full of "lookers", but they are also full of buyers. Asking for the sale is critical. It is the final step in helping the prospect make their purchase decision.

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