Dear Artist learn your lessons well.

I love hearing great examples of things I have discussed in my art ramblings on this site, one in particular happened recently in a chat to a good friend. He probably did not realise what he had said that made me go ‘oh yeah, there it is’ but it did.

The ‘thing’ that stood out to me, is to do with what you sell you work for, how you sell it and how people try to buy. Simply put a lot of people fall into a ‘selling mode’ more akin with everyday objects and not with high end, specialty products. Let’s get this straight before I tell you more of his story, Art works are a high end item, they have been hand crafted, (generally one off’s). This fact alone makes them special, those who know your artistic style will also know what makes your Artwork special.

If I go to buy any other one off specialty item, I immediately know there will be, no returns, I will pay the price set for it and there will be NO discounting (or even asking for a discount). Even if it’s a product I order in at a shop, which is not normally in their stock lines the same (almost unwritten) rules apply.

The above illustrates the ‘guidelines’ people use to buy speciality items, there are rules…

My friend went on to say “I’m tired of tire kickers the ones that say, yeah I really like your work, when my tax return comes in I’lll get that… yeah… I will, Hey call me after the show and I will buy direct and save yeah… oh and how about a discount? But it’s a while off yet before I get my tax back…” Needless to say they don’t buy.

My Arty buddy has heard this type of excuse and many more like it too many times that he becomes frustrated and may not sell as much as he wants to. The funny thing is he doesn’t need to be in this position, his role is as an Artist, he should therefore be utilising his Agent or the Gallery to do any sales and chit chat about the buyers ‘situation’. His role is to create the works and talk to people about the art in terms relating to the works.

The problem is people view their world through various filters (created by values, beliefs and experiences), these can either limit what they see or expand what they see, This then impacts how they perceive and what they think about their circumstances and situations they find themselves in. My arty buddy has had enough experiences of ‘tire kickers’ he sees more of them than he should! Therefore people ask for discounts, ask to buy outside of the gallery situation (in the hope of getting it at ‘wholesale rates’ his frustration builds and the cycle continues. His challenge becomes how to break the cycle created by his ‘filters’ and move to the next level.

What can we learn from this.

My Arty Buddy will read this and say “Oh…” followed by “Yeah but…” and my response… “Take it or leave it, my years of sales training, business and life experience, making artworks, watching people in Galleries, chatting to Gallery Directors etc is of value to me and hopefully it can be of value to you too.”

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