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Archive for May, 2011

Dear Artist,

Just a little advice to keep in mind when you take the plunge into your next art event:

Pay attention to everyone who comes into your booth, mom’s with kids, young couples, doesn’t matter, you never know who might be your next art collector.

Arrange your art in such a way that you have pairs or groupings that look good together, especially with smaller pieces; pieces smaller than 20” x 20” – they might sell better as a set.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. Just say the words, “Would you like to buy that?” You will be happily surprised how often the answer is, “Yes.”

If someone seems genuinely interested in your art but they answer “Maybe”, or even “No.” to your question about buying, don’t be afraid to ask, “Is there any question I can answer for you, anything I can say that might encourage you to own a piece of my art?” and then smile. No kidding. I’ve closed small sales and five figure sales by saying those words. If you get embarrassed, so what, keep your voice calm and steady and then be very quiet and listen to the answer. Look you customer in the eye, be professional and be friendly.

If they say they can’t afford it, offer a discount if you can, get to a number that you can both live with. If these things make you a little queasy, then you really should get an art consultant (gallery lingo for art salesperson) to work your booth, you can always be nearby if you wish, but someone needs to do the selling. Art very seldom sells itself.

How can you find a willing art consultant? At an art gallery, chat people up, most people working the floor at an art gallery would be happy to take on a part time gig, and in this economy the gallery owner or director shouldn’t mind, it isn’t as if they’re taking gallery customers away, it’s an entirely different location. You could also put an ad on Craig’s List. What should you pay? 10% straight commission with a draw of minimum wage, in other words if the consultant doesn’t sell any of your art at least they’re paid for their time. If they do sell a piece, you deduct their minimum wage from the 10% commission. Make sure they sign an independent contractors agreement before manning your booth. You may be able to do an art trade, most art consultants love art and they would be happy to work for you for a painting.

Best regards,
Gloria Gales

www.TheBusinessOfArt.com

Cynthia Breusch, Under Starlight, Oil on Board, 36"x42"

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