As artist Ann Rea states - "You don't want to sell art. Why? Because selling art sucks. You want to create value above and beyond your art and sell that."
Artists who understand this psychology are successful in developing language and communication techniques that help clients understand the value of the art and become collectors.
Today the average attention span is about eight seconds, making the early phase of first-time engagement extremely important. The language we use in communicating with customers impacts our ability to intrigue them about our art and close the sale.
So what are these words that sell and how do you use them?
To sell your artwork, you need to strike a healthy balance - be confident without overselling; be firm without being too pushy.
Think about action words, you are Selling an Experience. You need to have a conversation about the benefits of the pieces of art they are interested in. Explain what your art accomplishes, whether it nurtures and soothes, charms, motivates, or creates an atmosphere. What will the buyer DO with it? Will they cherish it? Will it make a statement? People want a piece that emotionally connects to them. Find the reason your work caught their eye and consider the feeling you can evoke through words. Explain what your art accomplishes and how it can evoke the feeling that your client is looking for.
Since many artists don't consider themselves to be natural salespeople, they think that it's better to not pressure a potential buyer and allow them to make that decision for themselves And that's true to an extent. On the other hand, giving buyers an easy way out is a sure way to lose a sale. Statement's such as "Would you like a brochure of my work?" or "Why don't you go home and think about it?" gives a potential buyer an easy out.
Don't be afraid to ask for the sale. Knowing that your potential client will get great enjoyment from and deserves to own a piece of your work. Once you have gone over all the benefits, seen their reaction, and helped to create an experience for them and a sense of ownership, ask, "May I wrap this special piece up for you?" or "Are you ready to schedule an appointment to have this delivered to your home/office?" If you don't ask, you can't get a "yes."
And if the answer is no, it may mean that the sales cycle will take a little longer. Get their name, phone and email, and continue to follow up with them. Find ways such as social media, mailing lists, and email to foster and grow your initial connection. Many sales happen after the initial contact.
As Jason Horejs states in his book How to Sell Art, "The sale isn't the end of the sales process, it is only the beginning. Turn buyers into collectors with post-sale follow up and systematic communication."