This is the final chapter in our series on Selling Your Paintings At Your Art Show At Home.
I’m going to talk about Salesmanship.
You hear me constantly say that selling means making it easier for your customers to buy from you. So how do I sell at my own Home Art Show? What kinds of sales skills do I need to develop?
I learned my sales skills from Jack Gallagher, my sales manager, that I worked for over 25 years ago.
Jack was a salesman and I was his sales support engineer. Back in those days I was known as a Systems Analyst. It was my job to visit the customer with the sales rep, gather and evaluate the customer’s technical requirements, return to the home office and design a solution with the hardware, software and mechanical engineers and price the solution. I would write up the proposal and then accompany the sales rep a second time to present our proposal.
Jack was the Eastern US Sales Manager. We worked at a company called Zentec Corp. My first visit with Jack was memorable. He was the new boss, so I sure put the dog out. What a presentation. I had people laughing their heads off. We presented all of the facts and they understood our solution and many thought it brilliant.
After the sales call, Jack told me. “Next time we present our proposal, leave the showmanship for Hollywood.” Concentrate on the facts and on mitigating risk and demonstrating fast ROI.”
Later on I learned that meant telling the customer what they want to hear.
A week or so later we went out on another sales call to gather customer requirements for another bid. I had put together a form I called the Home Office Action Request. I knew what characterized the right customer for us. As always, I asked lots and lots of questions designed to make sure I could qualify this prospect so we could ‘sell’ this person.
After the sales call, Jack told me. “Throw away the Home Office Action Request form. Leading questions usually reveal what you think the issues and problems are, not what the customers knows they are.
Later on, I learned that meant learning to shut up and listen to the customer.
I sure was batting a thousand wasn’t I?
This time I didn’t wait for another sales opportunity. I just asked Jack how we should conduct the sales meeting.
Jack just simply said be a gunslinger.
Now I was stumped.
So Jack explained.
The best gunslingers are not the fastest. They’re the straightest shooters. They’re totally focused on their prospect(s). They’re always prepared, they listen and observe constantly and react in ‘real time’.
Darrell, yes, a salesman job is to gather basic information, but more importantly you must know what the customer wants, how much they want to spend, how they’ll make their decisions, what they need to know to make their decisions, and who all of the decision makers. Your best friends are Who, Why, What, Where, When and How. And the customer wants to know a lot of stuff from you, so remember to simply tell the truth.
Later on, I learned that meant ….
Mastering the art of selling is simply knowing how to present whatever it is that you’re selling, to the buyer in such a manner that they feel buying it from you will solve their problems or fulfill their dreams. Anybody can sell anything to anybody. The thing is, some things are harder to sell than others and require different kinds of presentations. Finally, you’ve got to realize that unless you make your sales calls, you won’t make any sales, and the more sales calls you make, the more sales you’re going to make.
As you move through your guests, you’re not in Hollywood and you don’t need a Home Office Action Request form.
Here’s What You Do Need To Be Doing During Your Art Show ….
Just be yourself,
Learn to Listen,
Answer their questions and above all,
When you look at someone and speak to them, do so as though they’re the only other person in the world.
The best way to prepare is to anticipate the questions your invitees may have about each painting. So think them over before the show.
Know why you painted each painting, the ‘story’ behind each painting, and what the painting means to you.
Besides matching color to their home/office decorum, the story ’behind’ the painting is the second biggest reasons people buy paintings.
Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale.
There’s no feeling quite like the feeling of Yes! I’ll buy your painting.
Except maybe for the feeling that Yes! I can Oil Paint.
I’m Darrell Crow.
I’m your Art Instructor,
Yes! You Can Sell Your Own Paintings From Your Home.