The Art Marketing Minute is a new Reddot feature – brief videos to give you insight into the art business and ideas to help you improve your approach to art marketing. This is the first video – it’s a bit rough around the edges, but we’ll get better as we go!
This weekend,we delivered three life size sculptures to clients in Paradise Valley, Arizona. The delivery marked the culmination of several months of hard work from both us and the artist.
The story began several months ago when the clients visited the gallery and met Xanadu Gallery’s director, Elaine. They expressed interest in several of the large sculptures by Gary Lee Price, indicating that they were looking for something similar for their home. The pieces we had in the gallery didn’t meet their exact needs, so Elaine provided them a copy of Gary Price’s catalogue of work and gathered their contact information.
Through some persistent follow up, Elaine was able to help them decide on three pieces depicting children in the process of turning cartwheels.
After some negotiation on price, the clients put a half deposit down to get the order started.
Last Saturday, Gary Price’s patineur brought the sculptures to Scottsdale and we delivered them to the client’s home.
The clients were extremely happy with their purchase and the sculpture looked great at their yard.
This sale illustrates some important elements that will be present in every art sale – I want to briefly break them down and encourage you to think about what you can do to make sure you are pursuing each one of these elements so you can more effectively sell your art.
The most important ingredient, and the one that you have the most direct control over is the art itself. You have to have a great piece of art – without the art, nothing else matters.
Second, you need to show that art in a location where qualified art buyers will see it.
In order to buy art, an individual has to have obtained a certain degree of success in life – enough success to have disposable, discretionary income. In my experience, as people find this success they gravitate to the finer things in life, including art.
If you want to find a lion, you’ll go to Africa, not Kansas. If you want to find an art buyer you’ll go to a high-end retail environment.
While it is a challenge, it’s worth the effort and energy. You might have the greatest art in the world, but if the people who can afford to buy that work can’t see it, they’re not going to buy.
Venues include Galleries in high-end art markets, like my gallery in Scottsdale, or galleries in high-end shopping districts. Some high-end art shows will also attract qualified buyers. The internet, is quickly becoming another important venue for selling art.
So, once you have a great piece of art and you are showing it in a good venue, the next important ingredient is, of course, the buyer. A buyer needs to be both interested and qualified to buy.
And this leads to the final ingredient – sales skills. You or the salesperson who is interacting with the client needs to have the skill to guide the client from casual curiosity to serious interest, and then the skill to be able to close the sale, including the ability to negotiate when necessary.
Once the sale is closed, it’s critical to make sure that the logistical side of the sale is handled skillfully. Make sure that the artwork is delivered and installed for the client. Confirm that the client is satisfied. Send a thank you gift or note.
So there you have a very cursory glance at the ingredients required to generate art sales. I’ll be talking about the individual ingredients in greater detail in future sessions, but it’s important to always keep the big picture in mind so that you know what you aiming for.
In closing, let’s recap the ingredients to create an art sale:
- You need a great piece of art
- You need to be showing that art in a venue that will attract qualified buyers
- You need a qualified buyer
- You need the sales skills to successfully guide the sale to a close – or you need a salesperson in place that can do this for you
Thanks for joining me for this Art Marketing Minute. Be sure to sign up for my email list so that you can get notifications about future Art Marketing Minute’s right in your inbox. Use the subscribe link in the sidebar on the right side of this page, near the top.
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In his Amazon.com best-selling book, Xanadu Gallery owner Jason Horejs shares insights gained over a life-time in the art business.