I’ve written several posts over the years about negotiation. I’ve discussed whether negotiation is appropriate in the fine art world (I feel it’s essential) and I’ve also provided some of the mechanics I use to negotiate.
Last week, I received this email about a recent negotiation experience from a reddotblog reader:
I wanted to let you know that earlier this week I received an email from a potential new client asking about my art. She’d recently seen my art at a local winery I’m exhibiting at in Boise. She told me the pieces she was interested in and then asked if I would give her a discount if she purchased multiple pieces.
Not sure how to respond I immediately went to your blog and found your blog titled ‘Negotiating and Discounting to Sell Your Art’. I followed your suggestions and in my reply email I asked the client what she had in mind. She replied back that she had a budget of $2,000, and just wanted as much of my art as her budget would allow. We scheduled an appointment (for today) to meet at my winery gallery space and determined her favorite two paintings, retailing at a total of about $3,200 (including taxes). Knowing that I had a already built in some wiggle room of about 20% (per your suggestion that I had read about previously), I had room to negotiate. So, I grabbed my notepad and followed your counter offer approach almost precisely. I had to bite my tongue not to apologize for my offer (as it was substantially over her $2,000 budget) and told the client that I think she’ll be excited with my offer. I showed and explained the complex and lengthy retail prices, and then simply told her my offer (with my 20% discount) of $2,600 for all. She immediately said ‘SOLD!”.
It was so exciting to see your suggestions come to life! Your advice has been invaluable to me (yet again), and I thought you might like to hear about my moment of success thanks to you. I attached my actual offer that I used today…thought you might get a kick out of seeing how closely I followed your counter offer approach. 🙂
Heidi H. | Artist
First – congratulations on a great job negotiating Heidi! And good job being prepared and in a positive mindset about negotiation.
We use these negotiation techniques to close sales on a nearly daily basis. I know negotiation can be a delicate subject among artists, but I would argue that building in some room to negotiate (as Heidi did) and then negotiating in a professional way can provide you with a powerful toolset to close more sales.
The original article Heidi references is available at: Negotiating and Discounting to Sell Your Art
Have you Had Success Negotiating?
Share your thoughts about any success you’ve had negotiating or any challenges you’ve faced in the comments below.