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Art Fair Selling

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Post Art Fair Selling   Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:37 pm

Last Saturday I attended a wonderful art fair in Petoskey, Michigan. While there I decided to do a little research on how artists presented and sold their work. As I walked the show, I only went into tents that had artwork that appealed to me. So out of the show, I entered 30 booths.

Overall the display of artwork was very professional. There were lots of different price points to appeal to just about anyone who entered the booth. Items were presented in an attractive manner and there was a good deal of variety in most of the booths. So overall, I think the artists did very well presenting their work.

But this is where the wheels came off the wagon.

I entered each booth and reviewed the artwork. Since I only went into booths that had artwork that attracted me, it was not hard to spend several minutes looking over the art. When I found a piece that really was attractive to me, I spent even more time. I looked at the artwork with genuine interest. I think there were several pieces I would have purchased as I was doing my research.

Do you know why I did not purchase any art? Lack of money? No. Lack of interest? No. Lack of someone asking me if I wanted to purchase the piece of art I had spent more than 2 minutes looking at? Yes!!!!

Out of the 30 booths only 2 artists greeted me. Out of the 2 artists who greeted me one said "hi" and the other said "welcome to my booth". That was the end of the conversation.

The artists had taken care to make their display very attractive. They spent the money to participate in the art fair. Why would they not approach me and try to sell me their art?

Maybe artists really do not understand "Sales". Maybe they associate the thought of selling with the shiny toothed Used Car Sales stereotype.

Selling is the art of providing a prospect with the information they need to make an informed purchase decision.

Had one of the 30 artists approached me and told me about their artwork they would have been one step closer to the sale. Had they told me about the process they use to create the artwork, they would have been another step closer to making the sale. Had they told me about the inspiration behind the artwork, they would have been on the very edge of making the sale. Had they asked me where in my home I thought the artwork would be best displayed, they would have made the sale.

Selling artwork is not a "hard" sale, like selling truckloads of a commodity or the like. But it still needs to be sold. If you look at the description of things I listed in the paragraph above, you can see this is pretty simple stuff. It is simply describing what you do, what you love. How much more could you sell at a fair if you talked to prospects about the artwork that is your passion? How much more could you sell if you simply asked the prospect where they could see your artwork in their home?

Life is full of missed opportunities. In my book, 30 artists had a real opportunity to sell me their artwork. I honestly was ready to buy something. All they needed to do was to tell me about their artwork and ask me to purchase.

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