Your art buyers are valuable assets. Whenever you make a sale, recognize it as the beginning of a long, rewarding relationship. According to the Pareto Principle, 20 percent of your clients will bring you 80 percent of your business. Don’t ignore those 20 percent. They not only like your work already and don’t have to be convinced, they can also refer more art buyers to you. This article offers genuine ways to ensure ongoing art sales. These gestures will help you thrive and prosper for years to come.
Generating additional sales with your current art buyers is the result of small relationship-building steps taken on a consistent basis. Many of the things you can do to enhance customer loyalty take very little effort.
Strive For A Sincere Personal Connection
Most people buy art because they feel a connection to the artist and the artwork. So let your personality shine through and look for ways to build customer loyalty from the very beginning of your relationship. Be cordial and polite. Let them know you accommodate your art buyers. Be open and warm in your communications.
Following the sale ask your current buyers why they bought your art, how it makes them feel, and let them know how happy that makes you feel. Express an interest in them as well, beyond the artist-customer relationship.
Reach out to them and ask them how they enjoy living with your art. Naturally their feedback will be positive and you’ll learn how your art impacts people in their daily lives. You may also discover they are interested in making another purchase.
Exceed Your Art Buyers’ Expectations
When you book an appointment with someone to come to your studio ask them in advance ask them what their favorite beverage and snack are and any dietary restrictions or allergies they may have. Keep a record of this information for their future visits.
After the sale, continue to raise the bar on your “white glove service”. If possible, offer to hand-deliver the work. Upon delivery, you may want to suggest the best location to hang it in their home or office space. This visit will also give you the opportunity to photograph your work in their space, which you can place on your website or printed promotional materials. You may also suggest art for additional locations in their space.
Give them some special written instructions on how to care for the art they purchased. This could include how to protect against the effects of natural and artificial lighting, how to select the best frame or pedestal, and how to clean and insure the art.
Show Appreciation With Special Gifts & Offers
Show your ongoing appreciation. Maintain a database listing of your top collectors with dates of their birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Consider sending buyers on the high end of your art unexpected promotional gifts with your artwork printed on them such as note card sets, calendars, books, and so forth.
There are many options for buying customized products online offered by Zazzle.com, CafePress.com, ModernPostcard.com, Blurb.com, VistaPrint.com or GotPrint.com.
Although I don’t recommend making a habit of offering discounts, it is perfectly acceptable to offer your patrons special treatment, such as giving them a discount if they buy more than one large piece at one time, or a bonus print with their next purchase. You may want to send announcements about these special offers before their birthdays and in advance of major holidays.
Stay Connected On A Regular Basis
Whenever an artist seeks my advice as part of my consultation I encourage them to build their mailing list and one of the best and simplest ways to keep your art buyers interested and encourage repeat sales is through an Email Newsletter. It is a great way to stay connected with your collectors.
In this email newsletter keep them abreast of your new work, exhibitions and other events and achievements. The tone should be short, friendly, positive and conversational. Let your personality shine through and connect it to your art and your brand.
Think about the subscribers’ needs, and provide content accordingly. Rather than focusing on only sharing news about you, you can make your Email Newsletter an opportunity to learn more about those on your mailing list. Initiate a dialogue: Ask them a general question or specifically what they would like to read in future Email Newsletters.
I hope you enjoyed this article and have some new ideas to try. If you follow the 80/20% Rule and focus on relationships with your art buyers you will increase personal satisfaction as well as art sales!
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