If you’re an artist or art agent engaged in selling art, it’s important to recognize different types of art buyers. To help you, marketing experts have conducted a massive amount of psychological studies to define the diverse personality traits of buyers. In this article you’ll find three of the five major categories that are usually discussed by them.
Keep in mind, although this article offers categorizes of buyers based on marketing research it is not an exact science. You may recognize either dominant traits or a combination of them in the people you come into contact with. The purpose of this article is to provide some insight into what motivates potential buyers. You may even recognize yourself among these groups. Having this information will probably make selling your art a more enjoyable and informed experience.
You may have read a similar article on this subject that I wrote for Professional Artist magazine. Stay tuned, as there will be a more detailed section about the different types of art buyers in my upcoming e-Book on how to sell art.
Purpose-Driven Customers have a preconceived idea of what they want — such as a specific size, style and color scheme for their home or business. Art consultants, interior designers, space planners and architects motivated to fulfill the needs of their clients will also comprise this group. They will often be the best candidates to hire you for commissioned works because they know what they want.
According to statistics, this consumer group fills more than half of all types of buyers, so I hope you meet a lot of them!
Since they may be on a deadline they will look to see if you can accommodate their requirements efficiently. If you cannot, they will will not linger long in your studio. If you recognize this kind of attitude, offer them a no-nonsense type of service and courteous and personalized experience.
They will appreciate if you’re the artist who provides necessary details in a FAQ page on your website. Generally, they’ll want to see a full-length resume, detailed price list, information about your medium and dimensions, customized options, and anything else they want to know.
Purpose-Driven Customers may be a challenging group to satisfy; however, if you serve them well they may become Loyal Customers and comprise your most valuable steady source of income.
These buyers frequently make purchases on a whim and are often guided by their emotions, so they will be easy to identify.
To attract Impulse Buyers you’ll want to share your enthusiasm for creating art for others and provide an exciting experience for them as you talk about it. Emphasize how your art will make them feel. Refer to how your collectors’ favorable “feel good” testimonials. Try to connect the attributes of your art with their personality.
The best part of this group is often they comprise the type of buyer for which money is no object. They are accustomed to acquiring exclusive high quality luxury items with value. Pay attention to their reactions and you’ll learn a lot about customer insight from them.
Impulse buyers act fast, so be quick on your feet. When trying to attract them you’ll want to follow “the first impression is the lasting impression” rule. Be forewarned, some impulse buyers may also change their minds quickly and want to return their purchase after they brought it home. Explain your return policy in advance and be prepared for their possible change of heart.
These individuals delight in the experience of searching for and buying art. They may crave a sense of community. For them, getting to know you personally is a vital part of their buying experience. They enjoy receiving your email newsletters, reading your art blog, and may comment frequently on social media.
This group of art buyers is the largest segment in terms of attendance to your exhibitions, while, at the same time, they make up the smallest percentage of sales. For that reason, the time spent with them needs to be kept to a minimum.
However, don’t ignore them. Since they are probably socially active and enjoy the interaction that develops between artist and collector, they are likely to talk about the relationship they have with you with others. That means they could be your biggest promoters.
The Psychology of Retail Sales
It can be fun to observe the behavior patterns of different people and learn why and how they make their art buying decisions. Hopefully, this article has prepared you with a greater understanding and you’ll begin to recognize the type of client when they enter your studio or exhibition. You can adjust your art exhibition, Open Studio event and website website to appeal to all types of buyers. It’s worth the effort to ensure your longevity as a successfully-selling artist.
You may also want to read “Stop Attracting Bargain Hunters to Your Art”.