Are they not buying your art because they have no more wall space?

A while back, I wrote about people who don’t buy your art because, they say, “I can’t afford it.”

Anne Leuck Feldhaus commented that she often hears this from potential art collectors: "I don't have any more wall space". To this, Anne replies, "Stats that show if you do not move your art around you stop seeing it." She adds, "I also tell them of my recent move and how rejuvenating it was to hang and rotate in new art work. Maybe they too are just saying it's not worth it to replace the art they already have."

I agree, Anne. I think this is just another way of saying that they aren’t ready or willing to buy.

I often quote George Bogart, my favorite painting professor at the University of Oklahoma. At the time, we were college kids with small living spaces painting 4’ canvases. Someone in our class asked what we were going to do with all of those big paintings. “If it’s good enough, you’ll find a place for it,” he said. I’ve never forgotten that. I think people find spaces for art they want to live with.

Image (c) George Bogart,  Golden.

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4 thoughts on “Are they not buying your art because they have no more wall space?”

  1. Apart from the good advice in this post, I want to say thank-you for introducing me to George Bogart. What beautiful work – I really enjoyed visiting the online gallery of his work. Incidentally, I agree 100% – I think people find a place for work they really love.

  2. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Amanda: Thanks for commenting. I agree! I’m so lucky to have had him as a teacher. I sent your comment on to his wife and she was thrilled. I’m bugging her to get a Web site for all of his work. Soon!

  3. I will have to remember that comment! I just love it! I have used the comment that there is no more wall space to avoid buying more art, but it hit a nerve that I know I would buy it if it is good enough! I will also use this in selling my art for those who use the “no more wall space” objection.

  4. I have heard this for so many years. Sometimes… it’s just an excuse to politely say… I am not interested. But for some … THEY believe and have beliefs about not having room for more work. They NEED to understand that this concept is NOT valid. After years of feeling impotent, I finally found a way to handle that objection. Here is what I have said for the past 10 years (in various forms) and it has worked quite well:

    “I understand completely. I have art stored away in my house (said with a smile)! But I have always thought of fine art collections like my CD collection.” THEN: Said slowly and with sincerity and eye contact: “I believe that Art is Music For My Walls. My tastes and desires for music change and what is in my car today vs. a month ago or a year ago is often very different. And the art on my walls has that same impact on me and the rhythm of my life and my home.”

    “I would encourage you to always collect anything that you know will move you, make your life more fulfilled. Art is so much more than an object on a wall. If you love what you are seeing here today by this artist, you need to own it. You WILL find a space for it. And as you know, you will be transformed by it every time you glance in it’s direction.”

    This tact is always a way to at least get a yes or a no. In sales, we need to know what the REAL objection is. If they back-pedal after THAT, then…perhaps… it truly doesn’t meet the criteria of the professor: If it’s good enough, you’ll find a place for it.

    Yes… there are some very strong suggestions in this presentation. Some adaptations would avoid such strong encouragement. It would obviously depend on the relationship at that moment.

    By the way… if someone is looking at a very large piece and seems to be giving it any serious consideration, I always ask them this “qualifying” question worded as a compliment:

    “This is one of the larger pieces by this artist and seems to effect everyone the same way. It is one everyone wishes they could own, but…few have a (said with a big smile) room large enough. So you have space in mind for a piece of this size?” (if yes) “How fortunate. Many who love this piece simply are not in your position. What room in your home?”

    If they can start visualizing that piece in that room you are very likely to get them closer to ownership. Ask more questions about that room!


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