You know the type.
She attends your show and tells you what a wonderful artist you are. This makes you feel good. You’re happy for people to connect with your work this way.
She comes to the next opening and gushes in a way that makes you blush.
She raves repeatedly about your art. I love your work! she says.
Yet, she never buys. She’s implying, I love your art, but it’s not for me.
Exercise Your Courage Muscle
Who knows why people don’t buy. Maybe they don’t dig that yellow speck in the lower left. Or maybe they just emptied their bank account to pay for a root canal.
If not closing the sale is bothering you, maybe it’s time to exercise your courage muscle and ask the repeat fan why she’s not pulling out her pocketbook.
There’s a way to do this that is authentic and comfortable, but I know it will tax your courage.
After the next inevitable compliment, make your move. Say to your fan: I really appreciate all of the support you have shown, but I have to ask something that will help as I build my art career and business. What’s keeping you from buying it and living with it every day?
These are common objections you might hear:
- I can’t afford it.
- I don’t have anywhere to put it.
- I’m downsizing.
Do any of these sound familiar?
You can counter the affordability objection by offering a payment plan, but I tend to think that I can’t afford it just means This isn’t how I want to spend my money right now.
Countering the other two objections seems futile and could be annoying enough to turn off a potential buyer. I think they are code for I’m not willing to make room for it.
In the process of asking, you might discover an unexpected response.
Perhaps it’s as simple as your choice of framing and a quick frame change could close the sale. It might be that easy!
Asking is the only way to find out what’s getting in the way of a purchase and whether or not you can do anything about it.
When Asking Doesn’t Lead Anywhere
I could easily be your raving fan that doesn’t buy. I love a lot of art, but I can’t buy everything I like or love. Not clothes, not houses, not furnishings, not vacations.
I have to curate what comes into my life. Because I know so many artists, my first choice around the art that I love is always to support the artists in my life.
After that hurdle, I ask Do I want to look at it every day? Loving art and living with art are two different things.
I also tend to ask, Do I want to live without it? I know I could live without it, but do I want to?
Finally, I ask Do I have a place for it? Space is always an issue. We have a lot of windows, limited wall space, and harsh light that dictate what we can show. I am not interested in owning art that is stored away.
If you’re unable to counter the objections, you have to accept that your work wasn’t meant to belong to your raving fan. It will find its forever home soon enough. Your work isn’t for everyone, even those who love it.