Guest blogger: Kathy McComb Swift
You want to sell your paintings or photographs of gardenias to the local garden club members, but they won't give you the time of day. Have you stopped to consider it might not be your art but your approach?
Look at it from their angle: they don't really know you.
The garden club doesn't know your background or where you came from. They just know you're (another) someone trying to sell them something.
You might be part of a long line of people trying to sell them on a product or idea. Perhaps they just heard from the local fertilizer specialist about the hottest new invention and local high school that wants them to come teach a class on how to grow your own gardenias.
Why should they give you the time of day? Why should they listen to you?
Rent the movie Donnie Brasco. That's right. I said watch a gangster flick.
Study how Johnny Depp's character infiltrates the mob as an undercover agent. You can't just walk into the mob and be a part of their group immediately!
Is trying to get in good with the local garden club any different?
Selling your art to your niche market requires the same technique Donnie Brasco used: get them to trust you. Do you really think they will embrace you without first knowing you?
Watch how Johnny Depp gains Al Pacino's trust. He befriends him, puts him at ease, and then Pacino introduces him to the mob as “a friend of ours.”
Once Donnie Brasco became a “friend of ours,” he was able to learn about the mob, study them, and find out what makes them tick. This is an important part of niche marketing! (How many times do you have to hear “make it about the customer”??)
Whom do you know at that garden club?
What can you do to make your approach about them instead of about you?
What can you do to become one of them?
Can you do it without being pushy?
Can you do it without someone questioning your motivations? (Do you sincerely care about gardenias like they do?)
Do you have the patience and tenacity to infiltrate your mob?