Good art sales advice from Ann Rea

Hello everyone!

I found this from expert Ann Rea and thought I’d pass it along.  Good luck with your sales.


Good art sales advice from Ann Rhea

My artists ask me about how to sell art.  How to sell art is a big and complex question that is very difficult to answer in the space of one post.

I can tell you where to start.

And I can give you the short answer to “How do I sell art?” It’s simply this, don’t.  What?  Yes. Don’t sell.

Start by building rapport and bonding.  This is where it can be very helpful to like people and to be naturally curious about them.

Engage your potential collector by asking them questions, then listen.  Let them talk.  They should do most of the talking.  80%.

You can usually determine quickly if they are actually a prospective collector of if they are just an admirer.  Don’t assume.  Find out.

Always start the conversation by simply developing rapport.  Maybe ask:

How did you hear about this event?

What brought you here?

Are you visiting from out of town?

You know.  Make the questions your own and just let the conversation flow naturally.

If you have developed rapport then you can engage your prospect further and determine if they are a prospect.

Why start with bonding and building rapport?

  1. Because people like to buy from people that they like.
  2. Rapport eases communication.
  3. It actually makes the exchange much more pleasurable and rewarding for you and your collector.

If you find a business endeavor daunting the very best solution is to develop or to adopt an effective system, whether it’s marketing systems, financial systems, or sales systems.

I use the Sandler Sales system which  breaks the sales cycle into seven sequential steps.

  1. Bonding & Building Rapport
  2. Up-Front Contracts
  3. Uncovering Pain
  4. Uncovering the Prospect’s Budget
  5. Identifying the Prospect’s Decision Process
  6. Fulfillment
  7. Post Sell

Question:  How do you tell an admirer from a prospect? Aren’t all prospects, admirers at first? I know you’ve hit on something remarkable here, because folks I thought were admirers became collectors and folks that I thought were potential collectors remain admirers! Clearly my radar for this is off! Any helpful hints or advice? Once again, thanks so much for giving us your great insights and support.


Ann Rea

June 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm | #

When you ask admirers qualifying questions like, “have you collected art before?” “Are they looking for something in particular?” “Do they have a certain room that needs art?” If they are JUST admirers they’ll back away. If they are interested in collecting they’ll start to talk. It’s simple.

Qualify your prospects and if they are not prospects move on. Sales is a numbers game. Most people just want to been heard. It goes a long way. And then you can make an honest assessment about whether or not what you have is a fit for them. No need to manipulate or push. It’s not actually about sharing about your art.

It’s about starting by building rapport. That’s about them. Not about you or your art.

This is something that artists get hung up on. The start by gushing about their work before they build rapport. The result. Their sales suffer and they spend too much time with someone who is not a qualified prospect.

Hope this helps.


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