How to Sell Your Art Using Buyer Social Styles

There are four basic buyer social styles.

Four Basic Buyer Social StylesYou can learn to improve your art sales and your people skills. Learning how to sell your art is a necessary and mostly an acquired skill for artists who want the greatest success for their career. Incorporating sales training and ethical techniques to sell products effectively and efficiently is not unique to artists. Every business, from the large to the small, requires steady sales to capitalize the operation.

You need these elements working properly for success in your career.

While there is an argument that there will be no songs to sell if there is no one to write them is accurate, the flip says production minus sales equals scrap. There you have it. Simply put, you cannot have production without sales and vice-versa.

Top Three Factors for Art Career Success

As a small-business owner in a creative field, your success is determined by many factors. Arguably, the most important are these three:

  1. Creative output – you need to make work people want to buy. If it pleases you and few others, you have either a problem or a hobby. Additionally, you need to produce enough work to fill your pipeline and satisfy demand from your buyers, distributors and galleries.
  2. Getting found – it is not enough to make great work. You need to work steadily at getting your work seen by potential prospects and qualified buyers and distributors.
  3. Steady sales – the exchange of money for your work is the result of activities around marketing and selling your work. Even artists who primarily sell through galleries and third-party distributors need adequate selling skills.

For the purposes of this blog, we presume our readers utilize the multitude of available resources to help them with their art creation duties. We do, however, spend considerable time providing useful information on getting found and making sales. You will find among the nearly 600 posts produced for this blog, and the five books I have written, nearly all are aimed at helping you to get your work found and with tips and techniques on how to sell your art.

How to Recognize Different Kinds of Art Buyers

Recently, my co-broadcasting partner, Jason Horejs, owner of Xanadu Gallery, and I presented another free broadcast for our artist friends and followers. This time, we discussed How to Recognize Different Kinds of Art Buyers. Here is a replay of the broadcast.

Artists who are attempting to learn what kind of customers they encounter have multiple things to consider. Understanding and recognizing social styles gives you a huge advantage.

You can break down buyer social styles into four main categories:

  • Driver
  • Expressive
  • Amiable
  • Analytical

Rather than doing a synopsis, I suggest you learn about these various social styles on this link. I further recommend you take this free personality profile. If you are like me, you will be amazed at the accuracy of the test. Click here to take the test.

For those of you who are interested, I am a Diplomat ENFP personality. According to the test, as one of the Diplomats . I am

An empathic and idealistic individual who enjoys exploring interesting ideas and prizes morality. One who is known for my enthusiasm, optimism and intuitive skills

The ENFP personality is a true free spirit. They are often the life of the party, but unlike Explorers, they are less interested in the sheer excitement and pleasure of the moment than they are in enjoying the social and emotional connections they make with others. Charming, independent, energetic and compassionate, the 7% of the population that they comprise can certainly be felt in any crowd.

How does knowing about buyer social styles help to sell art?

That’s a great question. Glad I asked it. Here is what to do.

When you are in a social situation, step back from the crush of the moment and use your powers of observation to help you get a read on your prospect. Most of us wear our styles on our sleeves, so it is not really that hard to make a quick, accurate judgment.

The whole point is to help you adjust your style to match that of your prospect more carefully. When you address them in the manner of their social style, you will find progressing a conversation to closing a deal much easier with less friction.

Driver -

Let’s start with the Driver style. This person is assertive, quick to decide and expects to be treated with respect for his stature and most likely his time. Many CEOs are Drivers.

With a Driver, you want to get to the point fast, state your facts clearly, move to a close as soon as possible. Make sure they understand this is your best work and worthy of them owning it.

Expressive -

With an Expressive, you want to paint a picture for them. Let them know how much joy they will gain from sharing this fabulous piece of art with others. Compliment them for their inherent ability to quickly pick the best art from among all available. Paint them a picture of how this art will express their great taste where it is on display.

Amiable -

With an Amiable, you want to let them know this art is widely popular. Explain to them that this artist has a vast following of collectors, fans, friends, and social media contacts. Assure them they are making an excellent choice in their purchase. Let them know that many people just like them are jubilant having purchased similar work by the same artist.

Analytical -

With an Analytical, you want to take the time to explain the history of the artist, how the prices for the artist’s work have steadily risen over the years. You may want to give them the exact dimensions and ask them for details on where it will hang. You want to give them as much background information on the art and artist as possible. Let them know you have a return policy and give the specifics of it. Likewise, be specific about how you will ship or deliver the art, and so forth.

Understanding an art buyer’s social style gets you deeper into a trusting conversation or relationship.

The point of learning about buyer social styles is for you to gain confidence in your ability to do these things:

  • Use your social style knowledge to observe your buyer’s perspective.
  • Recognize your art buyer’s social style.
  • Apply the information by acknowledging your buyer’s social style.
  • Move to an effective closing situation by resolving your buyer’s needs based on their social styles.

Recognizing social styles and understanding how to respond to them will help you sell more art. You will find there are other broad characteristics into which you can group your customers. Some of these are self-evident. Nevertheless, being able to recognize a characteristic and then react to it is to your advantage in selling your art.

You can lump most buyers into one of these four categories:

  1. Informed buyer – they come into your gallery, exhibit booth or studio armed with knowledge about the art market, and maybe even your art history. Show them respect for their knowledge. Don’t challenge their assumptions. Like the simple buyer below, they may be an easier sale, but it won’t happen if you take their knowledge and interest in art for granted.
  2. Suspicious buyer – these buyers are the opposite of informed buyers. They are cautious either because they don’t have any knowledge about the art market or how to buy art. Be calm, but not too authoritative. Offer as much information as needed, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to intimidate this kind of buyer further. Get to know them first, then seek to help them learn more about your art and how to buy it.
  3. Simple buyer – to be clear, a simple consumer in this context means they are ready to buy. Their mind is made up. You just need to ask for the close and consummate the deal. It might be an impulse buyer, or one who has desired owning your work for years. Don’t make the mistake on easy sales like these of not offering additional pieces. Learn to suggest a suite of works, a commission, or other add-ons to enhance the sale. The only sales you will ever lose in these situations are the ones you did not ask for.
  4. Indifferent buyer – we know these types of buyers. Some are just Lookie-loos whom you can quickly dismiss; others are those who don’t know what they don’t know. Others are moderately interested in looking at art, but have no front of mind intentions about buying it. Before you blow off an indifferent buyer, it is good to engage long enough to see if you can inject some enthusiasm into showing them your work. Assessing their social style will help you with this. It is a great challenge and a wonderful reward when you convert this type of buyer. If you hone your skills to the point where you can actually sell to indifferent buyers, I believe you will have the greatest success with other types of buyers, and in your selling career overall.

Spending styles are different than social styles.

Spending styles fall into three broad categories and apply across all social styles:

  1. Tightwads–they are personified by B.B King who sings these lyrics: “But you know, if I ever get my hands on a dollar again
    I’m gonna squeeze it, and squeeze it till the eagle grins.” Prying a sales from them is always a challenge. Like working with indifferent buyers, if you can master selling to tightwads, your success is enhanced.
  2. Spendthrifts–the dictionary says these are persons who spend money in an extravagant manner. Those who love your art may be among your most prolific collectors. It happens. Be grateful for sales from eager buyers who seem to have no budget constraints. They make up for the added effort it takes with more difficult buyers.
  3. Average buyers–fortunately, this type of spending style is most common. Show them great art, relate well to their social style and ask them to buy. Sounds simplistic, but details aside, that’s about all there is to it.

 November 21 Deadline for How to Sell Art to Interior Designers book & mp3 bundle special offer.

How to Sell Art to Interior DesignersHow to Sell Art to Interior DesignersThe deadline for you to take advantage of the special offer for the book and mp3 bundle is November 21. If you want to give the book as a gift, or plan to use it to help you develop a new source of repeat buyers, CLICK HERE for more details.

The book is chock full of useful ideas you can use to help you get started marketing your work sold in the interior design market. It also offers insights and practical advice you can use to find corporate art consultants. While most interior designers need a few pieces of art at any time for a single project, corporate art consultants are often sourcing for large installations such as medical facilities, resorts, hotels, restaurants and corporate office buildings.

ORDER NOW before the November 21 deadline and you will receive your book and a free nearly hour long mp3 download. The audio is between Dick Harrison, my co-author, and me. On the audio download, we talk about the unique perspectives our careers dealing with designers, working in design centers and dealing with corporate art consultants.

Dick spent more than 20 years selling art to interior designers all over Florida. His database included more than 1,000 design contacts. He annually sold tens of thousands of his own art and a selected group of other artists to his contacts.


 

How to Sell Art to Interior Designers

Some links in the post may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Five Ways Daily Blogging Provides Added-value to Your Art

Delivering added-value to art lovers via your words.

The Muse by daily art blogger Jimmy Kelly
The Muse – Jimmy Kelly – jimmykelly.ie

It is human nature to desire added value for the exchange of money, including art collectors. When someone buys your art, for example, it is a purchase that is more than just the physical artifact. The collector is buying into a conversation.

The conversation begins between the art and the artist.

Art buyers also become part of an ongoing conversation about the work. Communications only exist with input from all parties otherwise they derail into pointless monologues.

Daily blogging provides intrinsic value to art buyers.

One way an artist can enable and enrich long, lively and mutually beneficial conversations is through the simple act of writing. This is most easily achieved by blogging and posting daily.

Every buyer should obviously be on your mailing list. To keep them engaged, you should continue to deliver what first attracted them to your work. This is most easily and best done when you extend the conversation about your art through your blog.

1. Clarity and understanding.

A large part of that attraction for buyers is insight, clarity and understanding. The insight into their lives that your art has given them, and then the added benefit of growing and nurturing that insight.

2. Enhance their knowledge.

Tell them the things that boosts their knowing. Let them in on things about you, your creative urges, your thinking mind that all goes into creating that process from which they have derived their valued piece. It’s letting them in on the story, allowing them to feel that warm glow of being part of an elite club—an exclusive group of collectors of your art.

3. Give them stories to share.

Find ways to continue to give your buyers a story that they can share, because they will want to share it. They will want to tell those people who stop to inquire as to the origin of the piece in their front hall, or proudly standing centre stage on their sitting room mantelpiece. They will speak of where it came from, of the quirks of the artist and his motivations for producing such a piece.

They will know all this—because you have told them via your blog posts.

Your words will become part of their daily ritual, so much so that they will feel a pang of disappointment if you don’t show up in their inbox.

4. Stories build and extend sales of your art.

In the telling of the story, other people become intrigued, because everyone loves a story. They too will want to share in that story, and the best way to do this is – to buy a piece of art from you of course!

So you’re building your sales but, above all, you’re providing that extra value that everyone who buy a piece of art is in some undeniable way buying a piece of the artist as well. You’re in control of what you give and in doing so; you give generously.

5. Daily blogging locks in your sales and reverberates with buyers in intangible ways.

You keep the link with your buyers alive and give them that invaluable reassurance that they were wise in their purchase. You also keep the story alive in their heart’s mind, which is true value-added.

Publisher’s Note:

This guest post is written by Irish artist Jimmy Kelly. He writes nearly every day on his blog at jimmykelly.ie


 Items of Interest

How to Recognize Different Kinds of Art Buyers

How to Recognize Different Kinds of Art Buyers – free broadcast with Jason Horejs and me

Good selling skills are core competencies for small businesses, including visual artists. Your ability to make sales is crucial to earning the success you desire and deserve. Being able to size up your buyers and help them meet their individual needs is one of the most important skills you can develop as you work to increase your sales. Doing this gives you a much better opportunity to make the most effective presentation. Once you learn not all buyers are alike and begin to recognize common traits, you can tailor your interaction with them.

On Tuesday, November 11, art marketing experts and co-presenters, Jason Horejs, owner of Xanadu Gallery and publisher of RedDotBlog.com and Barney Davey, author of numerous art marketing books, and publisher of ArtBusinessBlog.com will jump into the topic of how to recognize different kinds of art buyers and provide suggestions for working with them more effectively.

Send your questions about art buyers to jason@xanadugallery.com. We will try to answer as many of them as possible.

Click here to register and join us for this free broadcast.


 Deadline for How to Sell Art to Interior Designers book & mp3 bundle

How to Sell Art to Interior DesignersHow to Sell Art to Interior DesignersThe deadline for you to take advantage of the special offer for the book and mp3 bundle is November 21. If you want to give the book as a gift, or plan to use it to help you develop a new source of repeat buyers, CLICK HERE for more details.

The book is chock full of useful ideas you can use to help you get started marketing your work sold in the interior design market. It also offers insights and practical advice you can use to find corporate art consultants. While most interior designers need a few pieces of art at any time for a single project, corporate art consultants are often sourcing for large installations such as medical facilities, resorts, hotels, restaurants and corporate office buildings.

ORDER NOW before the November 21 deadline and you will receive your book and a free nearly hour long mp3 download. The audio is between Dick Harrison, my co-author, and me. On the audio download, we talk about the unique perspectives our careers dealing with designers, working in design centers and dealing with corporate art consultants.

Dick spent more than 20 years selling art to interior designers all over Florida. His database included more than 1,000 design contacts. He annually sold tens of thousands of his own art and a selected group of other artists to his contacts.


 

How to Sell Art to Interior Designers

Some links in the post may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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