Take Notes with a Pad and Pen
The reason you are holding the meeting is to get to know them, feel comfortable, and tell them what you are doing and how they might be able to help. There are many ways to solicit funds from people, but I like to use the approach of asking them indirectly, at this stage, if they know where or whom you could ask for support. Again, this tactic prevents you backing them into a corner. It gives them an easy way to get out. What you will probably hear from them are other places you can go to ask for funding or even individuals. Then you have a reference, and that is important. When they tell you about such and such an organization, ask them if they have a contact person there; try to be as specific as possible. Take notes on a small pad. I think that is the least offensive, the small pad and pen. You can tap notes into a phone, but it is awkward, and a laptop is too big. I like small leather-bound pads that look nice as well as convenient. Just use a pen and a small pad to take notes about who they are mentioning, get names of individuals, and take note of any relationship that is being mentioned.
After the first meeting, it is required that you send a thank-you for meeting them and always act as polite as possible. In an email thanking them again, make a summary of what happened and tell them what actions you are taking and that you will report back to them on what happened.
Those simple actions, sending polite thank-you notes after meeting someone and following up, are a professional practice that will get you everywhere. The next step is to build your relationship with this person on a deeper level by attending events that they are involved with, even offering them help or a donation of your art. Board members of museums and others on that level are often looking for help in different ways. They often have a foundation of their own that they are raising money for, and if not, they are usually helping other organizations, and if you take an interest in those organizations, you will be even more in the favor of the collector/patron you are talking to.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.