If you are comfortable enough, ask your visitor if they have ever had to fight for their dream. If they say no, ask if they ever had to fight for something they believed in. You will probably get a response, and when you do, recognize that this is a precious moment. When people share personal stories they are opening themselves up to each other and strengthening the connection between them. Respond warmly and enthusiastically to whatever someone tells you, join them in the triumphant feeling of talking about their interests and personal asides. Remember, the goal of having a studio visit is not to just make a sale, but to form meaningful relationships with people who want to see your art.
Making a Connection
Once you’ve connected with someone, that person will have a lasting and positive memory of visiting your studio, and they may choose to preserve this memory by purchasing your artwork. You don’t have to talk about prices or sales on the first visit if you don’t want to—you can do that on the second visit—but it wouldn’t hurt to try. I would certainly not have gone back to the Dalí galley, so the woman there was smart to make her pitch while she could. If you are getting along with your visitor and want to progress the conversation beyond your personal responses to the art, price is the next topic to broach. I like to be fairly direct, and there are a few ways of doing this successfully.
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.