Recently, I read "How to be a Rainmaker" by Jeffrey Fox. I jotted the following notes as the most relevant ideas to artists and those in the art industry:
* Fish Where the Big Fish Are
Exhibit where the big customers are, don't waste your time where they are not. This may mean getting in venues in "art" towns.
* Always make a "Mid-Job, Next-Job" recommendation.
You already have relationship with a client you are working with. When you're working on a painting, say a commission, suggest the next one, the painting that would go with this one, etc.
* Treat everybody you meet as a potential client
You never know who is, who will be, or who they will refer. I've covered this in past blog posts such as "What's the Lifetime Value of a Single Contact
* Always return every call every day
OK, I'm guilty of violating this one...but I'm not a salesperson!
* Learn the "Miles per Gallon" of selling
The example he references was that, in the art business it took 14 sales to get a collector to invest in a piece. An art sales person could therefore make 13 calls to the same collector and not make a sale. It would be the fourteenth call. That is why getting collector info on visitors to your web site, gallery, etc is critical. You will, on average, need to contact each new prospect about 14 times before you will make a sale. My past experience as a gallery owner would indicate that Fox's example is generally true. Thought of another way, if you contacted 10 people 13 times (130 contacts) you might not sell anything, but if you contact 9 people 14 times (126 contacts), you might make 9 sales!
* The rainmaker gives to get.
Give away knowledge or something that establishes you as the expert. It's easiest to start a relationship by giving. That's one reason I have a blog, to give you something useful, hopefully some of you will sign up for my paid service, FineArtStudioOnline
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