says that "Permission is like dating. You don't start by asking for the sale at first impression. You earn the right, over time, bit by bit."
Valentine's day seems appropriate to introduce a concept that we've been mentally "kicking around" for the past few weeks. We are introducing a new metaphor to explain our theory of art marketing......The Collector Courtship
The Collector CourtshipTM
Yes, we are (as far as we know) coining this term today - "The Collector Courtship". It represents, in a short metaphor, the way you need to learn to treat your customers. You are courting
them....it is a process of getting to know each other, earning your collectors trust, you are, as Seth says earning the right, over time, bit by bit, to further your relationship.
In our gallery years we found this concept to be true. Early on, we would become easily frustrated when a new prospect visited the gallery for the first time and then left without purchasing art....but over time, we learned that the first visit to the gallery represented our "first date" with the customer....we learned to woo our prospects.... we sent our customer little notes.... invited them to special events....called them when we found art that matched their tastes (even if it was at another gallery).....and eventually we would "earn the right" to reach "home base".....the first sale. Sometimes this entire process from first meeting to first sale took as much as three years (although usually much less).
It is worth the effort.
Many of the clients who took a year or more to move from "first date" to "first sale" went on to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of art. In other words, sometimes your best potential customer won't purchase art from you for over a year.
And here's the best part....this process won't work if simply viewed as
a "technique" or a manipulative "sales strategy"....it only works if
you are genuine. Some of my very best friends in the world are
collectors who we "courted" and artists who "courted" us.
So today, go through your prospect list, think about how you can court each person, and send them a little note letting them know you're thinking about them....perhaps you have a new piece of art that they would love, perhaps you know another artist who has a piece of art they would love, or perhaps you just want to stay in touch.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic
PS - Happy Valentines Day
Related Pages and Posts:
1 vs. 100
Systematically Nurture Your Prospects
What's the Lifetime Value of a Single Contact?