This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
There are many ways to show appreciation for the galleries which sell your work. Some of you don’t have galleries, but certainly you have individuals who have helped grow your business. Do you take the time to let your galleries, clients, and others know that you appreciate their efforts?
Gratitude goes a long way in strengthening relationships, including business relations.
Perhaps when a gallery makes a significant sell, you could call the deli next door and have them take lunch over to the gallery staff to show appreciation. I know an artist who does this on a regular basis. The galleries appreciate that he recognizes and rewards their hard work. They continue to sell well for him.
Not all sales will be large enough to justify paying for lunch for the entire gallery. But you can certainly show gratitude in many other ways.
Thank you cards are always appropriate, for galleries and clients alike. In fact, even if you do send lunch to a gallery, a thank you note should accompany it. Many artists create handmade cards or other handmade gifts. Other artists send books of their work to their clients. Some artists give prints or small paintings as gifts.
On more than one occasion I have given a small plein air painting as a gift, to both private clients and a gallery owner. I don’t do it often, but when I have done it, it meant a lot to the recipient. And I did it as a genuine expression of gratitude. I recognized what they had done, so I gave them something special.
Not long ago I gave a little plein air painting to a gallery owner who had made many significant sales in a few short months. It was a painting that she loved that was consigned to her gallery. In the month after giving the painting to her, she sold 3 more of my paintings.
On occasion I have taken clients out to lunch or dinner. These meals didn’t involve selling art. They were purely an opportunity to thank them and to build friendships. Relations were strengthened and most have purchased again.
Remember, though, gratitude needs to be genuine. It shouldn’t be done with the expectation of something in return. Rather it should be a recognition of something already done. Gratitude is an attitude, not a tactic.
Gratitude often begets more gratitude. Galleries are more likely to work harder for those who they have a good relationship with and for those who recognize and appreciate their efforts. Collectors are more likely to purchase from people they like. People with gratitude are likeable.
In addition to my few examples here, there are countless other ways to show gratitude. How have you shown appreciation to galleries or individuals who have been instrumental to your business?