As those of you who own the Guidebook and Flashcards know, the five “E’s” of Selling Art begins with empathy. With empathy as your core value and guiding light, you will naturally and effortlessly be able to engage authentically.
From the first words uttered in a presentation to the last words spoken, everything is more natural when empathy is front and center.
In a recent chat with an artist, she said, “I sell expensive art and often the people who are considering my art are really not in my same financial circle. I don’t know how to relate to someone who has three homes and a private jet. I don’t know what we have in common or how to be empathetic to them.”
We are all more alike than different
It doesn’t matter who or what your background is or who or what the backgrounds are of your collectors. They can be rich and you can be poor and vice versa. It doesn’t matter that you are from one ethnicity and they are from another. It doesn’t matter if you are in your twenties and they are in their sixties. Or vice versa.
The thing that you have in common, the number one thing that is the most important thing of all is that you have created something fabulous and they are enjoying your creation. This is common ground your are standing on!
Get out of your head. Don’t get caught up in useless them vs us assumptions or feelings-of-inferiority.
Curiosity mimicks compassion
The more time and energy you spend “showing” you are interested in them, the more they will relax around you. The easiest way to show interest is to be curious. Really and truly curious about what makes them tick.
Look for opportunities to show your interest in them from their statements and comments.
You: What has your attention in this piece?
They: I love the use of red – it’s so cheery.
You: How interesting. Are you usually attracted to red or just the way it’s used in this particular piece?
You: Do you have wall space for this large a painting?
They: We just bought a second home with high ceilings.
You: How exciting for you. Is this new home for vacations or are you going to rent it out?
They: Are your bowls microwave safe?
You: Yes. Oven proof and dishwasher safe, too. I’m curious – what’s a favorite dish you prepare in a microwave?
Curiosity starts conversations
Think about the kinds of targeted conversations you might have from some of the example questions above. Being curious is a powerful tool for communicating. (With EVERYONE you encounter every day, BTW!)
And don’t forget the Four Dirty Little Words? (See Glossary in Guidebook) Be sure to keep them out of your vocabulary If you want to convey your honest empathy and authentic curiosity. This is a time when you are 100% making everything be “all about them”.
In authentic selling, you are naturally curious about your prospects needs, likes, & interests. Click To Tweet
ASSIGNMENT: Take a moment to list some of the questions and comments you often get while at your person-to-person venues. Rehearse, if need be, how you can take a statement or question and turn it into a question and show you are really interested in what interests them.
To be very clear: This is not about “How to Make Friends and Influence People” a la Dale Carnegie. This is not about trying to “get on their good side”. If they think for a minute that you are trying to “butter them up”, you will lose their trust.
No…this must be a genuine interest inspired by your desire to learn more about them so that you can be a better “decision counselor” or match-maker over the course of your relationship.
Whether they purchase today or not, your relationship building skills are needed and those are enhanced by demonstrating curiosity and empathy. And if they purchase today, they are even more likely to purchase again in the future.
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