This is continuing the series about what to do when they utter “The Six Dreaded Words”. In the last article, I attempted to boost your sense of confidence and duty to find more homes for your art in the article title, “Do you know why they should buy your art?”
Part three: it’s all about how you react
It’s been a long drawn out process. Fifteen minutes turned into thirty and then an hour seemed to fly by. And they turn to you and say, “I need to think about it.”
BAM...it's The Six Dreaded Words. It's time for the mantra: BE AGREEABLE Click To Tweet
If you paid close attention to part two in this series, then you know that there is no reason on earth for them to not own your art and own it sooner (like now) rather then later – which could be never. And you know I never advocate that you start applying pressure. No…no, no! That is never a useful strategy!
What I advocate at this exact moment in time is that you …s l o w … e v e r y t h i n g… d o w n. And be agreeable.
It is time to remain calm. Keep a firm grip on your emotions and recap in your mind the Five E’s. Pay close attention to Empathy and Emergency. And then show them you agree Find the words that are authentic for you, but keep it short. Don’t mumble and don’t be anxious. Be yourself and be real with them. And keep a smile on your face for goodness sakes. I have seen artists nearly collapse. Chin falls, shoulders roll forward, eyes are averted and actually look pouty. Don’t look disappointed.
You need to be agreeable and it should feel something like this:
“Of course. I totally agree that you need to think about it. And I encourage that. I want you to be completely happy about your decision.”
You will actually feel their sigh of relief.
You will have created a deeper bond of trust at that moment than at any moment up to that point.
Understand this: They really struggled to say those words. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. They don’t want to make you uncomfortable, and yet, they really have hit a wall and need to think about it. Empathizing, openly showing you understand what they are experiencing, is a true act of selflessness. You are saying, I want what is best for you ahead of my having a sale.
And now the real work begins.
This is not at all the last stage nor the last part of this series!
In the next in this series, I will walk you through the most crucial activity – the to-do list – to follow after your above statement of agreement. There is a lot going on at this particular junction. Paying attention to this next part of the departure list is paramount.
But, as you know, I only publish this blog every two weeks. So I have a homework assignment. Before those two weeks pass, I would encourage you to revisit another article written in August of last year called, “Think about what they are thinking about.”
And for heaven’s sake, if you want to put a stop to this drip, drip, drip, of information, just buy the E’s of Selling Art System. It’s a lot less than a booth fee and it will help you pay for that booth fee and a few other expenses. Dare I say, you might have better and better shows?
And it can’t hurt to ask: Any testimonials out there? Is the system helping you?
I had a show last weekend in Springfield, IL and read as much as I could the day before the show (because we know that last minute panic is a real motivator). The weather was calling for 100% chance of rain all Saturday, and I figured I could hunker down and read the rest. HA! 10 a.m. the rain stopped and I was swamped with people!!
I felt much more confident in going about my sales. Some things I had already in place, but others not so much. I would catch myself not making it about THEM, so the next person went way better. Now to read, “The Rest Of The Story”!!!
p.s. sales were great!
Nice to hear from you Anna! The rest of the story is in those worksheets. The rest of the story will just be more chapters added just when you think you’re done. The rest of the story is reading through the flash cards. Even just reading a few in between sales. The “E’s of Selling Art System” is a life time of learning to engage with more authenticity. And confidence levels just keep rising! I am so excited for you. When is your next show?
So just to make sure I’m understanding it right, are you saying that we should encourage the customer to think about it there and then rather than them leaving? How can I make that a comfortable time for them if they’ve already been with me a long time and feel that they’re taking too long? I can say “take all the time you need” but do I then move away from them, offer them a coffee or what? As we have an on site cafe, I find that sending them to get a drink seems to work wonders. They nearly always come back to buy! I worry that I’ll never see them again but they’re far too polite to run away without another word!
Aha! Time for you to re-read your departure list, Rebecca! (wink!)
Yes… the next post on this will be How To SLOW EVERYTHING DOWN. And btw, I am not sure in your statement who is the person thinking “…they’re taking too long…” You or them? This matters, of course, because it’s always “all about them”.
Also wondering if you have recommended a purchase? Do they have something they are actually thinking about? If they are just “loving” everything, they are not in the critical third phase of the Buyer’s Journey, the Decision Stage. In fact if they are loving everything, they might not even be in the second stage, the Consideration Stage.
For this discussion, I will assume they are in the Decision Stage. Therefore, the thrust of this concept is simple. The longer they are in front of this opportunity to buy, the easier it is for them to buy. So while they may need to think about it, it doesn’t mean they need to leave to do that. You are very fortunate to have a cafe nearby (although I would not consider that your first go-to solution, but for someone in an art fair with hundreds of other potential purchasing opportunities just around the corner, this is when it’s important to pay attention to every detail in the departure list to increase finding homes for your art.
One thing for sure: a couple – people who are sharing the space that any artwork will be displayed – must have alone time. That can even mean you leaving the building. But I will outline this critical issue in the next post.
Thank you for your reply. I guess my studio situation is different from a busy fair. It’s the customer who’s thinking, or saying “I’ve taken up too much of your time” and feel under pressure (not from me!) to make a decision or leave. They may like several pieces and can’t decide between them or just have one in mind but they’re trying to think through “where will it go, will it match my sofa, is it the right size, will my husband approve?” etc etc. They may get to a point where it’s too much for them or there are genuinely issues that can’t be resolved without measuring the space, speaking to their other half etc. Then comes the “I need to think about it, can I take your card?”. I will go back to the guide to see what you say about this scenario. I’m still groping for the right words to put them at their ease, reduce their embarrassment and help them resolve their issues. I look forward to what you have to say about helping couples as that’s my most frequent sales situation.
Yep… indeed… the variety of ways that a presentation ends and a sale begins are truly countless. It’s as different as how each fresh engagement starts.
I look forward to getting the next phase written, but again… it’s all in that guidebook, Rebecca. And maybe, you might want to pull out a fresh piece of paper and revisit all your worksheets. You would be surprised at what that exercise can unleash in your heart and mind.