Showing and Telling

In the Marketing Blog (see those posts here) I have several posts that deal with websites. Your very own website with your very own domain and your very own personality is something collectors really enjoy. It’s almost a craving. They want your individuality. They want that different experience.

However, the best and most fascinating website in the world is no substitute for you. Don’t forget that over half of the people who land on a web page leave within 15 seconds. People are easily distracted online.

Even the totally awesome website by frequent commenter Rebecca Vincent will not impact the viewer in the same way as standing beside Rebecca and seeing the work in person. My guess is that being able to engage with her, seeing her studio and her printmaking tools, is powerful and transcendent. Hearing the stories of her creative spirit is going to have a deep influence.

Keeping the Mood Alive

Here’s where it gets tricky.

They believe that they WILL order from you online. But they don't. It's a trap - don't fall in. Click To Tweet

So when they ask you if you have a website, and you then turn away from selling what’s directly in front of them and start “selling them” on going to your website, you have validated their belief that they have this escape hatch. You have changed the energy.

Whew…. they don’t need to make a decision right now. What a relief!

I know you may LOVE your website, but it’s not what you want to be selling. If you don’t love your website, then you REALLY don’t want to sell it!

Either way, telling them to go to your website is you being afraid to ask for the sale. You acquiesce and give credence to their strategy about buying from you in the future. You have abdicated your responsibility to find good homes for your art.

Be a True Advocate

A website can never be as strong a voice as you are in person and your art will never have the same impact as it does in person.

So I want you to be very clear about your intentions to find homes for your art. This is extremely important when you have someone who is focused on a specific piece of yours. They need to understand that you care about their happiness.

Discourage them from considering a future purchase on your site. Here are some suggested statements. Re-word them to fit your situation.

  • Yes, I have a website. But what you are seeing now, may or may not be available on my site. I don’t really keep it up to date. This will apply to nearly everyone reading this except aforementioned Rebecca. ‘-)
  • This is a one-of-a-kind and I don’t bother to upload it. Too much to keep track of when new pieces emerge and then sell – sometimes within the same day.
  • The quality and the richness you are loving right now just will not show up on a computer screen. I fear that you will miss the opportunity of owning this if you rely on viewing it again on my site. I have sent dozens (hundreds) to my site and can count on one hand the sales that result. As much as you like this piece, I encourage you to buy it now.

They Need to Measure

Or wait for construction/remodeling to be completed or get approval from their interior designer, or whatever. It’s time to apply some Elasticity and keep them in the here and now.

Offer them a full refund if the piece doesn’t fit the space they are considering. (They love the piece! They WILL find the space.) During construction, offer them free storage and even payment plans and free shipping after it’s over. Offer them a full refund if their interior designer is not happy. They will over-rule the designer in 99% of the cases.

If someone has fallen in love with your art, they will find a way to buy it now. However, you must bring Intentional Sharing to this situation. They must know that you are their friend and their loving advisor. You must remain faithful to your Selling Purpose:

My Selling Purpose is to help artists

In the end, you know what you need to do: Ask them to buy it now.

Please take a moment to share in the comments how you have avoided sending people to the black hole we call a website. As I say on one of my favorite Flashcards, “Your art nurtures the creative soul in all who view it and forever enriches the lives of those who own it.”

Go forth and enrich someone’s life at your next art showing.

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