I am going to freak you out with this, but I believe, and always assume, that anyone can afford to buy Art. Lot’s of Art.
Think about it for just a moment. And then think about the definition of Art.
Oh… no… let’s not get into THAT discussion, but let’s think in more general terms. When someone purchases a set of towels for their bathroom, they are being artful in those choices. As they add more bathroom accessories, they are trying to work in a theme and color scheme.
There are artful and art enhanced purchases made every day – even graphic designs on grocery shelves influence our choices. The point is: we all surround ourselves with artfulness. Why wouldn’t your art – whatever it is and whatever it costs – not be worthy of considering?
They stopped, they fixated, they smiled
When you are showing your work in public, people are making choices to walk towards your artwork. In fact, if you are in an art fair where hundreds are walking around and someone stops to look more closely at your art, why wouldn’t you assume they are interested. Even if they mutter, “just looking”, they are looking, right?
They could be doing a million different things, but they chose to come to this event and walk around and they chose to walk up and examine your work. And, oh by the way, if they see a price and still keep looking – what does that say to you?
Assume they are interested in collecting your work
This initial interest, no matter how innocent, is the first of the three stages of “The Buyer’s Journey”. Follow their lead and join them on the journey! (See your E’s of Selling Art System Guidebook’s for a quick reminder of the stages.)
If you are engaging this person or couple in any way that relates to the art, and they are even slightly interested, then assume they could develop a deeper interest in buying your art.
If you are talking about the weather, then they might just be in cocktail chatter mode and they are just remaining in the conversation to be polite. Don’t go there with them. Let them explore. (Read the post, “Allow Silence” for more about authentic connecting and engaging.)
But! If you are engaged with them and your art is the focus, you must assume they could become a collector of your art. If not today (which should be the overriding goal) then at least you can bring them into your list of contacts, then stay in touch, and someday – they WILL collect your work.
Is there another assumption worth considering?
Would you gain anything by assuming they will not buy today? Or Ever?