Does anyone have good tips for closing a sale?  I like talking to people, I greet them when they stop by my booth and I am friendly and helpful and knowlegable. I have a great product, I think (custom coloring books and hand-poured crayons) and my price is not very high.  But I have a hard time converting into sales.  I feel like maybe I am actually talking too much?  What do you all say to people when they stop by and how do you convert a browser to a buyer?

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  • I agree, I sell Detroit photography and with the changes going on in our city there is so much to talk about. People love to reminise and talk about their memories of Detroit. I am of the same mind I am not pushy and let people look. Also for many of my small prints I do not put the location on them and that can spark conversation as well.
  • There is no one thing that works on everyone. I would not recommend "sales techniques" that you have learned somewhere. Many people are put off by sales pitches and would rather just have you talk to them like a normal human being. I have learned to make up stories for my paintings and interesting titles because it's what people seem to expect and want.  They often lose interest if there isn't something that catches their imagination. But this all depends on what you create.

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    • That's amazing! It's definitely something to try.

  • Study the customer's body language. Especially their feet. This sounds crazy but when I remember to do it, it works 80% of the time.

    Look at their feet and how they're positioned. If both feet are facing forward when they're looking at something, they're interested in buying. If their feet are at an angle they're just looking.

    When a friend at a show told me about this I thought he was nuts. But a customer went into his booth which was across the aisle from me, and her feet were pointed straight ahead while she was facing his display. He said "she's gonna buy! Watch." He went over and showed her some pieces and she did indeed buy! He rang up a $400 sale.

    So I decided to watch feet too. And sure enough, when one foot is straight and one foot is at a different position, they're just looking because one foot was ready to keep walking.

  • Hi Marjorie! First off... listen to the podcast I just completed with Connie - it's on the home page in the top of the left sidebar area. All about how to sell art face to face. 

    When you mention that you might be talking too much... well, you probably are. In 30 year of teaching sales, this is the number one problem. SO here's a tip sheet that I send as a pdf to people who are joining my email list (which I highly recommend you do):

    FREE TIPS from the “E’s of Selling Art System” 

    The Guidebook and Flashcard System and Live Seminar Series

    Be likable. Be attentive

    Be SINCERELY interested. Ask questions

    Listen fully to the answers. Ask more questions.

    People always want to talk about themselves - so ask more questions. Make people feel special. Ask more questions about them and their needs.

    Smile. (Really... I mean it: SMILE! Right now! Just do it and see how it changes YOUR mood!)

    Do and say things that will make people smile. (Hint: it starts with your smile) 

    Make people feel happy, successful, clever, smart, unique, worthy, and even more happy.

    When they feel good, they can start to trust and be more open and feel more comfortable. That leads to them being more interested. Then they will listen more closely and become more engaged. And that will likely lead to them feeling good about purchasing. (It’s all about them!)

    No one (willingly) buys something if they don’t feel good about the entire experience. You are not selling mattresses or outdoor furniture. You are selling a lifelong good experience and potentially a life enhancing experience. Remind them of that when you “ask for the sale!” Always remember: It is always - ALL ABOUT THEM - and their needs. People are mostly interested in themselves. People like to feel good about their purchases and their choices.

    For immediate results, get rid of the “Four Dirty Little Words” 

    Take I, Me, My, and Mine out of your presentation as much as possible. Replace with YOU and YOURS as much as possible.

    GOTQUESTIONS? Do you need more sales at your Art Festivals, Studio Openings, and other face-to-face art presentation situations? 

    Get instant help:

    Click here to buy the E’s of Selling Art System Guidebook and Flashcard Set.

    Email me for the link if this is a paper handout:

    Got Phone? Scan the QR code to go directly to the shopping cart.

    CONNIE has a link on the top of the RIGHT hand sidebar to learn more also. And the "special pricing" she posted goes away at midnight ET TODAY.... so if this "feels" helpful" the whole system will move you significantly!

  • I just took a long look at your Etsy store, Moxie, to see what it is that you are selling. Do you exhibit $10 coloring books and $1.50 single coloring pages in shows? How do you present these items? If we knew more about what you are selling, maybe we could offer better help.

    • HI Barry, thanks for asking, I have the coloring books bound with color covers (I do that part myself) and those are laid out on my table. The crayons are put together in sets in small tins with a clear lid. 

      I have a show on Saturday.  I will take a picture of the booth when I get it set up and let y'all take a look.   

      This time I have put the crayons into clear boxes with a label showing the color..  I will have about 12 of those arranged on the table. I want it to have kind of an apothecary look. I am planning to sell the crayons for $1 a piece and the sets for $5. 

      For the crayons I have a whole thing about small batch, hand poured, sustainably sourced wax plus professional artist-quality pigment.  The coloring books are Kentucky-themed and they are bound into a glued binding (not spiral) so they look like actual books. 

      I sell crayons frequently to little girls for the most part, which I am fine with, especially if they are with their parents who pay!  Often the girls will use their own allowance to buy, which I think is really charming.

      The books are really targeted more toward adults because the pictures are complex.  They can take a hour or more to do.  I am going to talk about how it will be a keepsake/memento of a record of the way Lexington is right now (it's being heavily developed).

  • If the product you are selling is cheap enough, you can probably trick people into buying your piece through some pre slugged slogan that you read from a blogger 3 years ago. But high end originals, I have tried anything and everything under the moon. I've stayed quiet and waited for them to approach me with questions. I've engaged others about which room they see it going in and phrasing my wording to "not give them a way out". None of it works. Standing near the edge, smiling, nodding, asking questions about "them" so they do all the talking. None of it works, for me. Almost every sale I make, a guy walks up to me as I'm not even paying attention and blurts out. "Hey, you the artist? I'll take that one" and then I just stare back at him and say "ok".

    I always enjoy talking to other artists around me and this last summer a guy in the business for 30 years said to me "if there's one thing I've learned in 30 years it's that you cannot talk someone in to buying your work" and that sorta stayed in my mind the last couple months until I read this thread. Now all those trials and over analyzing I used to do all comes back to me. So, now I'm thinking there may just be a huge difference between 100 dollar items and 4k dollar items.
    • I do watercolors too and I like them.  But nobody is buying my paintings. I had a booth with the paintings in them and people would just glance over and see the fact that there were paintings, and walk away.  I don't think they even had time to assess the paintings and see if they were any good or not.  Just passed them by.  I started the coloring book/crayon thing just to get people to talk to me, which they do now.

      I thought about putting in a bunch of money to have them framed up really nicely but decided not to go that route. It seemed like a lot of money for no guaranteed return.  The paintings I do are not that popular (like, they're not really huge watercolor still lifes, which seems to be what most galleries carry), which I'm fine with, but putting great frames on them might have been like putting lipstick on a pig.

  • I agree with Chris that showing passion and knowledge about what you are selling builds confidence and trust in your customer. It helps you establish a relationship with them. But during that delivery you need to also establish that you are here to do business and that you fully expect them to buy from you. If you don't do that as well, you run the risk of being what James W. Pickens refers to as a "tour guide" in his book, The Art of Closing Any Deal. Through subtle effective language, you are closing a sale because you will be asking them to buy.

    Are you scared that asking for a sale is off-putting to customers? If so, it's time to get over that fear. Overcome your fear of failure. Tom Hopkins talks about this in his book, How to Master the Art of Selling.

    I find it interesting that both of the fellas use the word "Art" in the titles of their books.

    When you go to a show where you'll offer your work for sale, you are no longer the artist you were when you were at home in the studio creating art. You are now an artist salesperson. So start selling more art. Don't just show it and talk about it, sell it. 

    Here's another elementary sales concept: ABC = Always Be Closing. Here's some info regarding this concept: SALES CLOSING TIPS

    Discovering your selling language has as much to do with your particular selling style as it does the art you are selling. So you'll need to develop this language yourself. Get some books about the subject and ready and study them. While doing so, practice your delivery until it becomes second nature. This subject is very deep and extensive. But the first step in selling is directly asking for the sale once you see a customer is interested. Read and study some books and then employ the techniques to learn finesse. Then sometime in the future reread these concepts. Go back to the basics and study some of them again. It always helps to refresh one's self on all basic concepts.


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