Be Ready … Be Engaging and Smile … They’re Here To See You!
We live in an instant information and instant gratification world. Artists need to be available to talk to attendees (buyers) quickly and easily.
Be present and easily approachable in your booth. As prospective customers come into your booth, you need to have a winning message to catch your buyers attention.
Develop routine comments about your artwork that are quick, interesting, and to the point.
“Why” you create can often show your passion but your technique may be the hook that gets patrons interested in learning more. Starting a conversation can often end with a sale! You know your artwork better than anyone. And it’s up to you to learn to speak about it in a manner that is contagious and arresting to the patrons who enter your booth.
Every businessperson should have an “elevator speech” — a quick and attention-getting summation of what you make or do — especially if you are in sales!
The reason an “elevator speech” is called an “elevator speech” is because it should take no more time than one might have with someone in an elevator. If it takes much more than 30 seconds, your pitch is too long and you may lose your chance.
Remember that you want to stand out and generate excitement about your work! Your elevator speech should reflect who you are and why your work is special. A good place to start is by making a bullet point style list of what you want to convey and then make that list “conversational.”
I once heard an artist comment on an image that a woman was admiring by stating that it took him 25 years to paint it. (That was 25 years, in the business, honing his technique.) So began a conversation, with a smile, that ended in a successful sale.
A Couple other Thoughts
Don’t sit in the back or your booth or across the street from your booth with your iPad, smartphone or book. Attendees won’t take the time to find you and will feel like they are bothering you. Make eye contact with those who come into your booth, even when you are with another guest. That makes people feel welcome.
Can you demonstrate your pieces? If so, then you should be demonstrating them on a regular basis and get the patrons involved — make it FUN! Demonstrating on-site or having an illustrative Artist Statement lets people get to know you and your work. And that means more sales!