How to sell art to a first time buyer.
May 27, 2012 1:44 PM   Subscribe

Selling art to first time buyer.

I am an "emerging" artist and have been living off my work for the last year. I am having some buyers from a large local business come by in a few days to look at three large pieces for their office. If I get the sale it would allow me a few months living expenses so I want to make a good impression and get them excited on my work, which may be a bit risky for their clientele.

I wanted to know if anyone has any words of wisdom for selling art to first time buyers of art or general advice on selling out of your studio.

I've seen some general posts about selling online and I am talking about the process of meeting someone, showing them the work and getting the commitment.
posted by Staples to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's the same as closing any other sale. Sometimes it's easier to pretend you are selling someone else's work, that way you don't have to be as self conscious about it. Also, make sure you do not belittle yourself and your work in any way. That will convey to them that the work isn't something that is worth buying. So don't say 'oh, it was no big deal', 'it really didn't take long at all', 'well, I'm just starting out', etc.
posted by Vaike at 4:02 PM on May 27, 2012

An invariable question you will get is, "How long does it take you to do something like that?" followed by a silent calculation of hourly wage.
Answer, "About as long as it takes (insert sports hero) to (score a goal, hit a home run, etc.)--half a lifetime."
You might add, "The best ones are a bit quicker."
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:32 PM on May 27, 2012 [10 favorites]

I used to serve wine and cheese. It allows people to linger a bit longer and socialize, which takes pressure off the buying and selling process. Don't be too specific about the intentions of your work--allow people to interpret it as they please. Art is very personal and subjective--a language unto itself--and sometimes explanations can only serve to diminish the work. If someone wants to buy a work to match their office decor, let it go--a visitor to the office may "get" it on a totally different level.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:37 AM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

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