by Heather Allen
How does one sell efficiently without being “salesy”? Remember: customers have to understand your offerings in the context of their own lives before deciding whether or not what you offer is a good fit for them. To make this happen more efficiently, use these four key ingredients to a great customer offer:
1. Know your target audience and its pain points, needs, wants, and desires.
2. Align your offer as the solution for your audience’s pain points, needs, wants and desires.
3. Educate your prospects on the value of your offer — especially if other people are offering something similar.
4. Make sure your customer can find what you are offering.
When your offerings are positioned this way, your prospective customers won’t feel they are being sold to. Instead, they’ll feel they are making a decision with the information they need.
You can take this sales process further by sprinkling in some reputation boosting magic in the form of PR. By doing so, more people will find you more often through someone else’s accolade of you. Sometimes, someone else’s referral will sell you better than you sell yourself.
Never take for granted the relationships you have with those who purchase your artwork. Relationships are the single most important part of any and all business — they are what give the business-side a soul. When you develop close rapport with your buyers, you may find their investment in you and your art to be more than monetary.
Cultivating loyal, raving fans happens when we are thoughtful and intentional in our customer’s experience process. Much like welcoming guests to your home or hosting a party, your customer experience process can be filled with opportunities to make your customer feel special — and feel like he or she is among a select few who get the privilege of knowing an artists. This recipe can be used in person — such as during a studio visit. And online, through email marketing communications, social media engagement, and even in the language you use to guide people through your checkout.
View your sales and opportunities as a part of a continuous relationship, as opposed to a one-time occurrence. You can tell the difference between the seller who sees your purchase as a “one and done,” versus the seller who sees your purchase as the first of many. The former is ready to take your money and be done with it. The latter is more apt to spend time helping you choose the best fit for you, and he or she becomes a resource after the transaction.
Heather Allen is the author of “Let Your Creativity Work for You: How to Turn Artwork into Opportunity.” As a socially-minded entrepreneur, she believes the arts are the spice of life that make the world a better place. Heather helps artists earn more for their craft through pop-up workshops, her recently published book, and the Art Business Online STRATEGY + ACCESS program.
Heather holds dual-Masters degrees in Global Innovation Management through the Jenkins Graduate School of Management at NC State University and L’Institut d’Administration des Entreprises in Puyricard, France. Heather leads small business workshops on marketing, self promotion and small business essentials for creative entrepreneurs and visual artists. She brings ideas to market, growing creative businesses through consulting, and seeing creative people succeed.
To learn more, visit www.HeatherAllenOnline.com
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