Post-Sale Strategies to Grow Your Art Business

by Carolyn Edlund

Closing a sale isn’t the end of the story. It can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with your collector.

 

Ceramic Wall Pieces by Artist Lori Katz

Ceramic Wall Pieces by Artist Lori Katz

 

Just sold a piece of your art? Congratulations! This gives you the opportunity to sell more. Your customer is clearly a fan, and you should take that to heart. It means that they are now a collector of your work, and you have reason to continue to interact with them so that more business can be done. After all, existing customers are much easier to sell to than non-customers, making them top prospects for future sales.

Repeat business builds business, and in order to cultivate long-term repeat customers, you’ve got to stay in touch with them. After you make the sale:

  • Send a handwritten note to the purchaser. Address them by name and mention how pleased you are that own a piece of your work. Thank them for becoming a collector!
  • Place that customer on lists for further communication. This includes an email list to receive regular monthly email campaigns. If they are local, keep them on a list to receive invitations to open studio sales, private viewings, art fairs or exhibitions in your area. Collectors love VIP previews and receiving free tickets to events, because it makes them feel special. This gives you a reason to reach out through direct mail as well.
  • Connect with them on social media. This not only puts your posts in their stream, but puts their posts in yours, where you can comment when appropriate, and keep the conversation going.

When you have the opportunity to meet collectors in person at events, make an effort to greet them and ask them about themselves. Get to know the people who love your art. Take the opportunity to deliver and install your art in their home or office if that’s possible. Many artists have built relationships with their clients where they are comfortable making a phone call to let them know if there is new work available that would fit their collection, and extend an invitation to view it.

After a sale has closed and a customer is particularly pleased with their purchase, you may want to ask them for a testimonial. Many clients are happy to give one, especially if you provided great customer service or perhaps worked with them on a special order. Testimonials can have powerful marketing impact and have considerably more pull than advertisements. Word of mouth is extremely important to today’s customers.

Referral sales are another reason to stay in touch with collectors. Many of them will have friends who appreciate art, and will recommend you to them. Artists sometimes find that introductions to a social circle becomes a main source of additional sales revenue.

Collectors in general are very pleased to know the artists whose work they own. Quite often they feel honored, and love to tell others about their friendship with you. Although you can’t cultivate a relationship with every customer, you can certainly get to know your top fans. Don’t forget to let them know how much you appreciate their patronage!

 

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