As CEO of a tech firm in  Silicon Valley I was charged with raising money on a regular basis. I ended up raising $18 million for my firm and was once asked by the local press what I did that made me successful at raising money. Of course what I’m about to tell you is a marketing principal as well.

I told them I was probably just lucky. But one thing I did do was approach every “pitch” with one thing in mind… Everything is a Cocktail Party Story. When I was at networking events I noticed that venture capitalists conversations went like this:

“Seen any good deals lately?”

“Yes, I just invested in a company which makes neutron converters and I think it will make us billions when we go public.”

That is a cocktail story. These people like to brag about their deals… something interesting and unique and something that makes them look smart and something which will be a good investment.

So at a recent art event the conversation I overhead was like this….

“Bought any good art lately?”

“Why yes, I just snagged a painting for a great price. This artist is going places and his work is selling for about $100,000 already.”

Bragging rights are important to buyers. Sometimes is subtle (which is better). Subtle is to have people walk into your home and see a Monet hanging in view of the door. Sometimes it’s brash (more often than not, sadly). “This guy is selling for $X”

People love to brag about the paintings they buy. If they walk into a gallery and love a painting and buy it for $10,000… and it hangs next to a giant one by the same artist which is selling for $50,000. More often than not they will find a way to tell you the artist is selling for $50,000… maybe so you think he paid $50,000.

How can you use this?

  1. Talk up how hot the artist is and what is happening with values.
  2. Look for key phrases you can share about the artist that is worthy of a brag. “This artist just won the national OPA award which mean’s he was voted by the best as their best” or “Steven Spielberg (insert name of collector) just added this artist to his collection.” I guarantee you this will come out once it hangs in the collector’s home.

People love to brag. Load their lips with things they can brag about. It will help them emotionally connect to the art and for those who need a justification the story will help sell the artwork.