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Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 4

In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.

In this Art Marketing Minute, you’ll learn how to build your confidence if you feel as though you’re “too shy” to begin selling your art and why it’s important to go to (and network!) at painting events.

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 4

Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer 0:02
This is the art marketing minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book make more money selling your art. In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads 0:23
Thank you, Jim Kipping. And thank you for joining us today. My goal is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists. So let’s get right to today’s questions.

Here’s a question from Chuck in Atlanta. Chuck says, Eric, I want to sell more. But I’m overwhelmed by all the things I should be doing. And frankly, I’m not sure if I can even ask somebody to buy my paintings. I’m kind of shy.

Well, Chuck, you’re not so shy that you wouldn’t ask the question. So that’s a good start. You’re not alone. But you have to ask yourself if being shy is serving you or it’s getting in your way. I’d say The best thing you can do is start out to seek ways to build some confidence, and maybe get you comfortable with selling your own art. Now, this is going to be hard to believe for you. But I was a complete introvert, very shy, very afraid to speak to people one on one, and never get in front of a group. And yet today, I’ll stand in front of thousands of people and be silly and feel comfortable with it. And I learned how to do this by some of the things I’m going to tell you to do. One of the things I’m going to tell you to do or suggest anyway, to build confidence, join Toastmasters club, they have one in every town, and Toastmasters really teaches you how to speak in front of other people. I was mortified. I went and I didn’t want to go. My palms were sweating. I was just like freaking out that I was gonna have to talk to people. And they made everybody kind of stand up and do 3030 seconds on who they are and what they do. And that was pretty tough. And then you know, they just do it every time and everybody gets a chance to speak and they teach you how to do it. And by the end of the time there I was like I could have stood up In front of that whole thing and done somersaults, I was so so happy with it. So that’ll help you. I’d also suggest a Dale Carnegie course on how to win friends and influence people, it’s a good way to learn how to be around people. And they also do a sales course, you might want to take that. So anyway, keep that in mind. And remember, sales is not what it used to be there. You know, there used to be old school sales techniques that were sleazy. But you know, today, it doesn’t have to be that way. You know, some of the car dealers still operate that way, but most of them don’t. And so you want to do things that basically are helping people discover what they want, helping them discover how to get what they want. And these courses will help you see the world through a different lens and help you get out of your comfort zone. And we all have to get out of our comfort zone to grow a little bit. If you do these things, you’ll pull yourself out to some new behavior and get rid of the behavior that’s not serving you. I didn’t want to be shy but I was painfully shy and I just you know, I didn’t know how to overcome it. somebody suggested these things to me and I did them. And you’re very capable of helping yourself. If you do something, but you gotta take action to do it today. Don’t hem and haw around about it. Just do it, pick up the phone and do it.

Next question is from Dawn in Pasadena, California. I love Pasadena. I’d like to live there. Mr. Rhoads, I watched one of your video interviews and you talked about the importance of getting out to events and meeting people and how it can help your career. Can you tell me more about that?

Sure. I can Dawn But first off Mr. Rhoads is my grandfather. Call me Eric. I’m not big on formalities. Have you ever heard of the artist Charlie Hunter? Charlie’s become pretty well. Well known pretty famous these days. Charlie had come to my paint camp in the Adirondacks, the Publishers Invitational I think it was the first year about 10 years ago. And though he was very outgoing, personally, he was very insecure about his painting and he had never been part of the planner community and had hardly even painted outdoors but Because we all bring our paintings in at night, everybody looks at them, we all started noticing how good he was. And he started building confidence. I noticed him too. And I gave him my two cents worth about his paintings and that I loved him. In fact, I have three of them right here in the studio, the podcast studio that I bought from him that week. And I’m glad I did because they’ve gone up in value tremendously anyway, not that that’s why I … my paintings. But I ended up doing an article about … starting to get invited to painter events. And then he started winning awards, and now he’s famous and he’s selling a ton of work. His workshops are in high demand, and he’s a rock star. And that all kind of started because he got himself out there. Now I’m not suggesting for a minute that I did this for him. He did this by taking a chance putting himself out there putting himself at risk. And he built confidence from others. He got feedback, he learned the ropes of the planner world and met a lot of people, made a lot of contacts and made his career happened. Actually, Lori Putnam did the same thing by coming to the first plein air convention. She couldn’t even afford to go but she decided she needed to be there and she got there she got notice kept coming back. Of course she’s very famous now. And I just saw a young guy at our fall color week up in Canada recently. And his name is Jed and Jed came to fall color week I noticed everybody was marveling about his paintings, and he does acrylics and they’re beautiful. So the event gave him some exposure to the crowd and gave him some confidence resulting in some things happening in his career. And I even ended up putting them up on the faculty for the acrylic at plein air convention. So I think it’s a pretty cool thing to do stuff like this getting out there is really important. It doesn’t have to be one of my events. Doesn’t have to be a planner magazine event. It can be anywhere painters gather but you want to get out there get to know people have them get to know your work, help you build your confidence, learn the ropes, and you got to take a little risk to make progress. You’ll make friends that will help you along the way because no man or no woman is an island right? I hope this helps. Anyway, that’s Not so much direct marketing or advertising advice, but these things are important in marketing, so I thought this was a good time to put those questions in there. Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artist and to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected] And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Artmarketing.com. Thanks for listening.

Remember to Submit Your Question: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

By |2020-02-05T14:36:57-05:00February 24th, 2020|Art Marketing Minute Podcast|0 Comments

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 3

In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.

In this Art Marketing Minute, you’ll learn keys to selling art on Facebook on Instagram and how to get exposure through your local media outlets.

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 3

Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer: 0:02
This is the art marketing minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book make more money selling your art. In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by art marketing. com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads 0:23
Thank you, Jim kipping. And thank you for joining us today. I am here. My goal is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists. So let’s get right to today’s questions. So here’s a question from Cindy P. of Phoenix, Arizona. Cindy says, What’s the key to selling artwork on Instagram? or Facebook?

Well, that’s a big one. Well, first, I think it’s important to understand that we all think that we have an instant market if we have a big number of followers, let’s say got 5000 followers, and we think that every time we do a post, everybody’s gonna see everything we do. It’s not true Facebook owns Instagram, Instagram and Facebook are the same company. And they’re trying to force people to buy ads for exposure. So the algorithm that they use is only pushing out 2% of what you push out to your followers. That means very small number of your followers ever see what you post and it seems to be the same ones over and over and over again, the ones that interact with you the most, don’t assume people are seeing it. Secondly, though, we hear all these great stories about selling paintings. As we examine some of these stories, some are true. Others have other linkage to other things that have gone on that just happened to be kind of implemented through Instagram or Facebook, though there are people who are selling on Facebook, Instagram, the ones who sell well tend to have huge numbers, hundred 200,000 followers. There are exceptions to that but yet large numbers that increase your odds. I’ll be doing a lot on Instagram and Facebook at the Art marketing bootcamp sessions with the planner convention but a couple of things to think about First off, don’t try to sell to turn off people are there For content, so for every time you ask for something, you need 10 times you’re not doing any asking, you’re just doing content, so 10 to one ratio. So positive post lots and lots of content, spread it out. Not all at the same time I was on Instagram or Facebook or something the other day and it’s like 10 things in a row from the same guy. It’s like I defended him, I just didn’t want to see all that. So spread it out. Spread it out throughout the day, different people look at different times. And so you want to make sure that you spread it out. Secondly, repeat content. Just because it’s been out there one time doesn’t mean you can’t repeat it. You can look for a different way to say it. But the same people aren’t always seeing it so it’s good time to repeat things. Secondly, comment often commenting and interacting with people builds your feed exposure, look for ways to comment on other people’s posts. If you look smart people will wonder who you are and they’ll visit your page. And if they find good content, they will friend you and stays good way to build but also the interactive is really good for your algorithm. So they’re looking for people who are interactive. If somebody’s commenting a lot, now you have to be careful about click bait. Gotta be careful about saying, you know, click here if you think this or whatever, because they’re looking for people who do that and you will get penalized. Next, keep in mind that birds of a feather tend to flock together. Most artists follow other artists, it’s probably rare for a collector to follow you. It does happen, of course, but we’re learning that artists are buying lots of art, so that’s okay, too. So when you put it out there look for subtle ways of saying it’s available, like, you know, thinking of sending this to my gallery, if it doesn’t sell here, the next 24 hours, they’re going to get the drift. You don’t have to say, if you’re interested by here, you want to be creative about this stuff.

Here’s another question from Larry K. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He says I’m constantly seeing stories about other artists and local media. How do I get some of that action? Well, Larry’s squeaky wheel gets the grease, most of those people that get stories didn’t just have happened to randomly get discovered. They made phone calls, they put out press releases, they were talking to people. You want to assume that frequency is important at all marketing. One time doesn’t get you anything one time advertising one time on of Instagram posts one time on anything doesn’t help. You want frequency repetition, repetition, repetition. So call editors, meet them over the phone, tell them your story. Send pre written stories because editors get into binds Oh no, they’ve got a story they got to put in tomorrow in the end, the thing fell through, send them lots of photographs and things that are going to get their interest.

So pre written stories can help because if they’re in a bind, you can hire a PR firm, but that’s expensive, but that’s just what they do. They just call people. They get to know people and they know them and they call them and say here’s a tip. I’ve got this thing about this artist. You could do that but it’s going to cost you a lot of money and that’s okay. That’s what they do and they’re good at it sometimes and sometimes Not, but it’s really just about getting to know people. Now the other thing is, don’t tell us this I have, I can’t tell you how many times I get this into such a frustrating thing. They’ll send them a note and they’ll say, you know, here’s I’d like you to do a story on me. And by the way, I was just featured in this magazine, this magazine, this magazine. Well, the last thing I want to do is put something in that everybody else has done, I try to be unique. I don’t want to be putting things in that everybody else has done. So when you tell me that, I don’t want to hear it. So if it has happened, first off, if you’ve just been in five other magazines, I do a story about you and I find out about it. It’s not going to make me happy, but I’m going to feel burned. But if you’ve got something unique, you know, pick out somebody and say hey, I want you to do a story on this. I’d like you to consider this be nice about it and say you know you’ve got the exclusive on this. I’m not going to give it to anybody else. If you pick it up and then that gives you an opportunity to go up here. Here’s something unique and interesting.

Well, this has been the Art marketing minute with me Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artist and to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected] marketing.com. And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Artmarketing.com Thanks for listening.

Remember to Submit Your Question: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

By |2020-02-05T14:36:42-05:00February 17th, 2020|Art Marketing Minute Podcast|0 Comments

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 2

In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.

In this Art Marketing Minute, you’ll learn what you should be doing right now to plan for your yearly art goals and how the company you keep can affect your “halo marketing.”

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 2

Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer:
This is the art marketing minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book make more money selling your art. In the marketing minutes we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by arts marketing. com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads:
Thank you Jim Kipping. And thank you for joining us today. My goal is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists. So let’s get right to today’s questions.

Here’s a question from William in Providence, Rhode Island. William says it’s a new year. What should I be doing to plan my marketing for the new year?
Well, William, ideally you want to start in November or December or before that but it is still early so you’ve got the whole rest of the year. Start always in all marketing, don’t put tactics first. Try to figure out what you want to accomplish. To start with the end in mind, what do you want to accomplish this year might be travel, it might be dollar figures, it might be being in certain shows, it might be other things, but try to figure out what those things are. Let’s say it’s money. So let’s talk about it. So let’s say for instance, that you want to make $100,000 a year last year, you were $80,000 a year. So start by asking yourself what work to get you at $80,000. Now ask if doing more of the same will get you there, it may or may not. We always tend to say if we want to make more money, we have to sell more stuff, but that’s not always the answer. There are other answers. For instance, selling at a higher price. Let’s say last year, you sold 40 paintings at $2,000 each. What if you could sell 40 paintings at 20 $500 each you would reach just by adding $500 more per painting, you would reach your hundred thousand dollar goal if that’s the money that you get to keep right. So if that’s if the galleries involved you might have to up it a little bit more. But think in terms of what can I do that makes my job easier because it’s always tough enough out there. Or let’s say you want to sell a quarter of the people who bought paintings, sell them two paintings at a time instead of one is there a way you can do that as their way you can do what we call an upsell. Try to get someone who say, since you already bought this, I’m going to offer you a discount on the second one, if you do that today, that kind of a thing. also define your goals against your current status and then start laying out a plan. And if you need to sell more, just find more ways to reach more buyers. And that’s all about promotion, advertising, PR, etc. lay out a month by month plan and then stick with it and just know that everything you do doesn’t happen overnight. It takes repetition, repetition, say that again. Repetition, right. All things in advertising and promotion are about repetition because it takes time for people to build trust, to get to know you and to be aware of you. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Next question is from Tanja of Oakland, California.
Tanya says at last year’s convention, you said that you’re known for the company you keep. Can you explain what that means as it relates to marketing? Well, Tanya, there’s a principle I like to call Halo marketing. You get the halo effect the glow of someone else, by your association. Let’s say for instance, that somebody famous buys one of your paintings. How can you use that to your advantage? People tend to want what celebrities have. That’s why celebrities get a lot of money as spokespeople. So let’s say that Steven Spielberg owns one of your paintings. Why not find ways to tastefully spread the word that Spielberg’s one of your buyers? That means a lot, you know, because people love stories? Wouldn’t it be cool if the gallery was able to say hey, by the way, Spielberg owns one of these are to be able to say, Hey, I own a painting that also the artist is owned by Spielberg. I don’t recommend you doing it without permission. But you could ask permission. Let’s say for instance, you sold Painting to Steven Spielberg, you could say, hey, by the way, would you be willing to allow me to mention this to the people? I know I want to respect your privacy, but it’ll help me a lot. Because obviously, you’re famous. And if you own one, others are going to want to own one, would you mind? And sometimes they’ll say yes, sometimes they’ll say No, don’t do it. If they say no, and always do it tastefully. There’s also another principle and that is that the association with others can be important in other ways. For instance, there’s a meat company called Allen steaks they sell by direct marketing. And they put the names of famous steakhouses on their brochures, people that use their steaks, what does that imply? It implies that you get the same experience by buying from them as you would from those steak houses, right? So that’s what I mean there’s a value in being in the hands of prominent people, prominent collectors, important museums, even important galleries because people know people who are in the know and know that if you’re in a particular gallery that’s really important. That says you’re pretty high quality and that’s going to be helpful to You overall makes you look even more important, but you want to be careful about how you do it. You don’t want to overdo it. You don’t want to be a name dropper, you don’t want to look brash. You want to be more subtle about it. Maybe that’s quotes by others, like having a quote on your brochure from Steven Spielberg or photo with Steven Spielberg or something. If somebody else is saying it, it’s a lot better than if you’re saying it, but there are ways you can do it. And then it’s a little bit more implied than direct Hope that helps help these marketing tips are helpful for you. Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artist and to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected] Thanks for listening.

By |2020-02-05T14:36:10-05:00February 10th, 2020|Art Marketing Minute Podcast|0 Comments

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 1

In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.

In this Art Marketing Minute, you’ll learn a quick tip on where to start if you’re not selling art online yet, and specific ways to help your gallery sell your paintings.

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 1

Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

Related Links:
– Sunday Coffee: https://coffeewitheric.com/

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer:
This is the art marketing minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book make more money selling your art. In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by art marketing. com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads:
Thank you Jim Kipping. And thank you for joining us today. I am here. My goal is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists. So let’s get right to today’s questions. Here’s a question from Carrol in the Sierras. I guess that’s the highest year is California, huh Carol? Welcome. I’m at a crossroads regarding my art. It seems that I’m throwing good money after bad. I’m not a rank beginner. However, I thought that I should check everything and start again from scratch. Here’s why. About five months ago. I got my own website in that five months I’ve had only 10 people look at the site, and no buyers, I do not in most cases seem to be able to tell which my paintings are the better ones. I’m quite discouraged at this point. The art ship may have already sailed for me. I have no clients. I have no client list. I don’t know anyone who would buy my art. Help.

Carol, you sound desperate, my dear goodness. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. Never ever went to Churchill said don’t ever ever, ever, ever, never, never, never, ever give up right? paid first because you’ll love it if you paint because you love it. That’s a good starting point. If that’s not the reason you’re doing it, maybe that’s something you shouldn’t be doing. But I have a hunch you can do it because I looked at your website and your paintings are pretty good. And so look at it from this standpoint, if it sells its icing on the cake. Now if you have to make a living as a painter, just know that it takes some time. You have to devote time and energy into building it. Now I put together a thing for people that are interested in senior years retiring and so on, it’s kind of about how to start up fast and so on. I don’t remember the name; it’s of one of my videos. Anyway, there’s some stuff in there that talks about how to speed up the process. But the reality is that if you have a website that doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get any visitors, you had 10 visitors, that’s not necessarily any visitors, right? So you’ve got to look for ways to drive people and drive traffic to your website, and that’s going to require some marketing effort. You can get some free advice on my marketing blog. There’s a lot of stuff on there about driving people to websites and how to get people to do it. Sometimes it’s advertising, sometimes it’s social media, sometimes it’s direct mail, sometimes it’s other things but you just kind of be constantly driving people to the website. And or looking for other people to sell your work for you. Your work is pretty good. It should be in a gallery and you should probably start doing that process. I again, I have a whole process and some of my videos where I go through that but you want to get introduced in are invited in not not so much going after him because everybody else’s going after me, I want to be different. You want to see how you can get invited and I’ve got a whole strategy on that. And that involves getting the word out to other people through people that are connected to the gallery. So more on that at another time anyway, don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged, you’re going to be fine. And just hang in there. Everybody goes through this. This is not unusual.

Next question is from Jo Ann and Lincoln, Nebraska. Congratulate me. I just got into my first gallery. Well, Joanne, congratulations. But so far, they’ve not sold anything yet. I know there’s some great painters in the gallery. So what can I do to help my painting sell?

Well, Joanne, the fact that you got into a gallery, you’re one of a very few and so congratulations on that. The fact that they have other great painters in the gallery means they have good taste, and they picked you so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. trust them. It’s going to take them some time. They have to build a collector interest in a collector base and it might take them some But you can help them in a lot of ways. But the first thing is, ask them what you can do. It’s surprising to me how many people never asked that question. So ask the gallery owner, ask them, you know, how can I help you? Secondly, there’s some things you could do. It just depends on how far you want to go. First off, you can talk about the fact that if you’ve got your own list, if you’ve got your own newsletter, if you’ve got your own social media accounts, you can talk up the fact that you’re in the gallery and put these paintings out there that are in the gallery and drive people to the gallery. That’s something you can do. It’s not all up to them. Marketing is a cooperative effort. Speaking of cooperative, one of the things you can do is what we call Co Op advertising. You can actually share in the expense, you can go to them and say hey, listen, I’d like you to advertise my work. And I think it would be great to be exposed and have my name associated with your gallery. I’ll pay half if you’ll pay half. And so that’s one good way to do it. A lot of people do that kind of thing. You can ask permission to talk to the sales team asked for a conference call and ask. Tell them your story. Make it about your story and how you got where you are and what you do and what your thoughts and philosophies are. Keep it interesting, because the sales team, whoever is selling your paintings, sometimes it’s just the owner. But maybe they need to know about you and don’t assume they’re going to read anything about you make it easy for them. I like to give stories with my paintings stories help sell, I like to write up a little story about every painting, put a little bit of fantasy and a little bit of reality in it. And then I I paste that on the back of the painting, sometimes I’ll mail it to the galleries. And then they like to sometimes put it up on the placard underneath the name of the painting and the cost because it gives a little story creates a little interest. And by the way, very few people do story so you’re going to stand out, and stories oftentimes help sell. So I got a whole thing on stories in my first and my second videos and so you might check those out. Keep the gallery informed, tell them what you’re up to anything new. If you’re taking trips, traveling, painting entry, interesting things. If you’re on the faculty at a flare convention or something like that, tell them because it gives them stuff to talk about. They need stuff to talk about when they’re talking about you. keep them informed. You know, it’s amazing how many artists don’t keep them informed. But don’t overdo it. Don’t badger them because they’re busy people and be grateful, you know, they’re going to want to help people who are grateful. And so rather than calling and saying, Why didn’t you sell my paintings yet? Instead, what you want to do is say, Hey, thank you. I appreciate all you’re doing. I’m really grateful for you guys. Because people when people are nice, they want to help them right. Anyway, that’s some marketing advice. I hope it’s helpful.

Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artist and to help your dreams actually come true. Thanks for listening.

By |2020-02-05T14:37:36-05:00January 28th, 2020|Art Marketing Minute Podcast|2 Comments

The Gallery-Artist Debate: Is Each Earning Their Percentage?

Recently a well-meaning artist posted this statement on Facebook:

“The standard gallery practice since I started selling in galleries has been a 50/50 split of the retail price sale with the artists. However, in the last 7-8 years it seems like galleries are doing much less for artists but still demanding the same split. So many shows now require that artists pay for shipping both ways. So many shows feature artists the gallery does not represent. If you are not representing me and trying to build my career, if you are not trying to get magazine articles for me, if you aren’t really presenting my work to collectors, then you are no longer earning 50% of the sales. Is anyone else standing up to galleries? Are we so afraid of missing out on being part of shows that we all just do whatever galleries ask of us? Why are we, as artists, giving so much power to people who are offering us little other than wall space?”

The artist isn’t necessarily wrong, but he isn’t necessarily right. Here’s why:

Complaint: “In the last 7-8 years it seems like galleries are doing much less for artists but still demanding the same split.”

Maybe instead of the question being “Why aren’t you doing more for me?” the question should be, “Are you selling my paintings?”

From my perspective, though it would be nice to have a gallery promoting and advertising me, I look at their primary role. They are a sales agent, to whom I pay a 50% commission.

What matters to me is whether my work is selling. Everything else is gravy. Though many of the outlined promotional activities can lead to a sale, they are also expensive to implement. If they are not necessary, and not part of an agreed-on expectation, that shouldn’t matter if the gallery is doing its primary job … selling paintings.

If someone wanders into a gallery and buys a painting without ever having seen an article or an ad, does it really matter? The sale is what matters. 

Another way to state it: If a gallery has figured out how to sell my paintings without articles, without PR, without ads, do I really care? Again, the sale is what matters.

If paintings are NOT selling, then one has to question the entire relationship. But every business has unpredictable up and down cycles, which is why I think all artists should have galleries in different regions, and probably have at least three. Some years my gallery sells every painting I send, other years not a peep. But I know they are trying.

Start With an Agreement

Unless he had an up-front written or verbal agreement, the artist could be complaining about not receiving something he never should have expected. I think it’s important that every gallery have an agreement in place. Start with a dialogue: “This is what I hope you can do for me. Can I expect this from you?” And it’s a two-way street; the gallery should explain exactly what they need from the artist.

I like written agreements — not to avoid future lawsuits, but for clarity. A simple one-page doc stating the artist’s and the gallery’s expectations is important.

Oh, you’ll also need some protections. I’ve watched friends lose paintings when a gallery when bankrupt and the court seized inventory. You should have it in writing that the gallery does not own your work, and that in the event of a bankruptcy or at the first indications of financial problems, they will give you a chance to get your work out. You’ll have to be willing to go collect it — if a gallery is going through a financial crisis, don’t expect them to pay for shipping.

Complaint: “So many shows feature artists the gallery does not represent.”

This statement assumes that the gallery should sell only artists it represents. However, as an artist, I celebrate when a gallery does something like an OPA show, AIS Show, etc. Why? It’s helping put the gallery on the map, it’s making new people aware, it’s bringing outside promotion, and ultimately, it’s driving traffic to the website or the gallery where potential buyers can find my work.

Frankly, anything that keeps money coming in the door and keeps a gallery healthy is a good thing. If they are having a cash crisis and decide to do a special show to make some money, support them. Otherwise you may be picking up your work when they go out of business.

Complaint: “So many shows now require that artists pay for shipping both ways.”

Guess what: Things are not the way they used to be. It’s harder than ever to be in the gallery business. Rents are high, expenses are high, and galleries are seeking ways to save money. We as artists cannot expect them to behave like it was still the good old days. We have to work in today’s market. Shipping terms should be part of your written agreement.

Complaint: “in the last 7-8 years it seems like galleries are doing much less for artists but still demanding the same split.”

The split is a commission, as I mentioned above (unless there are other terms). Here is a fact: More galleries have gone out of business in the past five years than have survived. Galleries cannot operate the way they used to operate. In the old days droves of people walked in the doors; now those expensive rents do not produce foot traffic. So they may be paying $25,000-$50,000 or more for a retail space when there is no retail business. 

One gallery, which since has gone out of business, asked what I would recommend for them. When I asked what percentage of their business was from locals, walk-ins, or in-person visitors, they said 10 percent. I suggested they close their retail space (which was costing them $25,000 a month), deck out a small showroom in an inexpensive warehouse space, and focus on selling more to the 90 percent. For half of that $25,000 a month, a gallery could dominate all the art magazines and drive more business by Internet and phone. But their egos got in the way, they were in love with their space (which was incredible), and that $300,000 in rent drove them out of business. Would it have been better to downsize and survive?

You and Your Gallery are Partners

It’s a good idea to have an ongoing dialogue with your gallery about what you can do to help them and what you need them to help you with. Find out what is selling. One gallery owner told me recently his art was no longer selling, so he got all new artists and moved in a different direction, making his business healthier than ever. Galleries cannot control the market, they can only reflect it. If you understand trends, maybe you can make adjustments in your work to meet those trends. Also, though you’re looking to the gallery to market you, they need your help too. Are you letting people know who your galleries are, how to find your work at galleries, and referring customers to them? Again, it’s a two-way street. 

Complaint: “If you are not representing me and trying to build my career, if you are not trying to get magazine articles for me, if you aren’t really presenting my work to collectors, then you are no longer earning 50% of the sales.”

I can’t emphasize this enough: Unless you have an agreement for articles and other career-building, the gallery’s only job is to sell your work to earn that commission. Of course they will present your work to collectors and buyers — by giving you wall space and talking you up.

Complaint: “Are we so afraid of missing out on being part of shows that we all just do whatever galleries ask of us?”

If a gallery is asking for help, ask yourself why. They want your participation because they are seeking new ways to bring customers in the door. I’d much rather cooperate with reasonable requests than be the one artist not in a major show. If I’m in a partnership and my partner needs my help, I’ll be there. 

Selling with Honey and Not Vinegar

Two artists I know have different approaches. One calls the gallery and berates them for not selling enough work. He calls frequently, and, other than bringing people’s attention to his work, or possibly doing a show or advertising, it sells if it sells. But this artist completely alienated his gallery and they fired him. Why? He was not worth the hassle. They dreaded his calls. He made them feel bad even though they were trying everything. People were just not buying his work, and they could not make him happy. And they had lots of choices of other artists who were selling.

The other artist is the nicest guy in the world. He doesn’t call much, because he knows the gallery is busy, and if every artist called every week, they would never get anything else done. When he calls, he doesn’t even ask if things are selling or what they are doing. Instead he simply says, “How can I be of service? What do you need from me? Is there a kind of painting anyone is seeking I might be able to paint?” Oh, and he sends a small gift to the salesperson each time they sell a painting. 

Who would you rather do business with?

Complaint: “Why are we, as artists, giving so much power to people who are offering us little other than wall space?”

Oh, I’m sure it seems that way. But keep in mind, some months a good gallery may not sell enough artwork to pay the bills. They may be wondering, “Why aren’t these artists earning their 50% by helping us more? After all, we’re putting out tens of thousands in rent, ads, electric for all that lighting, employees, sales commissions to employees, shows, food for shows, public relations, etc.”

It’s important to make sure you understand both sides of the story. Wanna really feel empathy? Ask your gallery if you can come there for a week to be a salesperson. See just how easy it really isn’t.

The bottom line is that you and your gallery can both gripe about a lot of things the other could be doing. But be thankful they have selected you when there are 200,000 other artists they could pick. If you’re one of 30 or 50 they are hanging, you are in the upper 1 percent of artists in the world. Be thankful that they are exposing your work, hanging it, lighting it, and paying for that wall space. Be thankful they are doing everything they know to bring people into the gallery. Could they do more? Of course, and they will if they can afford it. Be thankful they can sell your work while you’re sleeping, or painting. It beats trying to do it all on your own, and the expense that goes with that.

A Message to Artists

Consider this. The gallery business is at risk. This is the time we all need to support them, help them survive and thrive, and celebrate that they are doing what they do for 50 percent. I know an artist who gives the galleries 75 percent and is now one of the richest artists in America because they favor his commission over the others. He’s not complaining because he did $5 million in sales last year.

A Message to Galleries

Consider this. Artists put their heart and soul into their work, and you exist because they don’t want to have to learn to sell on their own. If they wanted to be business people, they would have gone into business. They need you to communicate with them, and they need to understand your issues so they don’t look at everything as one-sided. 

Both artists and galleries can do a better job of communicating. There is no right or wrong, we’re all in this together. If one falls, the other could fall. Let’s all work harder on communicating.

By |2020-01-21T11:54:01-05:00November 8th, 2019|Art Galleries, Business, Sales|0 Comments

What to Do if Your Art Stops Selling

Last week an artist told me he was suffering. His sales were way off, and the steady income he had become used to had suddenly come to a stop. He also told me his galleries were not selling much of his work anymore.

I asked him what he thought the problem was, and he told me he is doing everything he can to generate income … more workshops, working on a book, working on a video, getting into more plein air events, doing an online mentoring program and an online school, and trying to schedule some gallery shows.

As I probed this with him, I asked which came first … all the activities or the slump in sales? His answer was no surprise. “I was doing really well and hardly had to do anything to sell paintings, but I wanted to make more money, so I started working on these other projects.” When I asked him if he was painting as much and sending as much to the galleries, he said, “Well, no. I don’t have as much time.”

This is going to sound absolutely counterintuitive, but less is more.

The disease many of us have is thinking we have reached a peak with our income and that therefore we need to start doing new things to bring in more money.

An example is my buddy Jim. Jim owns a coffee pot business. It’s a pretty big business. He has pots made in China with his brand, and he sells them on Amazon. He has made a lot of money, but when we last met, he told me he was getting out of the coffee pot business and getting into the vitamin business. 

Why? Pots had stopped selling as well, and he sees lots of people making a lot of money in vitamins. 

The grass is always greener. Someone else looks successful doing other things, yet we forget that when we do new things, there is a tremendous learning curve, time to understand it, and often it’s not naturally in our skill set. Someone else might be successful, but we don’t know how many decades of struggle they went through to get there, or how much money it cost them to start.

Any time you start chasing shiny objects, you suffer somewhere else. I should know. Success magazine called me the “Shiny Object King,” and it was not necessarily a compliment, though their point was that some shiny objects turned out to be better businesses than what I had.

As an artist selling art, you are a small business. All businesses have up and down cycles. Sometimes those downs are caused by the economy, sometimes they’re caused by a change in the industry or business, sometimes they’re impacted by events like the California fires or election fears. Sometimes we don’t know.

Something I do know: In Ecclesiastes it says there is a time to reap and a time to sow. I find that when business is off, we have to put the shiny objects aside and protect our core business. 

My friend Jim is giving up because he is in a down cycle and moving to something else, forgetting that startups are hard. I think that instead he needs to keep his head down and stay completely focused on solving the problem.

We all love to place blame. It’s a lot easier to place blame on other people, or other things or conditions. But my friend Jim is to blame for his own problem, as is the artist who got so distracted by shiny objects he failed to protect his core business. 

There are two issues with shiny objects. First, they are a distraction. Second, they send signals to the market. With social media, people know everything. This artist used to post paintings and thank customers for buying, but for the past year or two, all of his posts have been about his shiny objects. That’s sending a signal to his market that he’s bored with painting and has moved on to other things. I’ve been seeing this a lot lately.

There is no problem with wanting more income, but you want to start with this question…

If I focused more energy on my existing business, could I find a way to grow it to the level of income I want from all my other shiny objects? The answer is yes, and if you don’t know how, all you have to do is find out. There are plenty of experts out there to help.

What if, right now, you had every customer you’ve ever had?

Most people buy one painting from you. But what if 50 percent of the people who bought one painting from you bought one painting a year? Would that change your income? Of course.

The solution to every problem is found in a series of questions. If you ask great questions, and you try to come up with 50 answers for each question, and don’t just pick the first few easy answers, you’ll solve any problem.

The same day this artist told me that nothing is selling, his friends aren’t selling, and he thinks we’re in a bad economy, another friend told me he sold more art this year than any year in his career and that a lot of his friends were thriving too. Hmmm.

Lots of artists I know are coasting and in the danger zone. 

Some things to consider if things are not going as they should:

  1. Am I as focused as I should be?
  2. Am I doing all the things I have normally done to keep business strong?
  3. Am I too reliant on others for my income? Should I control it more?
  4. Am I being distracted by shiny objects?
  5. If I could pick only ONE thing to work on for the next two years and could not work on any other thing, what is that one thing?
  6. What questions should I be asking myself? (There are probably dozens.)
    1. How have things changed, and what do I need to be doing differently?
    2. Has my worked changed, and do people want it?
    3. Is my work still relevant? 
    4. Is my category of art still hot?
    5. What could I do to get income out of past buyers?
    6. Am I sending bad signals to the market?
    7. Am I willing to work as hard?

If or when you see things changing, get focused on solving the problem and keep your head down. A concentrated effort can make a huge difference toward solving any problem.

By |2020-01-21T11:57:21-05:00November 1st, 2019|Business, Sales|0 Comments

Why I Hate Marketing

Dear Artist Friends,

I hate marketing.

There, I feel better now that I’ve said it. 

I hate marketing when it’s sleazy. I hate marketing when it’s dishonest. I hate marketing when it exaggerates. I hate marketing when it lies or it misleads.

Most of the artists I know also hate marketing. They think it’s dirty.

In fact, most of the artists I know believe that art should sell itself. That someone should see it, respond to it, and buy it.

I’d like that too.

I’d also like it if I sat down at the counter of a soda fountain in Hollywood and had a producer walk in, discover me, and make me famous. That’s what supposedly happened to Lana Turner, a 1940s Hollywood star. But it turns out it’s a myth — it never happened. It was crafted by a Hollywood PR agent so people would feel more connected to this new star as “one of them.”

Tens of thousands of young wannabe stars show up in Hollywood hoping to be discovered. And those tens of thousands get whittled down to a few hundred who ever get a part, a few who become famous, and a tiny number who stay famous.

Though most in Hollywood want to believe that luck plays a role, most Hollywood agents will tell you that the ones who succeed make their own luck because they outwork everyone else. These “lucky” people do 20 times more auditions, they meet 20 times more people, and they work 20 times as hard. And once they get famous, they keep working 20 times harder because they know that Hollywood is littered with out-of-work “has-been” actors who got lazy once they got famous.

It turns out that marketing your art is similar. The ones who succeed, the ones who get “discovered,” work 20 times harder than most. The ones who succeed continue to market for as long as they plan on selling artwork.

In Hollywood, once you get one part, it helps you to get another and another, if you keep working the system. Art, too, has momentum. Sales lead to sales, as long as you remain visible and continue to get attention.

Marketing is NOT about luck. It’s also not about needing to do anything dirty, sleazy, or dishonest. Most marketing isn’t that.

It’s also not always about talent. There are lots of success stories about people who are not the most talented.

Like the Hollywood actors who are showing up and promoting themselves, it’s the same for artists. Show up and promote yourself. Do it over and over and over.

Showing up in the case of an artist means being seen and finding appropriate and tasteful ways to get noticed. Nothing more.

Showing up can mean mounting an exhibition or show and making sure the world knows about it. It can mean advertising. It can mean social media. It can mean direct mail … postcards, letters, personal notes.

Of course, massive action can work best … doing them all (and more) all at once. 

Luck comes in when you get fast results, which is rare. Most get lucky by building and keeping momentum … showing up again and again, day after day, week after week, year after year.

I watched an artist’s career launched by massive action … showing up constantly and consistently for about five straight years. 

Then I watched that career decline because the artist decided he was famous and known and no longer needed to do all that hard work. Today no one knows his name, and he is broke. We mistakenly believe that we can market till we see success, then stop.

A commitment to marketing is no different than opening the doors of a store. If your doors are open, the store has to work hard to keep people walking in those doors. Than means continuous advertising, creative promotion, and other things to draw attention for as long as you want customers. When you stop, they stop showing up.

Believe it or not, people are not thinking about you or me all the time. In fact, if we’re not visible, we’re out of mind. (We mistakenly think we’re being seen on social media, but social isn’t being seen by everyone, or even everyone on your friend or follower list.) Therefore we have to determine who the buyers are, where they spend time, and that’s where we need to be … constantly. 

In Hollywood it’s considered career death if your face stops appearing in People magazine. As an artist, if they’re not writing about you, if you’re not advertising and not being seen by the people who continually spend on art, if they are not reading about you (people often confuse advertising with editorial, and that makes them feel like they’re reading about you), and if you’re not staying visible and generating publicity with new shows and exhibitions, you can easily be forgotten.

If you’ve ever found yourself confused about marketing or what to do, just know that anything consistent and frequent is better than waiting around doing nothing because you’re not sure what to do. I’ve built entire careers on advertising alone, which is the most powerful form of marketing other than editorial. The difference is that you can’t get publicity consistently and can’t control if or when you get it. But you can control your advertising.

Consider this. If you want to make a living as an artist, you have to open the door to your “business” and continually work to get people to walk in the door. You can do it tastefully or distastefully. You can blend in by being like everyone else, or you can stand out. But if you do it consistently and never stop, you will be the success you’ve always dreamed of.

 

By |2020-01-21T11:46:57-05:00July 15th, 2019|Business, Sales|0 Comments

What One Marketing Method Would You Use If You Were Just Getting Started?

Louise Murphy of Fredericksburg, Texas, asks, “What one marketing method would you use if you were just getting started?”

Well, I know you’re eager to get out and start marketing.

But Louise, before you do anything, before you get your work out there and start selling, you need to know where you want to go — before you go there. You don’t get in your car and start driving before you have a destination in mind. Same for this: Before you start marketing, you need to set your goal. Then you’ll build a strategy and tactics to get you to that goal.

I suggest starting small, and building out from there. When getting started, you just want to focus on a couple of things — the important first steps, so to speak. I’d suggest setting one, maybe two goals for things you’d absolutely die to achieve in the next six months.

For instance, if you haven’t sold any of your paintings before, maybe you’d like to sell your first painting and get some money for it. That’s an admirable and achievable first goal; it’s always a really good starting goal for a painter. Or maybe your goal is to find someone to sell your art for you, like an art gallery, or perhaps you’d like to find a partnership where you could display your art for sale in a local restaurant.

It’s so important that you set some basic goals before you do anything.

Secondly, you need to find three really honest people who are professionals and will tell you the truth. People who will tell you if your art is ready or if it still needs some work before you’re ready to start selling. I don’t recommend asking family or close friends; rather, I suggest that those three people could be fellow artists, art gallery owners, or other professionals who know what makes a market-ready piece of art. It’s critical to know if your work is ready for prime time, so to speak. If all three are saying it’s ready, then you probably should have been selling already. If two out of the three really honest people say it’s ready to go to market, then you should try to fix the problem identified by the person who disagrees, but you should still try to start selling while you work on it.

Once you set a goal, then you start to collect the e-mail addresses and mailing addresses of people interested in your work.

One strategy that will be important for your goal of selling is sending people to a website to view your art, so you’ll need to start building a site to show your finished work. You’ll want to get comfortable talking about your work and telling the stories behind your paintings, and maybe blogging about your work as well. These are all important things for new artists getting started.

Building a website, talking about your art, making e-mail and mailing lists of the names of people who like your work … these can all be goals for an artist who’s just starting out. And they’re all things that other successful artists did at some point in their early career.

There are lots of companies that can build a website for you — you don’t have to become too technical or build something from scratch all on your own. Work with people who work with other artists; you’ll want to be sure you’re showcasing your best work.

Once you’ve got a website and a handful of people who are interested in your work and are on that list of yours, you can start working on getting those people to visit your website, and then, hopefully, getting them to buy your artwork.

To summarize: Set goals. Keep them achievable. Make sure your artwork is good enough. Accumulate and capture a list of people who like your art. Build a website, get comfortable talking about your art, and start directing people who have an interest in your work back to your website.

I hope, Louis, that helps you understand a solid art startup.

Interested in growing your art sales and income? Read my best-selling book Make More Money Selling Your Art: Proven Techniques for Turning Your Passion Into Profit.

 

By |2020-01-21T12:21:30-05:00August 22nd, 2018|Business, Sales|0 Comments

Are First Impressions Killing Your Art Sales?

 

Last week I gathered my family for our annual visit to a local history museum that we love very much. We’ve been members for years. In fact, I’d received a membership renewal e-mail the week before, which is why the museum became top of mind, prompting us to visit. Thinking I’d be at the front desk to check in anyway, I’d simply renew my membership on the spot, which would probably be faster than taking time online. (I know, it sounds backward.)

We arrived, were asked if we were members, and of course I said we were, and that I had just received a renewal notice. “Sir, you’re not a member. You must be mistaken. You don’t show up in our system.” I was frustrated, but I recognize that people often spell my name wrong, or try to use the name on my credit card, which is not what I go by. Still no results. The looking went on for 10 minutes while my family waited impatiently. Finally, the woman at the desk, sounding angry and frustrated herself, said, “You’re not a member, never have been a member. Would you like to become a member? All you need to do is fill out this form.”

Not wanting to take more time, I simply said, “I’d just like to buy tickets.” At which time I was told, “You’ll have to go to that line over there.” I said, “There is no one at that desk.” “Oh, she’s around somewhere, you’ll have to wait.” I waited, the employee returned, and I overpaid for tickets because I didn’t have my membership.

Sadly, when I get frustrated or disquieted, I lose my joy for a few minutes, and I was grumbling under my breath about the museum. And I kept finding problems. Ultimately, though we go there every year, we decided it was not all that great anymore, so we probably won’t return. And I started to question my own memory. Maybe I wasn’t a member. Of course, that changed today, when another membership renewal notice came by e-mail.

What has this got to do with marketing art?

Every first impression matters. It sets the tone.

If someone goes to your website and can’t find what they are looking for, it sets a tone of frustration. They may have gone there looking for a particular painting, or to check you out, and the second they get frustrated, they leave, and they probably won’t come back.

Or you’re in a booth in a tent show. Someone sees something they want to buy, but you’re busy with a line of other customers and they can’t get your attention, or they hear “I’ll be with you in a minute.” They may wait, or they may tell themselves they will come back later, or they could leave in frustration. Maybe they are in a rush and can’t wait. In any case, you may have lost a sale.

Maybe someone sees your work somewhere and sends you an e-mail, but you’re out at a show and not checking your in-box. What you don’t know is that they are having a big party on Friday, they want that big painting on your website, and you’re not responding. Or perhaps they call and get your voicemail and they don’t leave a message, or they find your message box full — or they simply want to talk to you right now.

You may be thinking, “I’m only human. I can only do so much.” True, but customers think differently. And in these days of instant communication and Amazon purchases, they expect what they want, exactly when they want it. Not five days from now.

In person, first impressions matter too. You’re at an art show and the customer doesn’t feel you’re dressed appropriately, doesn’t like the quality of your frames, thinks the lighting in your booth is bad. Little things have a big impact.

Though you can’t please everyone all the time (and some people are just cranky), just remember that first impressions set the tone for your brand in the customer’s mind. You may have spent thousands of dollars over many years building a brand in a customer’s mind, yet once they decide to take action, their impression changes based on their first real encounter. Either it reinforces your reputation and brand, it’s neutral, or it hurts.  

Though you’re “just one person” and “just an artist who can’t do everything and can’t afford help,” know that you could be losing business. If the phone rings three times and isn’t picked up, they may call the next artist on their list. If you answer “Hold, please,” you’ll lose half of the people who call. If the type on your website is too small to read on a phone, they will probably leave.

To solve this, do a first impressions audit. Ask yourself about every customer entry point and if it is customer-friendly and fine-tuned to give customers what they need the moment they need it. Ask some friends to evaluate everything. See if you can improve it. Though it may cost you money to fix any issues, consider it money well spent in order to capture customers.

First impressions matter, and if you’re in the business of selling art, you’re in business — and that means customers expect the same from you as they would any other business. One painting sale lost a year is too many. If you do an audit, you can fix a lot of little things, and that could mean a change in your sales.

By |2019-01-24T14:13:15-05:00July 26th, 2018|Business, Sales|0 Comments

How to Destroy Customer Relationships in Four Words

Just four little words can turn a happy customer into an unhappy customer. These words, when uttered, send a signal that you don’t care about your customers and that your business is screwed up.

These four little words wound customers and tell them you won’t do whatever it takes for them. They also say you hate your job, hate your company, and are very self-centered.

What are they?

“It’s not my job.”

I was mortified when I was in a grocery store recently; I asked a question, and the man I approached said, “It’s not my job. I don’t actually work for the store, I work for one of the vendors.” Yet he had a store apron on.

The right response might have been, “I’d be happy to help you. Even though I don’t work for the store and I work for a vendor, let me take you to someone who can answer that question.”

You may, in your company or business, have employees who have very distinct roles. In fact, if they encounter a customer who asks them to do something, it may not be their job.

The problem is that if the employee says that, it makes the customer feel unimportant, unheard, and as though employees are unwilling to help. And that sends a devastating message about company management.

The correct response is always, “Yes, how can I help you?” or, “I’d be happy to help you.”

Everyone on the team needs to know that every customer pays their paycheck and that when customers have a negative experience with your company, they’re likely to tell 10 people, who may each tell 10 more people. Suddenly you’ve lost customers, and you may not even know why.

“It’s not my job” leads to “I’m outta work.”

Smart companies need to coach their team to always do what it takes, never pass the buck, to help whenever possible or find someone who can help. Management should also make it known that if they hear of someone using those words, that person will probably be working elsewhere soon.

Treat people the way you want to be treated.

By |2020-01-21T12:21:47-05:00March 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments