Open to the public Nov 16th to 17th 2024 Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall at Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall CV37 6EF

How to maximise your selling potential at #Cafdgg



I have been reading round reviews of Art events over the last few months and a two issues seem to be continually referred to; firstly that numbers visiting arts events are down from last year and secondly that when visitors attend they are less likely to spend money with the artists, so we need to work that little bit harder to give our visitors the best visual experience to encourage them to buy.


In response I have pulled together some ideas, which I’m sure you know about so forgive me if it sounds like a well-worn record, but here goes….

  • The best form of selling is not to sell, but to talk round your work and find a connection with the visitor or their family


  • First impressions are vital so always stand up to greet visitors and invite them to handle your work and then leave them alone to look without interruption


  • It is important to watch their body language and judge whether additional help or information is required


  • Remember that you are in a context that is designed for art appreciation. It’s not like approaching a stranger on the street, our visitors are here because they want to see works of art, so don’t be shy about talking about your work


  • A good starter question is to ask them which piece caught their eye first? Is it for a gift and for whom? Will it be going in a specific room/space? Do they often buy artwork? Find out what kind of artwork they buy and when they are most often looking for new pieces if it is for them


  • Make them remember you, it does not need to be a hard sell; just a bit of chat about how they are, what brought them here, even the weather can all help get a conversation going and build a relationship


  • How did they hear about you and #Cafdgg? Your work has a story to tell about the similarities and differences in your how your work is made. Share with visitors why you created this collection you are exhibiting, the concept and ideas behind it


  • Are there anecdotes attached to some of the works that might be relevant? Stories about the place you created it, or where the idea initially came from, or what happened when you got half way through and realized you had run out of yellow ochre or 18ct solder? Sharing these stories and your enthusiasm with our visitors can help sell your work


  • By giving further information, and engaging in discussion about its creation and the elements that went into it, you are simply rounding out the picture, giving our visitors the chance to appreciate a greater level of depth. You can decide in advance, or even while creating a particular piece, which aspects relating to it you would be comfortable sharing, and which you would not, so that when inquiry comes, you are ready to respond in a way that will engage a potential buyer – and help them to increase the positive feelings they already have for your work


  • This isn’t just a buying-and-selling process. Visitors who buy your work are likely to do so because they have developed an emotional connection to it. You can sell your art work by discussing what they like about it, what it reminds them of.  Listen to their responses and encourage them to talk. Try to think of these discussions as something that can reveal aspects of your creations that were previously hidden, even to you


  • The more the visitors feel your art work relates closely to them, the more they are likely to respond and desire to continue that interaction – and purchase the piece for their home, office or business


  • Price everything clearly as some visitors can become nervous about asking a price as they fear they may not be able to afford it or feel you may do a ‘hard sell’ on them


  • At this time of year visitors are starting to look for presents for their friends and family and often for themselves so having a range of work at different price points is a good idea as smaller items priced as stocking-fillers may well attract interest and lead to sales of higher-priced items


  • Sell up items so when a visitor purchases a card today, offer to have it mounted or framed for them


  • Put your business card in with each purchase you make, a list of any workshops you are running and your next event, view #Cafdgg as a promotional springboard


  • Always have a pile of business cards on your exhibition stand for visitors to take easily, as they are a brilliant visual reminder of your work and encourage them to give you their email addresses too


  • Have a laptop to hand with your website sign up form and follow up any leads in the week following the Fair as they may want to see you at your next event to buy follow-up purchases from you


  • Make sure you have different methods of payment besides cash. Can you accept a swiped sale on your card terminal? The nearest Bank is opposite the Town Hall, with terminals outside for a cash withdrawal on Sunday


  • Are you able to lend a piece of work for a set time frame before the visitor buys it?  Find out if they are looking for a piece of art work to go in a particular place and try to work with the visitor to find out what sort of space they are envisaging, and what would work in it. Show other pieces from your portfolio or website that might be better alternatives, or offer to work on a commission basis


  • Can you add value in delivering your work and helping hang it as part of your service


  • Most importantly of all, YOU are your work, people buy from people; stand up, SMILE and engage people in conversation about your fabby work!


I hope this gives you a few ideas and all the best over the weekend.


With thanks to Patricia van den Akker, Director of the Design Trust and for inspiration on this blog