Being a sales professional all my life, I never imagined taking my skills and energy to become a purveyor of fine art. Having recently sold several pieces of work this past year, I have come to learn the valuable lesson of “The Art of Sales.” Here are a few insights I would like to share:
1) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is the value and price.
How do you know how much a buyer is willing to pay for your product or service? Understanding how to price a product or service is quite challenging. Don’t assume you know the magic number. It is best to qualify your buyer with a series of questions to understand their buying triggers and habits. With fine art, one person is willing to pay millions of dollars whereas another person might find it hard to let go of a few hundred dollars for the same piece of art. Treat and value your product or service as fine art and you will discover the beauty of sales.
2) Paint a vision not a price tag.
What are you selling? Many times salespeople are selling a price and lose connection on how their product or service impacts the buyer. Taking this approach creates a transaction type of sale and often results in lowering the final price tag with discounts to secure the deal. Nine times out of ten, salespeople are leading with a price and allowing the buyer to have the negotiating power and leverage. When selling fine art, one must help the buyer paint a vision of how the beauty of this art will nourish their lives. How does this art make you feel? Describe your connection to the art. Leading the buyer through a series of questions that allow them to paint a vision of how the art will nourish them creates an emotion from the buyer. At this point, the ownership of the art is valued. It then becomes an emotional purchase. These types of purchases result in higher price tags lessening the buyer’s leverage. When’s the last time you painted a vision for your buyer for your product or services?
These are two skills that I find many salespeople struggle to learn. It took me many years to fine craft my skills to be in a position to deliver exceptional beauty and art for my clients. My last piece of advice relates to confidence. Make sure you stand by your value proposition no matter what. There will be more buyers willing to kick you and ask you to reduce your costs. Are you going to bend?
For me, it’s about the hard work I put into the process. As many of you know, just to get a person to talk to you and show you interest is tough enough. I value the work that goes into to creating the interest. My goal is to best optimize the sales process where everyone is happy. The client knows they are investing in a quality product and the final price tag reflects the quality. Selling at or near face value increases success and rewards for all. Having confidence means knowing there is a buyer out there that shares your values and will work with you based upon shared values. That’s Value Added Sales!