7 Sales Tips to Develop Relationships With Art Buyers

Question: How should I best allocate my time spent on sales efforts?

I have spent the majority of my working career involved in sales. I have been an account executive, a sales manager, a director, a VP of Sales and Marketing, and most recently, an entrepreneur, selling and marketing myself as a marketing consultant. Over the years, I have learned one key thing: success in sales comes from developing relationships. If you really want to spend your time to get the best return, you need to develop and maintain those key relationships with your best prospects and clients.

First Comes Marketing, Then Comes Sales

The purpose of your marketing efforts is to bring you leads, people who are potentially going to hire you for an assignment. After a marketing campaign, if you are contacted by an art producer who wants to meet with you and view your portfolio for an upcoming project, you now need to sell yourself, your talent, your capabilities and your vision. After that meeting, whether you win the job or not, you now have a great opportunity to develop, grow and maintain a long-term relationship with the buyer.

How to Connect and Stay Connected With Buyers

  1. Be as friendly as possible and try to engage in some “getting to know you” conversation. Being personable on the phone and in meetings will give you points towards winning the job, and will make you more memorable in the future.
  2. Look for clues as to what the buyer’s interests and personality are. If you have the opportunity to meet in the buyer’s office, take in the surroundings, make note of photos, awards, and other items that provide extra bits of personal information on the buyer. Afterwards, transfer your notes to accessNetwork (the new tool in Agency Access that allows you to upload and manage your personal database), your CRM system or notebook. These notes will come in handy when dealing with that buyer in the future.
  3. Follow up the meeting with a customized thank you card, showcasing one of your most beautiful images or illustrations, with a hand-written note. You should include a personal reference to something you discussed in the meeting, and end the note by indicating when you will touch base again.
  4. Schedule a quarterly “touch-base time” with your best prospects and clients. Always make it personal and do something different every time: send a personal text email, a hand-written card or postcard, or make a telephone call. You can reference something you discussed with the buyer in your last meeting together, talk about a new project you are working on, or let them know you have a new website or online portfolio and would like their opinion on it. Whatever the reason is, just make sure you actually have something to say.
  5. Send an invitation to connect on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for business networking. You can join and participate in some of the same groups your prospect does and keep in touch that way.
  6. Create and send a special promotion piece to a targeted list of your best clients and prospects.

    The Marketing Lab Casey Templeton Promo resized 600

    Photo Cred: Casey Templeton Photography

    We have some great studies and examples of this on The Lab blog:

  7. Keep track of your best prospect’s activities online. Use Google Alerts and tools like TweetDeck so you can see what your “dream clients” are up to and to learn more about them. For example, make sure you attend events they are speaking at. Constantly be on the lookout for opportunities to interact. Don’t be a stalker – just keep yourself up to date and use the knowledge gained to further develop rapport.

Retain the Clients You Want

It is important to split your marketing and sales efforts between retention (keeping existing clients) and acquisition (finding new ones). Many companies and freelancers tend to forget about paying attention to their existing clients while on their quest for new ones, or tend to ignore a prospect they didn’t get work from the first time. Putting effort into developing and maintaining a relationship with those people you want to do work for, will pay dividends.

About Linda

Linda Whitehead is a passionate senior marketing professional with over 25 years of marketing, communications and brand-building experience at the executive level. With a diverse and well-rounded background in both B2C and B2B marketing, Linda has a proven track record of devising and deploying profitable and measurable marketing strategies as well as creating effective, inventive solutions to business challenges. Linda now serves as Agency Access’ VP of Marketing. Agency Access

Related Articles:

1. Sales are About Delivery and Pitch

2. 10 Tips for Providing Superior Service to Clients

3. 10 Ways to Focus Your Promotional Marketing Towards Clients

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