Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Following Opportunities...do as I say...not as I do!

So many of us complain that we love making the art but hate the marketing. If that's so, then every opportunity that arises needs to be taken dead seriously. I am saying this from experience. I have been really remiss in taking advantage of opportunities that presented themselves because AT THAT TIME, I was busy and time just had a way of running away from me.

I was asked to put samples in a frame shop. But at the time, I was swimming in commissions (was asking very little for them!) and never got around to it.

I was called by a vet in another state asking for flyers. But I was, again, busy and all the steps to getting flyers to him...the printing, cutting, and mailing...had to wait and I just didn't get the job done.

Another wanted me to show her samples of my human portrait work, but I had done them a while ago before a computer crash and would have to wade through disks looking for them...never done.

THis is really stupid. You never, never know what will lead to what.

I thought about this today because I saw a post on wetcanvas in the art for sale forum of someone who posted a link to their work, was hoping to sell some pieces to buy more art supplies. Another member inquired...about size, price, etc. was interested. And the original poster..never got back. Ever. Opportunity lost, sale lost, who knows what would have led to what?

I recently decided to buy my cosmetics and shampoos, etc. from a local avon dealer who had knocked on my door instead of the grocery store. I know how happy sales make me, so why not help someone else out, all things being equal.

I bought over $40 worth, got free shipping, am happy enough with the products and yet...I have not only never gotten a thank you, she ignored my inquiry about whether she was aware that I bought from her and instead, pummels me with spam asking me to order something!

Now, this poor soul bought the catalogs, walked around knocking on doors, got a decent sale, and will never get another one from me. I would have been a regular. All because of not paying attention to the follow up. I will bet that instead, she's out there with more books, working awfully hard for that next new customer.

Now, art isn't the repeat business that avon is. But I do get repeats, and I also get referrals, when I follow up.

Some of my customers still email me from 5 years ago. But I've sold dozens and dozens of aceos and have never, ever sent a follow up email, or tried in any way to cultivate the interest of people who I worked awfully hard to sell them the small piece they bought from me in the first place.

Why not? Because I am waiting for the correct time? When I have more pieces? When I have bigger pieces? When I have a series? ETC.

Crazy, huh?

Well, I do want to be ready to have credible sales of non commissioned work, but I pledge I'll be ready this spring to see if my oldies can be reinterested!

How about you? Please don't tell me you're not going to let golden opportunities fall through your fingers. Because every opportunity might turn out to be gold!

1 comment:

Steve said...

Ooooohhhh! This is soooooo important. That is, for anyone who is doing sales. I am a computer database guy who does consulting on the side for small and home-based businesses. I harp all the time about tracking your sales and customers. There is software and websites out there that make this process so easy if one takes a few minutes initially for each contact/customer. That way, when you have some new work, a new show, or just want to ask for sales again, all you have to do is type up a few sentences telling what's new and send it off to everyone with the push of a button. And, if they are not all on email, it would be worth the effort to take a day or half day sending the direct mail out.

Think about it. Effort vs. possible return.