Recently, a wonderful artist in my city completed a news worthy project, “1000 Bowls to Feed the Hungry.” This artist, Chris Thompson, threw over 1,000 pottery bowls and invited the art community to help glaze them. Lots of artists were involved in helping create these incredible bowls. Chris spent many months organizing the affair, promoting it, getting the bowls into local galleries. At the end of the day, proceeds from these 1,000 bowls went to fund 3 local food banks and multiplied each dollar spent to feed the hungry. It was a wonderful project.
First I attended Chris’ display of ALL of the bowls. Well, of course, I couldn’t walk out without a bowl. I chose a big, beautiful, earthy one. It wasn’t easy to choose, but it sure was easy to buy. There were so many unique and colourful designs and shapes. It was such a blast I thought everyone should have one so I promoted the event to friends.
My awesome friends bought bowls. They told me they hunted through galleries to find the perfect match. Some friends asked me to buy bowls for them. I happily obliged. I perused the local galleries, and carefully sought out bowls I felt befitting of the future owner. As I embarked on my mission, I couldn’t help but find additional bowls for myself. I became a collector! At the next to the last gallery, I selected a spirited little bowl, took my card to the counter and was told I had to pay in cash (audible gasp!). This was a full service art gallery….or so I thought. They asked me to go find an ATM, there was one about ¾ of a mile away, the man thought. Could I write a check? I’m sorry, I don’t even use checks, unless someone pays me with one. What??? They didn’t have the ability to run credit or debit cards. The man behind the counter didn’t seem the least bit bothered that he had boldly asked me to inconvenience myself. I could take it or leave it.
Notice, this was the NEXT TO THE LAST gallery. Because, why buy from a place that makes it so inconvenient to buy you wish you’d gone elsewhere?
Are you “easy to buy from”? Are you equipped to take various forms of payment? Have change? Ship well? Follow up? Will you take commissions? Do you send thank you notes?
Square and Paypal both provide easy credit processing options that work well with mobile devices like tablets and phones. Let your exchange be a seamless delight for your collectors. Wrap it up or ship it, provide a receipt, express some sincere gratitude and follow up. You’re success factor will get a boost because:
The first rule of selling is….”BE EASY TO BUY FROM!”
Just a little something to think about as many artists move into open studio and the holiday season and are working so hard to create incredible art. As you’re putting all that effort into the final product, remember, whether you intend for it to be or not, the customer experience is part of your product (click to Tweet). Don’t be a bold inconvenience, be easy. After all, you probably don’t want to be collecting your art for yourself!
Bowl ‘Em Over!
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