Last week I talked about how potential buyers can’t be buyers if they can’t find you and I showed you lots of different ways to make yourself visible. Visibility by itself is not going to guarantee sales you’ll have to do a bit more to get to that point. The “bit more” I’m talking about is developing a relationship with your potential buyers so they can trust you enough to give you their hard earned Dinero.
Any discussion of the kind of relationships you may want to establish with your buyers needs to first travel through the land of friendly selling. Two terms are bouncing around marketing circles now, each is being talked about a lot but not in any great depth. As a result most folks looking to learn how to connect to their buyers are not getting the best guidance. The terms I’m talking about are: Relationships and Authenticity.
As a result of all the buzz and misguidance business owners are either completely adapting behaviors that appear to reflect these terms or they are completely tossing them out the window and continuing on in their ignorance. The problem is that most folks who adapt and try to use these concepts are going way to far into left field with them and as a result are feeling exposed and vulnerable and their buyers are busy scratching their heads wondering WTF?
So when we talk about relationships we aren’t talking about becoming BFF with every buyer or for that matter any buyer, no, you don’t have to have an anxiety attack, thinking this means you have to invite them over for dinner or even have coffee with them. What we are talking about is genuine friendliness, and an understanding that it is important to get to know them on whatever level you feel comfortable, depending on the kind of relationship you want to have with your buyers. Now you won’t have the same kind of relationship with every buyer in fact you may end up having as many kinds of relationships as you have buyers …and that’s ok. What is important to understand here about relationships is a couple of things:
- Do you ever want to see that ( or any ) buyer again?
- Do you want repeat and referral business?
When you‚’re noodling over this, consider your perfect buyer profile and your Who and what statements. Why? Because depending who that who is you might like to see them come around more often and drag a few of their BFFs also.
When thinking about the two questions above, also keep in mind that your buyers are your most important resource. Let’s face it without them you’d probably be doing some crappy job punching widgets out on an assembly line. But here’s the kicker…like I said above you don’t have to be BFFs with any of them, you do have to be human and that especially goes for folks who really only want to see that customer’s face once! You never know who they might know…I’m just sayin’
One more thing…don’t fake it, don’t try to pretend that you want to have them for diner and a sleep over as you mumble to yourself you wish they’d just get their smelly body out of your space, they’re not as dumb as they may look..seriously!
There’s Authentic and then there’s authentic
How many times have you seen or heard someone trying to sell you something use the term authentic as if that word alone is supposed to ring your bell and get you to pull out your pen and ask “where do I sign…?” What you were really doing was scanning for an escape route while thinking that guy was as deeply authentic as a mud puddle.
The problem is the way this term is being thrown around business owners are starting to feel like they have to bare all so buyers can ‚”really see who they are”. So they start talking about what they had for lunch and when they are going to the dentist. While that sort of thing may be really transparent you don’t have to go that far to ‚”authentically be you”. The authenticity that is important, is whatever is authentically you as an artist …your artistic persona. As an example: The way I write is my persona on my blog and in my newsletter, and, that persona is all together different than my persona as a photographer or for that matter in everyday life. As an artist your work may project a certain persona, a part of you that allows your creations to take form, and it is that persona that is your authenticity. It gives you and your stuff the meat you need to attract buyers, because it reflects you and what you are trying to say with your art. Now that’s AUTHENTICITY! Think of “Authentically Florida Oranges” just because they are grown in Florida doesn’t mean they have all things that make up Florida squeezed into their little orangie DNA…they are just grown in Florida!
OK…what you need to understand here is that if you want to keep selling your stuff you are going to have to figure this part out because it will play a major part in the direction you business goes or not. The ‚”or not” is because that’s where you’ll be if there is mismatch between where you want your business to go and how you treat those folks who keep showing up to buy your stuff. Selling stuff is about interacting with people.
Let’s get clear here…I’m not even coming close to suggesting that you go all bi-polar on yourself, if you are grumpy be grumpy and make it part of your mystique, your persona, then when people see that fun loving playful side guess what? They’ll be astounded that it is really you. See, this is important because none of us especially creatives are single dimensional, we have all kinds of sides, angles and quarks, you as an artsyfartsy biz person have to know which of those sides you want to show when and here’s the biggie…why.
In the end how you want to relate with your buyers and how much and what you want to show them of yourself will have an effect on your business success. If you see your buyers as the enemy and bark at them like a drill sergeant don‚Äôt start wondering why no one shows up to buy your stuff. On the other hand don,t go all Mary Poppins and then chop the head off of the first buyer who dares ask you a question. Don,t worry about being ‚”authentic”, just be you.
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