As we speak, my client Anook Cleonne is on her way to a large art fair in Germany.
Getting her prepared for it, she asks me what she should do to figure out whether a visitor is an art-buyer, or an industry professional instead.
Good question, because the way you talk to a potential buyer is very different from the way you talk to a gallerist, critic, collector or agent.
And nobody wears a label that states what side of the market they are on.
So I tell her: “I don’t know, why not just ask?
“Are you an art-lover, or are you a professional in the art industry?
“Very likely, a gallerist or agent won’t straight away tell you who they are, but if someone is NOT an art professional, they very probably will say they’re an art lover.
“Which means that anyone who does not give you a straight answer is very likely a professional”.
We’re on a skype call, and she looks at me with a slightly baffled look:
“That’s so not done!”
Which, to me, means it’s a great thing to do.
Why would you want to comply with the rules – just because they exist?
Seems like a pretty bad reason to me.
Besides, when something is considered not done, it’s usually the establishment that says so.
And isn’t the art establishment up for some serious overhaul and refurbishment?
So give it a try: when you’re at an official function, and someone comes to talk to you, just ask whence they come.
The results might amaze you: it’s a great conversation starter, to ask and show an interest in others.
It will also tell you exactly who you’re dealing with, meaning you won’t have to guess and there’s less of a chance you’ll say the wrong thing.
And, it’s a cheeky way to start a conversation.
And being cheeky = confidence = attractive = increasing your chances of selling something.
It’s these breakthrough moments that make my job so awesome.
To listen to people, and serve up solutions and suggestions that they’ve never considered before, and to help them see ways forward and upwards.
Yes, I love my work.
And if you want some of that for yourself, and work with me one on one, all you need to do is holler.