Guest blogger: Mckenna Hallett
In my seminar titled The E’s of Selling™, I ask: “What’s Love got to do with it?” As you will learn here, love is all there is in the sales process.
Perhaps the most important “E” on the road to love for your collectors addresses a critical part of everyone’s buying and selling experience: Empathy. Those first moments of contact are fragile and involve complex emotions.
Why are we all equally affected when confronted with a salesperson?
What is the tension we feel as salespeople (or buyers)?
Why do so many so quickly burst out with “Just looking!” at the hint of a hello or any attempt to engage?
Them vs. Us (and $$)
As sellers, we use silly tricks, like acting busy with dusting. Or we keep people talking with us so others will then feel comfortable to browse. After all, it is safe to enter the area if the salesperson is already engaged in another activity, right?
As buyers, we don’t want to seem too easy a target. But we also don’t want to engage in any relationship that might require us to say No. Think about this. We equate rejection as a very bad thing. We want to avoid getting rejected. (As salespeople, we often do not ask for the sale for that very reason.)
We don’t want to reject another person because we know it sucks to feel rejection.
This is empathy deep at work keeping both sides from easily engaging when a money transaction is involved. The same two people would have no problem being themselves with each other at a bus stop or in line at the grocers.
This awkwardness is all because of money. Both buyer and seller understand this and are affected by this factor.
If you are at an art fair selling your own accomplishments, it gets even more delicate. Now your booth visitor is not only saying No to spending money with you, they are also “voting you off the island.” What a scary situation this can be for many of us!
But No is not always No. The old directive “Don’t take no for an answer” must be honored here. Sometimes a No is really a Maybe. IF the shopper feels connected, safe, inspired, and cared for, a No can easily become a Yes.
Don’t let it be about the money. Find the love – the love for your art, for sharing your art, and for people.
I hear it all the time: “I don’t want to be a pushy salesperson.” I would argue that pushy has left the building over the years, but to be absolutely pushy-free I have just the cure:
- Be empathetic and you can never be considered pushy.
- Treat others as friends and show them you care about their needs.
- Take the words I, ME, and MINE out of your vocabulary as much as possible and replace your statements with YOU and YOURS.
These exercises alone will increase your sales.
Remember that people deserve the opportunity to experience the joy of ownership that comes with purchasing your art.
You have brought great happiness to many. And like the great food you ate, movie you saw, or book you read, sharing and (hint: this is another of the “E’s of Selling”) encouraging people to experience good things in life come naturally for the vast majority of us.
Go out there and show you care (empathize) and help (encourage) people to say Yes – a decision you know will make them happier and thankful for years to come. Share your art with the same (here’s another “E”!) enthusiasm you have for that restaurant you love – because LOVE is what we all want to feel.
Love is all there is.
And don’t forget to smile, laugh, and have some fun. Fun people make more money!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Mckenna Hallett started her first business at age 8. In 1992 she launched her own jewelry business, “Currents – low impact jewelry,” which is available across the globe. McKenna has long been teaching The E’s of Selling to share her insights with fellow artists.