Ask and ye shall receive!

Since most things aren’t handed to you on a silver platter, you must ask for them. I encourage you to do this in this week’s Art Marketing Action newsletter. Canfield_7

Jack Canfield, in his book The Success Principles, says, “Ask! Ask! Ask!” (principle #17). He outlines five ways to ask for what you want:

  1. Ask as if you expect to get it.
  2. Assume you can.
  3. Ask someone who can give it to you.
  4. Be clear and specific.
  5. Ask repeatedly.

Of course he goes into greater depth and notes they are part of his book with Mark Victor Hansen, The Aladdin Factor. While I haven’t read that book, I can highly recommend The Success Principles.


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6 comments to Ask and ye shall receive!

  • In the newsletter, Alison wrote: I talked with two or three artists this week who weren’t getting names and addresses of their collectors from the galleries that sold the work. Why? Because they didn’t know if it was appropriate to ask. I wish it weren’t in the financial interests of galleries to be so tight with this kind of info! My favorite galleries have always given me the names of buyers, but never contact info for them. And some have not given me even the names of the collectors of my work, as a standard gallery practice. Why? Too many dealers have been painfully (and personally) burned by artists directly contacting collectors during/after gallery functions or after sales (when galleries did provide the collector info). Collectors as well are increasingly eager to get around the galleries, led by the whiff of a deal and also the added excitement. Artists too often feel perfectly justified in selling direct and underselling the very gallery which has just invested in their careers. If this practice weren’t so common, it could be ascribed to the irresponsible few. It sadly is common, most dealers sooner or later get burned, and so some good dealers really may not appreciate being asked to provide this info to artists. I think artists should be ready for a negative reaction, be sensitive and ready to understand the reason for it, before they ask any dealer for collector info! I would not want any responsible ethical artist to have to run smack into a lot of bitterness and negativity left over from some other artist’s poor behavior. If this issue comes up when you ask (and you will know by the look on the dealer’s face) have a plan for how to handle it. I consider the question high risk. Otherwise– yes, absolutely! Ask!

  • Sari Grove

    The reason an artist should be aware of collector’s names and sometimes contact info is in order to…1)give proper credential on art collector’s list in printed material 2)establish the fact that someone has begun to collect your work, and may desire to purchase more in the future, may chat with you at the gallery in person, create a link lest the gallery close but the collector needs to be able to find you 3)ensure that monies are exchanged correctly, paintings are accounted for, delivery was prompt, the customer is satisfied with the product, the client may want to attend Other openings at other of your galleries 4) artists are self-employed, if a gallery is not doing their job correctly an artist may feel the need to deal with a collector directly, this is the perogative of the artist…it is a privilege for a customer to meet an artist, and it is a privilege for a gallery to work with an artist…if proper respect is not given, the artist may feel the need to handle details directly…if a gallery has been burned it is because they have been lack in some function…say-paying the artists’ commission promptly, contacting the artist when a sale has occurred, or perhaps indulging in illicit drugs, behaviours, or just plain old sexual discrimination…If an artist is happy with their gallery , they will not indulge in questionable professional practices…Remember, the artist, in this particular relationship is metaphorically the boss, insofar as historically the standard commission given to a gallery was 33 1/3 percent…Whoever gets the bigger chunk calls the shots…Unless you are giving more than 51%- then you are scr…d

  • prerogative…I am a moron…

  • phillippa lack

    Unethical behavior on the part of artists gives ALL of us a bad name. Not good practice at all… Lucky those who only pay their galleries 30 percent!!

  • I’ve asked galleries for the names and addresses of my collectors and the answer is always “no”. Angie’s absolutely right – too many galleries have been screwed by unethical artists sneaking behind the gallery’s back, so the standard practice is to not give out this information. One gallery told me that if she ever goes out of business, she would then give me the information. There’s a flip side to this though. If I’m contacted by a collector and I sell them a painting, then I owe a commission to the gallery IF they found me at the gallery first. But if I don’t know who my collectors are, and they don’t mention it, then I’m going to keep the total proceeds of the sale. So occasionally, galleries may be screwing themselves by being selfish with the information. Just a thought.

  • gerome

    I listened to a Art Heroes podcast recently that dealt with the topic. The proposed solution to the problem of the gallery not giving the art buyer’s information is to have a written agreement with the gallery. That as long as you continue to work with them, the customer from that gallery is a customer of that gallery. That if the customer has contacted you and would like to buy directly, you either refer them back to the gallery or transact the purchase and give the gallery it’s due commission. I think this will work for the interest of all parties concerned because it will keep the gallery running, the artist’s dignity intact, and the buyer happy.
    Though I have no experience with these things. That made sense for as someone wanting to be an exhibiting artist.