Hanson Galleries, a U.S. art dealer with galleries in four cities, works hard at developing its clientele. In keeping with the Hanson Galleries method, a seller needs to dissipate customers' fears. This includes:
- Education. As a rule, the more that potential customers know about whatever you're selling, the more of it they're likely to buy. Clients have to be educated, and that's part of the seller's job.
- Protection. Any art purchase, especially big-ticket items, can be risky to buyers -- they may be paying for something that's not worth the price. A smart seller not only eliminates the risk but also reduces the buyers' perception of risk. Guaranteed buy-backs give buyers the security they need to follow through with the purchase.
- Expectation. People tend to accept established norms -- buying patterns, for instance -- in which consumers purchase works of art one at a time. If one piece of art is all they expect to buy when they visit the showroom, you'll have to work on changing their expectations before they'll buy two.
- Satisfaction. You've educated your customers, hedged their risk, and changed their expectations. Now you have to follow through with product or service packages that satisfy their needs.
Copyright 1997 G+J USA Publishing