Helping Your Reps Help You Sell

selling at a trade showDo you have sales reps, a licensing agent, art consultant or art agent working with you? How to help them present your work in the best possible way.



Many artists and craftspeople want to work in their studio, and leave the marketing and selling to someone else. But realistically, you need to understand your market, and be able to communicate in a compelling way about your work and your story. This is because no one else knows as much or cares as much about the success of your business as you do.

As a working artist, you may be able to find representation to promote your work to galleries, retailers, interior designers, manufacturers, and other prospective customers. But they can’t work in a vacuum. They need your input to be able to work effectively.

When you know your target audience, and can speak clearly about your work, you will be able to partner more effectively with those representatives, resulting in increased sales.

It’s your responsibility to communicate so well that your reps are able to take your place with prospective customers and speak for you – telling your story, and conveying the value and benefits of your collection.


Writing a wholesale order


When you sign a contract for representation, you have an obligation, as does the other party. You’ve got a right to know what they are doing on your behalf, and what is working and what is not. If things are slow or you haven’t heard from them in a while, make contact. Without using sharp criticism or putting them on the defensive, talk about the situation.

Your conversation may include:

  • Finding out what sales materials, such as brochures, catalogs and samples you can provide to help them promote and sell your line.
  • Discussing upcoming new releases of product in your line, or a collection of your art, and how they fit into your rep’s presentation of your work.
  • Getting feedback from them on what their prospects are saying about your work – good or bad. You need to know if something isn’t clicking, so that you can make adjustments in your line or in your presentation.
  • A frank discussion of your target market and how they are approaching it. Do they need guidance from you?
  • Any training you need to give to your representative to help them tell your story, discuss your product line, and make more sales on your behalf.

If your rep or agent hasn’t been working hard enough on your behalf – and this happens more frequently than you might think – you need to establish parameters with them on how often the two of you will talk and what your expectations are.

When you speak regularly with your reps and agents (who are in a sense your “business partners”) they will be more accountable to you for their actions, and you can be more responsive to their needs in helping them to sell.

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