If you are skilled at selling you can do exceptionally well at Parallax Art Fair. The highest sale ever has been £13,000. And the highest profit ever made by an exhibitor was around £25,000. The event is in central London and you have a steady footfall of around 10,000 - 16,000 visitors. Given the potential, logically you should do well.
But the truth is that most exhibitors are not skilled at selling. Some even have an ideological problem with selling. If you feel this way, you are not alone. Visitors have told us over the years that exhibitors need to be better at selling their work. If you have spent the best part of your career focussing on making your product, you should not be surprised that your selling skills are not as strong. It is also well known that art/design colleges do not train students in commercial aspects of selling. In fact, they often do the opposite and encourage art/design students to think negatively of commerce, leaving them practically, and sometimes ideologically, incapable of supporting themselves through their work for the rest of their lives. We want to change this situation and believe you can be both good at selling (capable of supporting yourself full time through art and design) and still have questions, if that is your thing, about some of the extravagant aspects of commerce. The main thing to remember, when you are at the fair, is that until you have actively persuaded a visitor to become your buyer they will always just be a visitor walking around the venue. Sales do not happen by magic. You must go and get them, especially as the visitors will not be your acquaintances either. But how do you do this?
To supplement the handbook, we have included some third-party training videos below. These all focus on how to sell a product. That is essentially what you are doing whether it is a painting, necklace or scarf etc. As you watch the videos try to apply what you learn to your own product. For example, the speaker might talk about Real Estate, but the general ideas can be applied to your own field. We suggest that you take notes and try putting what you learn into your own language, voice and character by practising ahead of the fair.
1) The first video below is actually the first part of an 11-part training course on how to sell a product or service. We highly recommend you study the entire course if you can (if you click the You Tube symbol to watch in You Tube the other videos will follow on automatically). The first video below is about your mindset. If you think the idea of selling is not for you, then this will help.
2) A short video that covers a simple four-part formula about selling. Very useful for direct face-to-face sales.
3) A long video, but well-worth watching. Covers many topics about selling, especially how to close a sale.
4) Video on how to close a sale. Many exhibitors told us that they lost sales right at the end with a client.
5) The last video is more about communication rather than selling. Many exhibitors have told us that they are too shy or nervous to sell their work. This video should help you to cope with the anxiety and overcome it.