Introducing David Sharpe

Community & Co-design
by Mark

David Sharpe is a member of Edmiston Jones’ Advisory Board. Over the past few years David has travelled all around regional NSW helping creative enterprises strengthen their business skills. In the last month, he has been to Albury, Dubbo and Lismore to work with indigenous artists to improve their business skills. David has given us a run down on the workshops.

“I love these opportunities to see how people pursue their creative endeavours while enjoying the lifestyle benefits of living away from the big smoke. These artists are mostly painters and craftspeople, with a few other creative disciplines thrown in.

As always with such engagements, the level of familiarity with business skills varied greatly. Some artists claimed to be the typical “all artist, no business nous” type. Others were very experienced, with considered strategies for making money from their art and had plenty to say about how best to sell their work! Here are a few points about selling that those artists felt were important.

1       Tell your story.
Engage the buyer by telling them about the work, what inspired it, and how it was made. This creates an anticipation within the buyer and gives them some added insight into that mysterious creative process.

2       Greet your customer.
Make eye contact, engage them in conversation with an open ended question. Everyone agreed that the dreaded “Are you right?” should be avoided at all costs!

3       Engage all the senses: sight, sound, smell.
Think about the place where the selling of your creative products or services takes place. Make the customer feel at home. Transport them away from the everyday.

4       Have an offer.
Make the customer feel like they’re getting a deal. Discount for multiple purchases, offer free shipping or delivery. Plan that offer before engaging with your customer.

5       Close the deal as quickly as possible – but don’t over service.
Strike while you can with a customer, but if the sale is taking too long, switch to other prospects.

How terrific to see a bunch of creatives not just overcoming the barriers to sales, but well and truly conquering them.”

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