Maintain and grow business relationships with your galleries by becoming a partner in sales with them.
Here are ten ways you can help retailers sell, and reap the benefits:
1. Provide a display. If possible, provide a display which beautifully merchandises your handmade work. This makes it easy for the retailer, and serves to remind them when stock is getting low – time for a reorder!
2. Signage is important. Brand your line with signature logos and colors, and important information about your work. Your signs and hangtags can share that it’s recycled, Made in America, ovenproof, non-allergenic or made with love by you. What retailers may not like is for you to share your website and phone number on your signage. Respect that and offer what they need to be the go-to place to buy your line.
3. Give them selling tips. We love Bruce Baker’s great idea of including a sheet with each order that gives their staff tips on how best to sell your work – and putting that sheet in a plastic bag with Tootsie Rolls or other candy, so it will be noticed and opened!
4. While you’re packing that order, include a catalog or line sheet. When your prices are not listed with photos of your products, it makes it easier for the retailer to show customers more of your line and take special orders, without revealing their costs.
5. Provide great images. Here’s what galleries want – terrific professional photos of your artwork not only for display purposes, but to use in their own advertising. You wouldn’t mind if they featured your work in an ad, would you? Make it easy for them.
6. Make an appearance. A trunk show or artist appearance creates a buzz, and gives you more opportunity for sales. It also brings in customers, who will make other purchases from the gallery too. Meet the public, bring work that the store doesn’t usually stock, get reaction to new designs and build your customer list.
7. Link to your retail accounts on your website. Regular wholesale orders are the bread and butter for a production studio. Show your appreciation by listing your retailers on your website, with a link to theirs – preferably landing on the page where your artwork is shown on their site!
8. Connect through social media. Like your galleries’ Facebook page and ask them to Like yours. Connect on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or on other sites too. Work together to cross-promote each other. Your posts can also let retailers know what’s new with your line, cool ways to display your work and what’s coming up. The more you stay connected, the better you can build those important business relationships.
9. Send an email newsletter. Take time to put together a really professional newsletter, including your schedule, new product releases, and selling tips. Send it out every few months, to stay in touch and act as a reminder to keep your display well-stocked.
10. Meet the press. Send a press release to their local paper. Do an interview and mention their gallery as the place to buy your work. Or, participate in a co-op ad with the gallery. Become strategic partners with your galleries to spread the word about both your business and theirs, and share your success.