It was a beautiful Spring morning in Downtown New Bedford. A few of the Gallery members were already in the showroom when I arrived. Kim Barry of Clay Trout Pottery and a Gallery 65 member was assembling ceramic pieces for a public installation….a large collection of pieces about fishing and the waterfront that were made by local students in a program that Kim taught last summer. Here are a couple of them… aren’t they wonderful?
We had about half of the artists present at this meeting. As the weather improves and the artists are dividing their time among other gallery responsibilities and teaching opportunities, we are faced with the challenge of participating at meetings (and for me, to make the sales and marketing aspect of the meetings worth attending!). Like so many organizations, you just have to go with those who are there and involved, and just can’t get caught up in who isn’t there.
We drilled down a bit on the dates and activities for the monthly events and the need for preparation, especially the weeks of June 23 and June 30, when the Charles W Morgan whaling ship is in town and Summerfest is also scheduled. The (sort of) consensus is that daily artist demonstrations would be good events to have during that high traffic time.
The rest of our meeting was dedicated to sales role plays! The close ratio for this Gallery is about 25%, which is pretty good! In addition to increasing traffic, a good way for them to increase revenue is to close more of the traffic that comes into the Gallery.
We created some standard things to say when someone enters the Gallery:
- Welcome, come in – we’re delighted to see you! – Thank you for coming!
- Are you visiting from out of town or do you live locally?
- What brought you downtown today?
And some ‘opening’ questions to get the conversation started:
- Are you looking for something special for yourself or someone you love?
- What in particular brought you to us today?
They will work with these this month and see if we can increase close ratio. With the idea of maximizing traffic opportunities, we want to use the ‘hint cards’ to capture information for from customers of things they like but aren’t buying now for future business and follow up. They are good tools and currently underused.
Further sales growth builder is to look to become a corporate art resource for local professionals, both for office art and for corporate gifts. I am a member of the New Bedford Chamber of Commerce and will share the directory with them to create a corporate message to communicate via email (regular emails). In that communication, they will feature items from each of the artists with images of art to be used on walls and art to be used for client gifts.
We are still struggling with the artists all using Social Media to drive attention to the site and traffic to the showroom. With that, we elected to have part of our June meeting set aside as a Facebook tutorial for those who are still not online and up to speed.
Thanks for reading! I welcome your feedback.
Cheers and love,