The “Appreciation Connection” A Collector Won’t Forget!

by smARTist Speaker, Maria Brophy

There are many pieces to the puzzle when it comes to being successful in the business of art.  One of the most important pieces is connecting with your collectors. After all, without collectors, your artwork would be sitting in a back room, lonely, with no place to call home!

Before I share my number one technique on how to connect with your collectors, let’s talk about what it means to “connect.”

Connecting with anyone means that you have a mutual rapport, understanding, and appreciation for each other.

Think back to a time when someone truly appreciated you.  It might have been a teacher who saw your potential and made you feel special, or it was a friend who greatly admired you, and said so.  Or someone you only met briefly, but made you laugh and feel good in the moment.

Those were connections that you made with someone who made you feel good about being you, they accepted you as you were, and they brought out your inner beauty through their appreciation.

In those moments, you not only were treated special, but you FELT and BECAME special.

Now, how do we apply this appreciation to your art collectors?

When you are in their presence, make them the sole focus of your attention.  As you are speaking to them, look for positive aspects about them to love (their eye color, their choice of clothing, the way they speak, their kindness, etc).

And then FEEL as though you appreciate the positive aspects you’re noticing.  Find things to love and enjoy about your collector, and focus on it in your mind.  This will do two things:

1 – In feeling appreciation and acceptance for them, you will put out joyful vibes and they will feel it.

2 – They will automatically appreciate you in return, even though they don’t know why.

I have used this technique many times in our art studio and in business meetings, and it works.  I’m not saying you will always get the sale, but I promise you that 100% of the time, you will create a connection with the person you are appreciating.


An expert on art licensing and deal making, Maria Brophy has made it her quest to help artists cultivate confidence in business, and comfort when negotiating deals.

And she’s coming to smARTist Telesummit 2012 with her presentation on: Put deals together: A totally out of the box use of creativity!

For over twelve years Maria has represented her artist husband, Drew Brophy.  She has grown his business to over thirty, current, art licensing contracts, and sells dozens of his original paintings a year.  Together, they have created multiple streams of income from his art, including Internet sales, licensing, original painting sales, and sponsorships.

Maria spent five years representing other artists, however, she now offers consulting for artists with the intention of helping them to represent themselves in deal making and licensing.

Maria has also co-authored two books: How To Draw With Drew Brophy published by Walter Foster Publishing, and an e-book (strictly business), How to Understand Art Licensing Contracts.

14 Responses to “The “Appreciation Connection” A Collector Won’t Forget!”

  1. Sari Grove says:

    I got this lemon verbena soap from Punch Studios in California at Christmas, & because I’ve been following the teachings of Maria Brophy, it has created an association…A fresh yellow scent & colour that cleans & inspires, comes in gorgeous packaging & makes my life better in the details…Thanks Maria Brophy for bringing a little California wisdom to Canada!

  2. This is great advise. Thank you. In general I try to say something nice about the person to whom I’m speaking with and that must be why people find me approachable. That is just who I am. Now with your advise I will apply this to my clients with a potential sale in mind.

    • Ariane says:

      If you are naturally able to engage with people so they are comfortable, of course move that skill over to the sales side. As long as you are really listening to what they say, and their body language, I’m sure you’ll come out with more sales.

  3. Mark says:

    Thanks, great advice! Takes the focus off the art or yourself and the pressure of a pending sale. Treating others the way you want to be treated!

    • Ariane says:

      So true, Mark: pressure of a sale. Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we could all see that what we are “selling” is a gift to the person “buying.”

      And if we know, in our hearts, that the right person will end up with the right piece, when we don’t make a sale, we could let the whole selling process evolve onto the “real” owner down the road.

      • Johanna L. says:

        You know it’s the right person when their eyes light up while looking at a painting. I usually hold that painting in my studio until the next opportunity for them to see it. More times than not, they buy it the second time.

  4. Sari Grove says:

    Ariane, you are more like our fine olive oil, that enhances every dish, is full of nutrients, & is always a crowd pleaser… (I’m practicing my sales pitches)…(& a Happy New Year beautiful lady)…

    • Ariane says:

      Oh, how did you know I use olive oil for ongoing skin glow? (smelling like a salad has it’s plus points if your date is hungry!)

      You’d be a wonderful addition to the smARTist Community Forum this year. Are you coming?

  5. Ariane says:

    Oh, yes, Johanna,
    Attention to body language is essential. Good for you!

  6. Sari Grove says:

    I put olive oil on our bengal cats’ fur once in a while to lubricate their kidneys (they lick it off)…It makes their hair spikey…
    Yes, I can see your glow- a little olive oil is good on top of pizza too- which might entice the date more than salad (unless you’re dating the perfect guy who loves salads!)…
    I’ve always supported SmARTist over the years, in good thoughts & ‘knock ’em out of the ballpark’ karma…For myself I’ve been waiting for it to mature, so that when I attend, there is a higher level for those who have already paid their dues to their art careers & may need a more esoteric philosophical subtlety…(Also), I don’t like crowds (possibly a Canadian thing)…

    • Ariane says:

      Mature? Does that mean smARTist has to get through the teen years first? :-)

      I’m betting you’d find the Blue Stocking Art Salon up your ally (meow), if what you want is “esoteric philosophical subtlety.”

      I wouldn’t have thought to put it quite like that, but in essence, that’s what it is.

      Check it out:

  7. Sari Grove says:

    Love the Blue Stocking Art Salon…
    Am already cruising the net for long blue socks to wear while participating…
    I don’t know Ariane, I feel old…I am 45 now, & have been working as an artist full time since 1993, & that is after a bunch of schooling & studio years…I am tired to learn more about what I do…The past 10 years have been very hard, even for a cockeyed optimist like me…My prices are bouncing back up again, but I feel like I have been beaten up…
    I’d love to become an alcoholic, but I just don’t have the taste for it…But I yearn to do something degenerate, rather than popping some new marketing skill into my head? Probably a January thing…

    • Ariane says:

      Sounds like you need to reconsider tackling it all on your own. It’s easy to get burned out when you are working off of one brain instead of more than one. Trust me, I know where of I speak ;-)

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