Running a business is rarely easy, but oftentimes the owners and entrepreneurs who succeed are those who remain alert to opportunities. I recently saw this in action and was impressed.
I traveled to Estonia this year with an art group to meet artists and visit galleries. One of the artists we met is well known in that area of the world and had played a large role in organizing the trip on the European end. He seemed personable, but I didn’t have a chance or reason to say more than a couple of words to him. We went to his gallery and saw his innovative work.
I collect masks, so when I travel I look for a mask to bring home. I mentioned that to a couple of people on the tour as I was looking at this artist’s work, but not to the artist directly.
A week after I returned to the States, I got an email from a gallery owner back East telling me about a mask he had for sale by this particular artist. The artist (and clearly businessman) had let the gallery owner know that I like masks and encouraged him to get in touch with me.
I was pleasantly surprised and even more than that, I admired the artist for keeping his ears open and pursuing a lead. Others might call him pushy, but I give him credit. Really, the worst that could happen was that I would say no, which I did. It wasn’t my taste. Still, the potential upside for him made the effort worthwhile.
We are all in sales. And every salesperson learns that in order to sell one item, you have to put yourself in a position to get turned down many times. But the more you ask, the greater the potential for increased revenue.