My mom just called. She opens with:
“I’ve been out all day trying to get donations for the Utah Chamber Artists auction.”
“Oh yeah, how’s that going?”
“I feel like Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.”
“Never seen it.”
“Oh. He kills himself.”
Poor Mom. I am not a salesperson either. I've never really mastered the technique of asking for money. I don't even like reminding people that they owe me money.
Sometimes I think I could be good at sales, but then I try and feel so out of my element that I don’t feel like myself anymore. If I have a connection with someone or some business, it’s easy. For example, I work for Sur la Table and I felt comfortable asking them to donate two spots at a cooking class for the Utah Chamber Artists auction (I'm UCA's informal slave). The culinary coordinator was happy to do it, no big deal. Plus, it's a donation, not exactly a check. But cold calls -- that’s another story.
Lately, since the Gallery Stroll has decided to launch its big ad campaign in the City Weekly every month, I’ve had to become more of a salesperson. It costs us $4000 to publish that centerfold each time. The hardest part is being a brand new organization and gaining support. Especially finding a presenting sponsor, because we charge $2500 for that (does anyone or their company want to present Gallery Stroll in September?). There have been more than a few times when I've gotten off the phone with a business and just dropped my head on my desk. Rejection and failure isn't fun. I should get used to it. I can't believe some people do this for a living. If any of you sales people out there have pointers for me, please share.
Anyway, I’m really proud of our Gallery Stroll pullout in the City Weekly. I have the pleasure of designing it myself. Make sure you pick one up this week and come to the Rio Gallery Friday night if you can. We have a really interesting show. This is a collaborative watercolor class project that some students at BYU did. They didn’t want to just paint pretty landscapes so they came up with something DRASTICALLY different. Come and see for yourself.