The manager of a gift shop told me she wasn't interested in carrying my work, and all I could think of to say was, ''Thanks anyway.'' What's the right way to handle this kind of rejection?
What happened to you is not unusual. We hear ''I don't want to carry your jewelry,'' feel the sting of rejection and then clam up. In the future, use those rejections as a chance to learn more about your target market. The more general the question, the more likely you'll get valuable information. For example, asking ''Why don't you want to carry my work'' will reveal why they don't think it's a good fit. It may be that they're already carrying similar work. On the other hand, they may be going out of business and not taking on any new artists! You'll never know unless you ask. With each person who rejects your work, also ask them if there's a gallery or store where they think it would be a better fit. Most owners or managers will have an idea of where your pieces would sell well.
- Dr. David Weiman
Dr. David Weiman is a respected expert in the field of marketing and selling handcrafted jewelry and a well-read contributor to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads "Ask the Experts". He is the author of Introduction to Marketing and Selling Jewelry, The Jewelry Selling Answer Book and The 5 Keys to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry. A free newsletter on selling handmade jewelry is available at his website: www.marketingjewelry.com