You can learn to sell art more effectively. Most people, including artists,are not natural sales stars. Fortunately, selling art is a skill you can master.
How To Sell Art Is a Challenge for Most Visual Artists!
This post on how to sell art more effectively is revised from one I wrote nearly three years ago. It is titled, The Art of the Big Offer.
Most people, let alone artists, are not naturals who know the best way to sell art. Fortunately, just as you can improve your creating your art, you can improve your ability to sell art.
Because I believe, given how things are these days, the message is more urgent than ever, I’m publishing a revised edition now.
Here Is a Powerful Truth
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. – Mahatma Gandhi
A Day Job That Helps You Learn Better Ways to Sell Art Is Great!
The pay is decent, and incentives are excellent with benefits as generous as you’ll find these days. Short of blogging for a living, I don’t mind strapping it on and going to work. My job is challenging. It puts me on a fast learning curve absorbing all manner of things that are both intriguing to me now and destined to be useful to me later.
Benefits Aside, Day Jobs Do Hamper Ambitious Plans
My only irritation is the time I put into the job because I have many other goals. On the other hand, the balancing act helps keep me focused on what is extremely important versus what is appealing. I find myself constantly challenged to stay the course. It can be challenging not to be distracted by interests and opportunities that will keep me from reaching goals. For example, my new How to Price Digial Art Prints e-book, was delayed well beyond my initial plans for it and other projects designed to help you sell art.
However, the key purpose today is to pass along ideas on how to sell art that are unknown, easy to put off and difficult to accomplish for many of us. I am a seasoned sales and marketing pro. Still, I found relearning this lesson helped my sales and confidence grow in my day job in ways that surprised me.
To Sell More Art, Learn These Valuable Lessons:
- OFFER BIG
- Never sell thinking about what is in your wallet
As an artist, you are also an independent business person. Your business success depends on your ability to make art the public wants to buy. It also depends on how you manage your business. A constant factor in your business is negotiation. When you sell art, the better you negotiate, the more money you get to keep. Arguably, handling sales is the most important negotiation you routinely perform.
Consistently Asking for the Big Sale Works!
I’m lucky. I’ve made it a daily exercise to remind myself to offer the biggest possible package to my customers. You will need to find ways to remind yourself. It is my job to make offers to my customers and to make them big. It is their responsibility to determine if the proposal is strong and worth considering.
If they say no, I say okay and move on. I admit it took a some effort to learn to offer a premium package in every situation. I had to work at getting myself out of the way. Sometimes it just didn’t feel right. But, when I overcame my reluctance to ask and set aside my personal feelings and what I thought was understanding, I began to get people who often responded favorably to being offered big. Guess what? My sales have been consistently higher.
Never Get In Your Own Way – Don’t Be a Problem to Yourself
I have no qualms about offering big because my company will provide a 100% of unused product refund without question. So a buyer is never stuck with something they don’t need. How does that translate to your business? Easy. You need to think about packages you could offer someone. If you are in a retail situation, such as at a show or in your studio, you already know you have an interested buyer. Instead of getting excited about selling one piece of art, why not suggest a suite of images?
Artists Can Make the Art of the Big Offer Work for Them
Let me tell you about my most popular offer! Many of my other collectors love it! Take two 30″ x 40″ and two 16″ x 20″ giclees and I’ll make you a sweet suite deal. Alternatively, would you prefer to have one large and three smaller images in a package?
Help Your Collector Visualize What They Are Getting. Big Offers Get Big Results
Paint a picture for them here. Mentally put the pieces in their home or office “Together, these images in a grouping will complement each other, and will look spectacular in your home or office. The work is something you are bound to enjoy for years” The point is to let them to think about how hanging a suite of your images will enrich their home and bring them happiness.
Work on Your Big Offer Until It Comes Naturally to You!
If you figure out your offer and practice it until you can make the offer with conviction and confidence, I assure you that you will see a dramatic change in your results if you offer big consistently.
You may be struggling to make the rent, or just working hard to make your second career art business profitable. Either way, it’s no sin to be modest and cautious with your own money. That said, you have to leave your own sense of economic well being and not project what is happening in your life onto your collectors. You can’t accurately presume to know the resources or interest of another.
Never Pre-judge What You Think Someone Can Afford to Spend
It is not your job to determine how much they of your art they can afford. To sell art, it is your duty as a smart business person to ask for the order and offer big. If you have a problem with offering big because your are shy, uncomfortable or what have you, here is a bit of tough love:
If you want to sell art to the best of your ability, GET OVER IT! Your attitude is costing you money.
You have to realize you are dealing with intelligent adults who are quite capable of telling you no thank you. However, if you never present the offer, you are guaranteed to not sell art in big orders every time. Most people are not that original in thinking big for themselves. They usually require you to tell them what they want and will respond to creative offers, even big ones.
HINT: After you make the offer, SHUT UP. I don’t care how much time passes. Just smile, be relaxed, casual and wait. If you start talking before they respond, you have effectively taken them off the offer. If they change the subject, you should answer the question, and ask if they liked the offer. Get back on track.
So as the immortal Shakespeare adroitly put it, “Screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we’ll not fail.” In these times especially, you have to leverage all you have to sell art in the quantities you desire. Employ these basic concepts in your daily business and watch your sales and confidence grow.
Here Is My Big Offer to Help You Sell Art
Buy the second edition of How to Profit from the Art Print Market and I will give you a free copy of my How to Price Digital Fine Art Prints e-book. Click here to learn more.