When you break the silence after asking for the order before you get a reply, you give a waffling buyer a pivot point to ask more questions or to slide off the sale. Although you are not in a contest, it can feel like one when you lose sales because you spoke first.

Artists can discover lots of advice about marketing on this and other art business blogs. Regarding finding ideas for direct methods to help sell art, not so much. Read on for an easy-to-learn, potent art sales technique. And remember, there are even more ways to learn how to sell art.

Attention-Interest-Desire & Action Lead to Sales.

Whereas marketing is the activity that leads to art sales, selling begins when you pose closing questions to a potential buyer. By design, marketing draws attention, grabs interest, and creates a desire in a potential buyer. Selling moves the process from interest and desire to the final act of buying.

Artists with better sales skills enjoy greater success!

As an artist, you face selling situations all the time. You encounter sales opportunities with collectors, art gallery owners, publishers, dealers, wholesalers, licensors, reps, and others whose decision to engage you can boost your career.

No matter what the circumstances, there is always a point when the buyer must make a decision. If you improve your sales skills even moderately, you will move more inventory and have better overall results. Here is a valuable tip you need to know and practice.

The art of knowing when to be silent is golden.

I think this adage, “Whoever speaks first after you ask for the order loses.” is too harsh. This is because I do not like to think of my customers as losers. Yet, despite my personal feelings about the language, the point is accurate and well-taken. It is an adage because the value of the concept is borne out time and again.

Here is a simple truth. Silence works.

If you only learn one thing about selling, learn to calmly give the price, ask for the order, and then zip your lips. Doing this will close more sales in your career. After the price is given and a closing question is asked, “The total is $2,900. Do you want to ship it, or would you like to take it with you?” Then, shut up. BE STILL. DON’T FIDGET. Above all, do not say another word, no matter how long or uncomfortable the silence feels.

SHH! Learn to quiet yourself and show no signs of anxiety.

Once the price/offer is made, there is nothing more you can say at this point that can help you. Anything you prematurely say to break the silence will turn the momentum. Your act of noise can be used by a waffling buyer as a pivot point to ask more questions or to slide off the sale. Let them make the next move. Although you are not in a contest, it can feel like one when you lose sales because you spoke first.

Learn to close with confidence and then be quiet. Your results will do the talking for you.


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  • Steagall-Condé says:

    Point of view on the process of selling art very interesting.

    Although I have "lost sales" much more related to a probable feeling of regret (which arose in the buyer because we needed a week to arrange an international shipment with the artwork on canvas protected inside a rigid tube and the Collector had time to rethink your purchase action), I have noted with subtlety that silence really is pure gold in these processes.

    I have been reached by Collectors of the U.S.A. mainly and I still haven't deciphered if it would be because of my current policy of affordable prices in the eyes of buyers or if it could be "simply" my graphic language (@steagallconde) and/or chromatic palette that I investigate on canvas.

    Eithout a doubt this article of yours is another important contribution to the art market , of course, especially for the Artists' side.

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