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How to Sell Without Being too Salesy

Wondering how to sell without being too salesy? Read on for some sales tips for artists.

In this blog post I’m going to talk about the balance between selling artwork in a natural way that aligns with you and your style, and attracts the right customer, versus feeling pushy and salesy and just – well – icky. None of us want to be like that.

It’s a really big fear that a lot of artists have, that we’re going to come across as pushy if we start to sell our work, but you don’t have to feel like that! It is possible to sell without being too salesy.

Now, I’ve seen every sales tactic out there, over the years. I’ve been in business a long time (this is my third very successful business). I’ve seen a lot of great selling techniques and a lot of really bad ones. Nobody wants to be that dodgy car salesman where you push people and persuade them and cajole them, and even insult them. I’ve seen some people do that as well, saying things like “oh, well, you know, if you can’t afford it, then so be it” or “you don’t recognise good art when you see it as an investment”. We’re not here to insult people – that is just downright wrong. It’s not what I’m interested in teaching. It’s not something that I recommend for my students, either.

Photo (c) Martin de Arriba via Unsplash

So how do we sell without being too salesy?

How do we connect with our customers in a way that feels authentic and aligned?

It all starts with your why as an artist. Do some really deep work and dig right down into your why. What makes you unique as an artist, what drives you? What are you passionate about, and what makes your work stand out, compared to the next artist?

When you get very clear on that, you will then start to communicate that clearly. You will align with the right customers. They will also gravitate towards you because they have similar passions, enthusiasms and enjoyment, and they can appreciate the sentiment behind the artwork as you describe it. The beauty is when you speak directly to a customer and to their wants, their needs, their desires, their pain points, it’s a much stronger emotional connection, and there is a much bigger drive for them to purchase.

So it’s not about pushing the sale onto anybody or making them feel bad for not buying. It’s definitely not what we want to be doing. What we want to get clear is what is it about your art that makes it unique? And how this is the other thing? How is it going to benefit their lives, the buyers life? How is it going to transform their space? What is it going to bring them that they didn’t have before?

When we work together with the students in Passion into Profit, I help them get really clear on that messaging and very clear on their why. I’ll help you bridge the gap between where the buyer is looking for something and where the artist is creating really strong, powerful work. That message that bridges the gap helps connect the two people together.

It’s not about being pushy and too salesy – it’s about aligning, being very clear about what you make, who it’s for and how it can help them. That is the difference between aligned, natural, comfortable sales that happen regularly and it feels great for both parties and a very pushy car salesman tactic where you are effectively strong arming somebody into buying your painting now.

There’s a definite winner between those techniques and I hope you agree – it is the one that feels aligned.

So hopefully that helps you and if you’d like more information like this, then I have a free masterclass to help you create a sustainable art business in 4 easy steps. You can also follow me on Instagram for more tips and advice on creating a living doing what you love.


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