Dealing with ‘art sale’ rejection

You’ve heard the same excuses over and over, and probably in many different forms: when a potential buyer decides against buying your art.

The objections go something like this: “Your work is too dear,” “I don’t have wall space in my house” or “I need to talk it over with my wife, she is the boss.”

Inevitably, there are other reasons, you will not hear. So be subtle and listen to prospective customers. Put yourself in their shoes. What are their true needs, and how can you accommodate them?

For example, one of my artist client wanted to sell large paintings on backlit panels. She thought they were perfect for a restaurant or nightclub. While she’d had several meetings, but she was getting nowhere.

So I asked whether she had addressed objections to the sale in her presentation, with answers to such questions: how much will it be to ship, monthly electrical costs for the artwork, what if it breaks down and who will repair it? Any warranty on the light fittings.

She looked blank. She’d never considered these questions, nor the answers. She just wanted to sell her art. But without addressing these objections no sale would be made.

Potential clients may love your art, but what do they really care about? Themselves and their needs. Place yourself in their shoes and assess any objections to the purchase of your art. Then, you can use several strategies to overcome them:

Handling questions and potential objections before they ever happen can be an effective way to build comfort and trust in the sales process. When your customer’s concerns evaporate upfront, you’ve removed barriers and can move on to further negotiations.

Here are some good examples of overcoming objections upfront:

  • Feature & Benefits-Talk about their concerns and the features & benefits of the artwork. Be honest and share information upfront to alleviate those fears and head off their concern about ending up with buyer’s remorse.
  •  FAQ on your website- to answer all  the common questions, e.g. Material used in your art etc.
  • Return  & Exhange policy available-If the buyer wants to give your work as a gift, but isn’t sure that it’s perfect for the recipient, let them know the art can be exchanged or returned. Easing fears goes a long way. Although you are opening the door to a refund that won’t happen often, and you should realize enough sales to make this a powerful reason to buy.
  • Special Instructions- Offer clear instructions for installation or additional services. Artist John Slatter sells organic art lighting wall pieces that need to be hung well and safe. He provides detailed instructions and a template for his clients to follow.
  • Meet  all objections during the sales process- Pay attention and listen to their concerns. Then, acknowledge them. Here’s where you might use “active listening” to reiterate their statement, so they know you understand.
  • Don’t be defensive- We know it is hard to do but please  don’t take it personal  if you don’t like what you hear from the customer. Although you should be able to explain your prices, and be consultative.
  • An agreement– As you discuss the objections and have a conversation, make sure the customer is on board. If you feel you want to make an offer to sweeten the deal (free shipping or installation) know ahead of time what you can offer that makes it easier to pave the way for a sale.
  • Familiaise with your sales cycle- Go the extra steps by visiting & presenting your art at the client’s home if neccessaryto close the sale. Even to find out who are the decision makers involving with the purchase.

About The Author

I am a Business LifeStyle coach who specialises in working with artists, designers, crafters and all creative professionals. Myself and my partner Stuart Horrex are here to help you to achieve your Life & business goal and dreams. We have had over 20 years experience in finance, retail,furniture,food,wine fashion,crafts and hospitality.