5 Rules I Follow for Selling my Work
Updated: Nov 25, 2020
5 Rules I Follow When Selling my Work
1A. Do not take people saying they can’t afford you as a time to degrade your worth, ask them what their budget is instead..
Now this comes with a caveat. Our work takes time, and is a skill. If someone can’t afford it, that doesn’t mean your charging too much, it means that they can’t afford it or it isn’t a priority for them to afford it which is fair. People have kids and such etc. Don't take it personally!
Now I am not saying to never give someone a deal or what have you. I have charged less for things but it always DEPENDS on the piece and what someone is asking me to do. If what they are asking is very convoluted my price is generally pretty firm.
Which leads me to my next tip:
1B. Ask People their Budget. (It’s easier than asking them what size they want (because most people aren’t sure).
I find the best way to negotiate with people is to ask them for their budget. I don’t want someone feeling like I’m taking advantage of them, and they can get something in their price range that can make them happy.
2. Find Your Sweet Spot for How Much You Charge
I began by charging for my time and material which worked out fine but time is relative and I was really bad at guessing how long something would take me. I decided to start charging by square inch.
The amount I charge per square inch is the variable that changes instead of time, as well as the square inches. For example someone who wants a sign that simply has their last name on it will be charged less per square inch than someone who wants an elaborate code of arms. Make sense? This works for me, but there are obviously other ways.
3. Don’t Be Shy about Your Prices. Say it and Leave it.
This kind of goes back to the “Know your Worth” point. I find talking about money terribly uncomfortable and something I really struggled with. At the end of the day though that person
contacted you because they liked what they saw, and they can’t create it themselves.
Ask them the details of their piece, quote it and leave it at that. No “if that’s to much” or anything that negates your worth. If they say No, let them go! Or offer them options for their price range (as I said above).
A Quote with Options:
What I like to do when quoting a potential customer is say “This is the quote based on the details you have given me, if this is out of your price range or below it we can adapt the size of the piece to fit what you are looking for”. That way you don’t lose the sale completely and work with the customer.
4. Don’t Argue your Worth-It Won’t Feel Good and Business isn’t Personal
I added this point because though it doesn’t happen very often you will get people that will say you are charging too much, or get unexpected comments on your pricing. That is fine. People are entitled to their opinion. Let it go! Frozen had it right! This has happened to me twice in my life and simplicity works best “I totally understand, thank-you for taking the time to get a quote, I’m here in the future if you ever want another one”. I could go into a huge list of why I charge this much, how it takes me this long to sand, and burn and treat, but it probably won’t change the outcome and you will probably just end up feeling bad about yourself.
5. Yes it’s Awkward, but Always Ask for a Down-payment.
Finally, If a person is a return customer this tip isn’t as important and I usually don’t insist on one. However, if the person is a complete stranger to me, I require 50% down.
If someone isn’t willing to pay that, or at least some portion they are probably going to skip on the bill anyway and you saved yourself some time. Most people expect to pay a down-payment or should at least. I can’t think of anything really that you don’t pay for before you own it (groceries, clothes etc).
BONUS Rule (Rule 6 lol)
People are people. Take the time to hear why their piece is important and what it means to them. Is it for a loved one? Part of the experience of buying local is being a part of someone’s story, being a part of something usually very sentimental. Care about your customers and they will become your people too. It’s beautiful. Relish in it!
I hope these points helped you, leave a comment or feel free to message me to tell me your experience!
Till next blog!