I don't like being "sold to." For me, that is the best way to kill a sale. When I see headlines screaming "Top-Notch Painter Offers Sure-Fire Way to Create Stunning Paintings," my wetware spam filter kicks in. I won't read the following text unless I have some idle time and am looking for a laugh. (Yes, some of these pitches are that blatant.) I don't care if you're selling paintings, instructional DVDs, art magazines or oven cleaner. It's all the same.
Why don't I like being "sold to"? Because more often than not, the promise is greater than reality. When you look beyond the packaging, product A is not much different than product B. It's the packaging that's being sold and not the product. There is an inherent dishonesty implied in screaming headlines.
Sure, there are some products out there that are better than others, and these I do want to know about. Perhaps I'm doing myself a disservice by not looking more carefully at all products. It might just be the case that Top-Notch Oven Cleaner is actually far superior to any other.
But I don't have time to read all the advertisements. If it screams, I just tune it out. Experience has become instinct, and usually instinct is right.
As you know, I am a working artist and depend on selling stuff. Paintings, workshops, books, DVDs - I'm no different than any other working artist. But I don't want to be one of the screamers. I want to sell, but I want to sell honestly. I want to do it quietly and turn down the volume.
How do you sell quietly? Paint. Work the network. Let people know you're out there. Participate and engage. Place a small ad now and then. Have faith.
Hey, it works for me. I've been making a living this way for 15 years, and I haven't started screaming yet.