It is said that nobody can buy from you if they don’t know you exist. I like this phrase because you don’t need a degree in English to understand it. It’s not ‘psychobabble’. It’s a sentence that even in these divisive times, literally nobody can argue with.
I make things. I want to sell the things I make. So why do I find it SO hard to sell? You know what I’m talking about: having to put yourself out there. Having to present yourself to the world, whether online or otherwise, and say ‘this is what I do.’ Leaving yourself open to criticism.
The Master at Work
But it’s so…excruciating! Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not good at sales. In fact, I’m bloody terrible. Here’s an example: at a show a few years ago, a man was studying a piece on my stall with real interest. He walked away only to return 10 minutes later. He studied it again. And walked away. The third time he came back, he pointed at it and said ‘I’ll take that, please.’ And I said:
‘Are you sure’?
Let that sink in. I uttered those words ‘are you sure?’ I mean, what the actual fuck?
‘Are you sure?’
Honest to God, I bet there isn’t anyone else you know in the world, that would have said such a thing. It doesn’t stop there, though. You haven’t heard the apologetic tone in my voice when someone asks me the price of something. “It’s £95”, I say, in the same tone your doctor tells you ‘it’s your age, I’m afraid.’
Why? Why aren’t I saying ‘it’s £95 and that’s the best £95 you’ll ever spend. All your friends will bow down to your superior taste in art and you will be forever known as a guru in interior design.’?
The Master Online
This doesn’t just apply in person of course. I put out social media posts showing a piece I have made. I might make a joke or two about how it’s come into being or the stress I encountered on making it. However, on coming to the part in the post which most people want to know …I can’t do it! IT’S LIKE MY POST IS WRITTEN IN CAPITALS UNTIL it gets to the bit where I tell people it’s £95.
It goes against every single cell in my body to say that I’ve made something beautiful and that I’m proud of it. Yet this is what marketing is: it’s telling everyone how great you are. It doesn’t bother me when other sellers do this because I want to know how great their product or service is, and yet, there is nothing I struggle with more in business.
There is also the issue of networking, or telling people what I do. I say ‘I’m BecciandIownandrunBlackCatGlassDesigns’ so quickly and so quietly that I hope they’ll just fear their hearing is going and are too embarrassed to ask me to repeat myself.
Me and the God Complex
So why is this? I honestly do not know. I am not ashamed of what I do; it’s not as if I pull the wings off ladybirds for a living. It’s obviously a confidence thing but I also think it’s part of my character that’s completely resistant to change. I find that if I dare to think I may be good at what I do, some lightning-bolt of shite will immediately deposit itself on my doorstep, clearly meant to send the message ‘THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE A GOD COMPLEX’
Maybe I’m just in the wrong job. Perhaps I should have been a librarian or an usher, scooting about in the dark – which is all well and good until I have sell ice-creams, even to those who actually want an ice-cream.
Anyway, on that note, I’ve made this. It’s £150 and it’ll be the best £150 you’ll ever spent. All your friends will bow down to your superior taste in art and you will forever be known as the guru in interior design…