Thou Shalt Not Give Discounts After the Sale Is Done!

She walks into my house: “Do me a favour, can you print my boarding pass?”

While the printer rattles, she burbles:

“My zebra paintings were sold at the exhibition!”

Reason for joy, to be sure.

Next, she says: “I’m going to give them a discount”.

I round on her in my typical, not at all *cough* bossy manner, and say:

“You will most certainly do no such thing!”

“But why? I’m simply grateful”.

Now, gratitude is a good thing.

Showing it, even better.

But if you go and give people a discount after they agreed to pay a certain price you’re making a huge mistake, on many levels.

First, because you’re effectively telling yourself that the price you asked was too high.

The message to self would be “It isn’t worth as much as I asked”, and you don’t need to tell yourself that.

In fact, I’d say the message you want to give yourself is “This is worth more than what I’m getting paid”.

Secondly, it’s a total disservice to your buyer.

It gives them too the message that hey, actually? You paid too much, sucker.

And every time they see the painting again, they’ll be reminded that they made a mistake, spent too much on something that was worth less.

That’s no favour.

My friend is grateful, and that’s good.

If she wants to express that, there are different ways to show it.

Invite the buyer for drinks, why not?

Or you can include a print for free or a small painting, when you ship the big one you sold. Or send them a book that you feel will be meaningful to them, who knows?

But you don’t go and discount once the deal is done, you just don’t.

Serve your people, don’t make them feel like they overpaid.

If you want to be nice and do them a favour, give them something extra instead, as in: overdeliver.

I know why my friend came up with the idea.

It’s because she rarely shows up, exhibits, or talks about her art with people.

She’s shy to sell – which is odd because in all her previous businesses she did quite well.

But as an artist…? Tricky.

So when someone does buy, it’s like a thunderbolt surprise.

Fortunately, there’s a remedy, and that’s a good ‘n solid email practice.

It helps you sell, it shows who you are and why your art is worth it, and it makes people eager to buy from you.

Of course it’ll only work if you have a list and you’re working to grow it.

But if you do, and you keep writing about your work and everything that goes into making it?

Then you’re using the single most effective marketing strategy there is, and all it will take is 30 to 60 minutes a day.

Go here if you want to learn how, in a 3 month 1-on-1 training program –>



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