It’s not about you. It’s barely even about your art.
She’s an artist who has been selling her work for years – over 30 years, in fact. She called me wondering about all the close calls she has at every show. She said, “They get really close to buying and then out-of-the-blue they say, ‘we’ll be back’ or ‘we need to think about it’ and I know I have lost the sale. It’s brutal. Be-backs rarely return. This happens way too often.”
She told me she is pretty good at explaining her art and “tells them everything they need to know”, so she is always surprised when the abruptly leave. She wondered if there was something more she needed to tell them. That’s when I said, “You can’t make yourself more important to them by talking about yourself”.
I could hear the bell go off in her head – even over the phone.
Your story is not as important as you might assume.
What you think or how you do what you do is not likely going to increase their trust. It’s even more rare for them to care why you do what you do. In some cases, it’s not even about how long you have been at your craft or even how many awards you have gathered up along the way. It’s almost never about the collection of stories you have been telling over and over again.
They want to know, “What’s in it for me?” and that’s all that should matter to you.
We get stuck (comfy) in our stories.
We are all really good at telling our own stories. We are comfortable doing that. Everyone is comfortable talking about themselves. Including those who are looking at your art and considering a purchase.
If you want them to think highly about you and about your artwork, then focus on their needs and let them talk about themselves. If you want to increase their sense of connection and trust, then make them the center of attention. Always.
It’s ALWAYS all about them and avoiding the Four Dirty Little Words!