Monday, October 7, 2013

Fail at Sales

This might be obvious to anyone who's met me in Artist Alley (or it might not), but I am a horrible sales person. I feel like Fluttershy:

Me: "Hi." =)
Person: "I'm just looking."
Me: "Oh that's okay, I really don't mind. You don't have to buy anything. In fact, you probably don't want to buy anything from here. I mean you could if you wanted to, but there's really no pressure. Nevermind. I'm just going to shut up now and hide behind my table. Bye."

Actually, I really don't mind people looking at my stuff, laughing at the humor, and not buying something. I really am just happy that they enjoyed what I created. There are still lots of awkward embarrassed moments (at least for me) where I feel like just by saying hi, I'm trying to obligate people to buy, when really I'm just trying to be friendly (cause I like talking to people, but I'm incredibly shy and socially awkward, and my table is my comfort zone, so really I just want to say hi and I'd really just love it if you smiled and said hi back.) I only want people to buy my stuff if they really really really like it, and they still have enough money for food and for gas to get home. This is probably why I will never ever "make a living" off my art, but I actually prefer it to be this way. Maybe I'll only ever be an "amateur" artist, but for me that means I don't have as much pressure on me, and I can keep drawing whatever I want to with little consideration of trends.

So, why am I talking about sales today? Because for the last 2 weeks we have been selling popcorn like mad for Boy Scouts (and Cub Scouts). I hated doing fund raisers when I was younger. I hate doing them now, and I feel very horrible that I'm not independently wealthy enough to just fork over the $ my kids are supposed to make selling popcorn (there are minimum sales requirements for each scout) and not subject them to this torture.

Instead, we've been setting up tables in front of local grocery stores (our pack made an arrangement with them to allow the scouts in our pack to sell popcorn during certain hours). We've been going door to door harassing all the poor people of our community. Really, the boys have handled it better than I probably have (except for Luke, but then he's like me and he hates stuff like this too for many of the same reasons). Also, if I step back and look at it, they are learning life skills--things that will help them as adults. They are learning how to interact with people politely even when the people they talk to are rude. They are learning that their demeanor makes a difference (when Luke's grumpy and growling at people, they don't buy popcorn). They are learning to set reasonable goals and how to work toward them. These are lessons I should probably have learned when I was younger too, but my mom was a lot like I am now--she hated fund raisers (do we see a theme here?). She never encouraged me to go out, and because none of my school or band fund raisers had minimums, I never really had to do it. We'd buy a little bit for our own family, and that'd be it.

I'm still happy to not be good at sales. I feel like this way, I can know that people who buy my art do so because they like it not because they felt any pressure to do so against their better judgment. At least, I hope that's how it is.

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