Selling your work

Selling your work

Follow these simple tips below to help you keep on selling and getting it right!


  • Have a sales plan.
  • Know how much you need to sell, and how often – understand the effects of increased and reduced monthly sales on your business.
  • Never stop selling yourself, your products and your services. Always carry business cards with you and continuously source opportunities to network and sell.
  • Always try to be passionate and enthusiastic about your product, service and business.

Prepare in advance for meeting clients. Research relevant information, e.g. their lead
times (length of time between date of order and delivery date), suppliers, quantities
ordered, merchandising techniques, and retail outlets.

Source the most appropriate places to sell your work. Be professional, have the right
selling contracts, research the market:

  • Know your costing and pricing strategy.
  • Research the cost of distribution and delivery to the specific client.
  • Be prepared to negotiate – work out your terms beforehand and know your bottom line, as this will help you to stay in control during discussions.

Get the market right

  • Make sure that your potential clients can afford your products and services and that your work is suitable for their market.
  • Network with as many contacts and designers as possible to find out the best places to exhibit and sell your work.
  • Source selling opportunities through trade magazines, current news and future events.
  • If selling at exhibitions, invest in the right image and good presentation.
  • When starting up in business, consider placing your products in a variety of suitable outlets so as to test what works best.

Be professional

  • When working to commission or as a consultant, always get a contract signed so as to record project details, agreed payment terms and dates, delivery details, lead times and price.
  • If you cannot meet a lead-time or contractual agreement, let the client know immediately.
  • Remember that half of the sales process is putting the personality with the product, so be interesting and friendly.
  • Do not cold-call with samples unless you are extremely confident and can take criticism positively.
  • If you look and act like a professional , the client will have confidence in you and your business.
  • Always consider the packaging of your work carefully. This is part of your branding and should not be compromised.
  • Always listen to what the client wants – don’t waste his/her time or yours.
  • When selling over the internet, ensure that the images are professional and the details correct; update images of your recent work regularly.
  • Protect your copyright and other intellectual property.


  • Be flexible - some good business with future contacts could be worth a slight reduction in
    your profit margin.

Invoicing and payment

  • Include payment terms and conditions in the contract.
  • Invoice promptly.
  • If dealing with new clients, try to get a pro-forma invoice.

A beginners guide to selling!

Offer discounted invoices if they will encourage prompt payment - money received means healthy cash flow and sometimes lower overdraft charges.

Customer follow-up:

  • Put all client details on the database.
  • Make sure that you have a selling agreement with the client.
  • Have an acknowledgement of order or delivery note system to confirm that the client has
    received the order in good condition.
  • When selling to a company, try to deal with the same person, and build up a relationship
    with the buyer.
  • If selling through trade fairs, invite specific clients and fix appointments for them to visit your stand so you can dedicate time to them and arrange for somebody to attend the stand during your meeting.
  • Always follow up with clients and see if they are satisfied with the service/product and want more.
  • Try presenting your work to other designers and friends.
  • Look at the websites of designers, artists and galleries and see how they operate their presentation techniques and prices.
  • Spend time visiting different retail outlets and observe the customers, sales staff and selling techniques – make notes.

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