Buyers You Don’t Want and How to Keep Them Away

by Helen Aldous


Remember how I always say daily emails give you tons of benefits?

I have a beautiful and exciting example of that, but I can’t tell you yet – there’s a Skype call on Monday that needs to happen first. Can ya feel the suspense

Anyway, among the benefits of daily emails is that is a perfect example of the LEAP principle.

You know – Listen, Explain, Ask, Profit?

While you are there turning out updates, there’s an audience reading you, assimilating your ideas, making their decisions, growing fond of you.

You Explain your this and your that, your process and inspiration and drive, and suddenly:

Bam, an email lands in your inbox, giving you nice grist for your writing mill, with which you can help your readers even more.

In other words: if you just keep explaining, all you need to do is Listen to the feedback and questions you get, and then you get to Explain even more.

Like this one, which I received the other day:


I have seen a lot of conflicting ideas on the following subject and I thought it would be a valid point for you to write about.


It specifically applies to selling an art object on commission.

Owen Garret has the money back guarantee, as do other artists.

I also see Maria Brophy being super firm about always requiring a non-refundable deposit for commissions.

I struggle with this because I have almost always gotten screwed when I did not require a deposit, but it seems like more customers would buy with a guarantee.


Thank You!


Oh yes I have thoughts, of course.

Allow me to ‘Splain.

First, it’s your shop and you set the rules.

No competitor, friend, relative or client dictates how you run your business – you do.

Now, a guarantee does make for an easier sale, yes.

But it also sets you up for risk: it can trigger a purchase in people who just want to try something out, and those people should not buy from artists.

An impulse buy is not a good thing when it comes to something as valuable as art.

Owen can afford to run that risk, what with the size of his business. (does he even do commissions? I didn’t know).

Apparently he turns over more than a million a year – that’s big enough to return money to people who didn’t take his art seriously.

But when it comes to a one-person company, and especially when hours and materials are laid out for a commission project, I would never take a job without downpayment.

For my tailoring it has always been 50% down, 50% upon delivery. If I’m going to cut up $800 worth of fabrics, and spend two weeks creating a baste fitting? Of course.

In my copywriting days it was 100% in advance, or no dice.


Thing is, there are many moving parts in the life of a buyer.

For any reason whatsoever, they might decide not to follow through.

Very often, there’s not even any malice involved.

If they decide to buy a $2500 painting but their car breaks down or the tax office hits them harder than expected, they have no choice but to postpone the purpose.

Should you carry the risk of circumstances and eventualities way beyond your control?

Of course not.

Here’s the trick: when you can take this stance, it shows confidence and confidence is sexy.

It’s attractive, it elicits a similar brain state in the receiver (they too will feel confident in that you’re good for the job).

It also filters out the flotsam: people who don’t take your work seriously won’t buy, and that makes your life easier.


That’s exactly the reason I don’t have a refund policy for the LEAP newsletter: I can’t help people who are iffy about investing in their business, who want to ‘give it a try, no risk anyway’.

Only people who are dedicated, committed, driven, and hip to the fact that investing in growth is worthwhile: those are the people who benefit from the kind of dense teaching in LEAP.

Final tip: One thing to never do is to relent from ‘deposit only’ into ‘ok, pay me afterwards’.

That way you show neediness, and neediness repulses.

And, it sets you up for risk, as our asker has experienced for herself.

Anyway, if you are an artist-entrepreneur who wants to invest, and is willing to learn, then click the link to join the LEAP program.

Remember you’ll get the audio file for the March issue (How to use email marketing like a boss) for free.

But only if you sign up before midnight tonight.

How, where?

Here –>





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