Most people think money is the #1 reason someone decides not to buy art from you. That is simply incorrect.
If I told you this blog post cost $20,000 to read, you would leave faster than a mouse being chased by a hungry cat - unless you were 110% convinced reading this post would make you $40,000 - then you would pay it immediately even if you had to borrow the money from your mean uncle.
Not having established trust is almost always the reason a person won't buy from you. It isn't that you are too expensive - its that you haven't convinced them of your value.
As an artist, this means something a little bit different than being a service or necessary product provider.
Build trust by convincing the buyer that your art holds significant value to their quality of life and/or as an investment.
Choose a select group of people you want to sell to, then speak their language. The more interactions you have with them the more they will relate and want to get to know you. Make your audience feel like a friend and they will be much more likely to buy.
Capture what people say about you, whether it is on social media, on a postcard or in person. Use these phrases on your website or emails. Nothing sells better than another person recommending you.
Find a prominent business or individual in your niche and offer to give them a sample of some of your best work. This will act as free advertising and add value to you and your art. If a trendsetter has your art, others will follow.
Every interaction you have with a potential customer should exude professionalism. Have an email signature. Know your prices. Be able to tell them what you do. Have a system for collecting their money. Follow up with a "thank you" note.
Having a system in place for all your interactions will make your business legit and build trust in you as an artist. It won't hurt your testimonials, either!
"If you've got 50 unsold paintings, I'd avoid putting them all on your website at one time. Post only your best, since viewers will judge the entire body of your work by your least successful piece." - Lori Woodward.
Having too many unsold pieces on display can give the appearance that you are not in high demand. If it seems that no one wants to buy, how will you ever make a sale? Intermix artwork marked SOLD with your available works to create a eagerness to purchase before their favorite is snapped up.