From a flowers-as-business standpoint, florists seek to run profit-making floral departments and stores. The object of what we do is to generate revenue and build profitability. Being that this is our chief goal, how many times does the shop doorbell ring and the response is all too often Pavlovian? Employees either groan or scatter.
The cause of this is often the overwhelming sense of responsibility a salesperson/designer/delivery staff member (in many florist shops, this is the same person) feels. One more order to fill or single-stem flower sale to ring up causes us to want to throw it all away in a fit of anxiety. Take a breath. A customer is an opportunity.
Don’t Be Afraid To Sell
Don’t be afraid to sell. One of the reasons why we are not more assertive is quite primal. We fear sales because as humans we fear rejection. Deep down, we really don’t want customers to think poorly of us or our products. Though this is the case, where is the fun of a customer buying the first thing you suggested? There’s nothing wrong with someone saying no; keep upbeat.
A classic model in good salesmanship involves offering a customer three options or three price points. For instance, if get well floral designs start at $50 in your store, you might suggest to a customer calling for such flowers that a nice hospital design is available at $60, $80 or $125. Then ask them if they have a price in mind.
This is such a smooth technique. Do you see how it informs the buyer how much a good looking design costs, yet puts the ball in their court to let you know how much they want to spend? You will find, with a little trial and error that it really works.
Most often, customers will choose the middle price because they want something “nice,” but perhaps not the top of the line or the economy size. If the customer has sticker shock, you can tell them that your arrangements start at $40. Many times, this bit of information will cause them to step up to the better prices.
Fulfill Customer Desires
Fulfilling consumer desires and making people feel happy with what they have done is the outcome of such sales techniques. This is found in selling them floral designs that you, yourself know will be beautiful. When people purchase something of quality, even if it is at a lower price point, they should be congratulated in a professional way. This is especially true for those who are new to purchasing flowers, including young people. When we make a sale to these groups, we are growing their awareness of flowers, growing our clientele, and teaching them, in an indirect way, the correct thing in flowers. In this way, the customer perceives an additional layer of satisfaction.
When a young man picks up his corsage for the prom, tell him how beautiful the product is. As soon as the corsage is removed from the cooler and brought to the counter, point out something aesthetically pleasing about the product. Relate to him how vibrant the colors are or how the fresh the flowers are. Tell him his date is really going to like what he bought.
Taking a moment to empathize with our customers means stepping to the opposite side of the sales counter. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the person who cut and styled your hair spun you around in the chair to the mirror and told you how great the cut looked on you and that it made you look sexy? I’d pay more for that.
A great marketing phrase was seen in a wire service directory and read, “XYZ Florist, the correct thing in flowers.” It bespoke more than just an urge to buy from them, but also conveyed they knew what they were doing and that their products were the best. The phrase conjures up not only quality plants and flowers from this store, but breathtaking floral design, too. If a new customer needed flowers and did not already have a recommended florist, they would probably call the fabulous XYZ store because of this assertive marketing stance.
Making money is fun, but it is also a lot of work. Everyone in the store must be willing to put his or her reputation on the line in order to assert the shop’s superiority. Quality must be consistent over time in order to generate repeat sales and if a mistake is made, and it will happen, it is corrected in a professional manner.
Please use this time to ask yourself and your cohorts what it will take to use simple sales techniques such as the one listed above in your store, starting this week. A ringing bell signals not a chore, but an opportunity.