On April 18, FTD University hosted “Smarter Sales the FloralStrategies Way,” a free webinar presented by Tim Huckabee, FSC, president of FloralStrategies. Tim travels the world teaching flower shops a strategy that helps them increase their sales by an average of 20 percent. To date, he’s helped more than 5,000 shops!
During the webinar, Tim shared elements of his program. Weren’t able to join us? Key takeaways can be found below.
Ask FEWER questions, give MORE advice!
“Historically, florists ask way too many questions,” Tim said. “Customers just want to place orders, but they’re bombarded by questions.” Instead of asking questions that the customer might not have an answer to (such as “Would you like a leaf wrap in that vase?” say “I recommend a leaf wrap in that vase to cover the flower stems.” Guide the customer and give them advice instead of peppering them with questions. They perceive YOU as the expert!
Make shopping easier.
Think about your favorite retail store. They spend time and effort to make it easy for you to shop there and bring you back. Your shop should operate in the same way. Not sure if your shop is missing the mark? Try entering through the front door of the shop. This is what your customers experience – does it make you want to spend your money? If not, fix what isn’t working, whether it’s with refreshed merchandising, reduced clutter or dusted-off displays.
Don’t be afraid to hear “no.”
“We’re our own worst enemies when it comes to bagging bigger orders,” Tim said. “We’re not letting customers spend the amount they want to spend.” Many of the florists he has worked with report that they don’t offer high-priced suggestions because they’re afraid of alienating the customer. Don’t be afraid to offer a bouquet that you think might be slightly out of their price range. The worst you can hear is “no,” and the best is “yes!”
Never apologize for prices. Educate customers instead.
“We’re the only industry that apologies for doing its job,” Tim said. If you’re apologizing for high prices, stop it! This only perpetuates the myth that flowers are overpriced. When you apologize for prices, you’re undermining your value. Car dealerships don’t do it, coffee shops don’t do it – why should you?
Have you ever worked in a restaurant?
“The restaurant and flower businesses are first cousins,” Tim said. Restaurants do a great job of displaying their food and telling customers about specials and new dishes. This is a perfect approach for selling flowers! Customers want to hear about new and different products so that they can give a truly exceptional gift. While you’re at it, take a quick peek in your cooler. Is your selection unique? Is your pricing accurate, or is it more 1997 than 2017?
The following questions, while common, are actually a waste of time, can ruin sales and can even cause you to lose your footing as the expert, according to Tim.
“What’s the occasion?”
Rather than asking for the occasion, lead with asking for the card message, then suggest a bouquet based on what the card message says.
“What flowers would you like in the arrangement?”
You’re making your more job difficult by asking what flowers customers want because you’re potentially setting yourself up for having to make a dash to a wholesaler or bringing in flowers you can’t sell. Instead, look in your cooler and make suggestions based on what you have in stock.
“How much would you like to spend?”
No other business asks how much you would like to spend. Instead, they present established prices for the customer to select from. Your business should operate the same way.
Want to view the complete presentation materials from Tim’s webinar? Click here to visit the FTD University site. While you’re there, be sure to view our complete listing of FREE webinars!0