If you’re a florist, you’re busy. The question is, are you busy designing pieces that gain you recognition as a world-class florist or are you stuck trying to keep the lights on? If you’re either, here’s a way to spend more time doing what you love and earn $45,600 (or more) by simply serving 20 floral customers. Keep reading to see how to work smart, not hard, and stand out.

Focus on the Top 1%

I’m sure you’ve heard the “Top 1%” holds a majority of the wealth in the world. The same is true of your customers. Your top customers will likely drive 80% of your floral sales, directly or indirectly. What this means for you is it’s vital to find, hold on to, and delight those top customers. Once you do, your life will be made exponentially easier making more money in less time, freeing you up to work on the floral artwork that will define you as a world-class designer.

How many customers do you need? I’ve done some conservative math to show you how only 20 customers can make you $45,600 annually. If you need more or less, simply adjust accordingly.

20 customers

These loyal customers will help you in 3 key ways:

  1. Steady Income: Since the loyal customers likely love flowers, they’ll buy them on a regular basis. The key is to have them fall in love with you, so you get their order each week – keep reading to learn how to win them over.
  2. Flex Your Design Muscles: Their flower appreciation translates into trusting you to delight them with new and interesting designs. You can be fearless and creative with these arrangements!
  3. Free Sales Team: When someone is passionate about flowers, their friends, family and co-workers all know it because they always have beautiful flowers around them. In turn, these individuals are the go-to reference when the average person is looking for nice flowers, especially for special occasions (weddings, holidays, etc.). They will speak your praises and essentially make sales for you… for free.

By focusing on only 20 or so customers, your life is made exponentially easier. Spend more time making beautiful and original designs and your customer army will do the rest.

Build Intimate Relationships

Now that you can hopefully see the upside to serving the top 1%, here’s how you find and keep them. It comes down to building real, human, intimate relationships. Most of the florists I have met are pretty bright people (we’ll ignore the stress of Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day here), so the most important step is already done. Here are a few more tactics to become best friends with your best customers:

Collect Personal Contact Information

You definitely want their email and cell phone number, but don’t stop there if they’re willing to give you their social media accounts or other touch-points. The way to not make this creepy is to tell them why you want it – give them a good reason you’ll be following up: special offers, invites, etc. By having permission to contact them directly, you can start to stand apart from every other business they interact with. You now can humanize the relationship.

Backdrop

Creative ways and reasons to follow up (ask permission ahead of time):

  • 30-second personal video recorded on your phone and texted to them thanking them personally for their business. You can also use the video to show new flowers they might like next time.
  • Text them when you have a special discount or deal. Give them insider access.
  • Take a photo with customers and their arrangement at your shop for you to post on your Facebook. You want to tag them in the photo, so their friends see it appear on their feed and know to come to your shop. Their friends will also see you’re super friendly.
  • When you post a photo on Facebook with them, Facebook will help algorithmically remind them of you with the Facebook memories feature I’m sure you’ve seen with other friends.
  • Set up a backdrop at your studio for people to take pictures, then encourage them to post to Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Pinterest.
  • Once any of these pictures/videos are posted, you’re able to reply and comment on them to restart conversations and be exposed to their friend networks.

Facebook Memories

Facebook Memories Feature

Be Different

You already know this, but it is essential to STAND OUT. Be different so your loyal customers have something definitive they can point to when telling their friends why they MUST use your services over others.

For example, GlobalPetals customers are known within their towns for having the most unique and exclusive roses. We are their “secret, exclusive source.” You can’t even Google a lot of what we have since it’s so new or rare in the US market. Their issues aren’t generating more business; it’s always “we have so much high-end business now, we don’t know what to prioritize.” That’s the power of standing out and being different.

It doesn’t have to just be the types of flowers you use. Be original and find unique materials – go into the forest, stop into Home Depot or Hobby Lobby to get inspired.

Last, share with the world in new and unique ways. Facebook now gives you the ability to make live videos. As soon as you make a piece you’re especially proud of, start streaming with your friends and customers. Explain what you did and how you did it. You could even leave the Facebook live video on for an extended period of time propped up as you work and simply answer questions about your pieces as people ask them. That way, you don’t waste any design time.

Don’t be a Diva

If you’re in the flower industry for more than a few weeks, you know divas can be prominent. You may even self-identify as one; I have many floral friends who do.  However, I encourage you to use your diva powers for good instead of evil. Be bright, enthusiastic, and excited. Be that person that people love to be around. Don’t get defensive or vow retribution on a frustrated or irritating customer, especially if said customer is one  of your top 20. Keep it together to maintain positive and intimate relationships. If you are curious on how to say “no” to a bride without burning a bridge, we outline those steps here

Most of your day’s attitude is dependent on the first hour of your morning. When you’re physically away from your design space, make sure your brain is with you. This will drive your productivity, keep your spirits high, and most prominently, help you create a positive mindset that is focused on delivering happiness.

Use your Strengths and Outsource your Weaknesses

Many times you’re wearing all hats as an entrepreneurial designer. You’re the business brains in your shop as well as the artistic arm. For you to achieve your financial goals, you have to try and draw a definitive line between what you like doing, what you can live with, and what you hate. While it seems we always need to do things we don’t enjoy, by identifying these buckets, you’re able to identify opportunities to make your life easier.  

You may also be in the situation like many of our designers where you now have more event business than you know what to do with. At this point, you can leverage your reputation and take your business to the next level by outsourcing your work.

Summary

  1. Focus on the top 1% of floral customers.
  2. Build intimate relationships with your top customers through personal and creative follow-up.
  3. Stand out by using differentiated flowers, materials, and communication mediums. This will all contribute to building your one-of-a-kind brand.
  4. Treat others as you’d like to be treated and protect your client relationships, even if that means suppressing your kneejerk reactions at times.

Conclusion

The flower industry is no longer what it used to be, but that doesn’t mean life has to be more difficult. By cultivating intimate relationships with your top floral customers, your life will be made easier. Not only will you generate more money in less time, but you’ll also be able to flex your creative muscles to stand out from competition. Work smart, not hard, and stand out to be the world class designer you know you are.

How are you building relationships with your floral customers?