Have you ever wondered why another shop may see more return customers or are somehow able to charge two to three times as much for similar event work? Last summer alone, I walked into over 100 florists and have seen many more over the years. One point is clear – you don’t get a second chance for a first impression. Here are six shop tips I have learned that will help shape a positive impression and inevitably increase your bottom line:
Make sure your floors are swept and clean. If possible, position your workspace in view of your customers so you can make cleaning petals and stems a habit. Never have them lying on the floor. My mom always said “money doesn’t come into a messy room” to encourage me to clean to my room as a kid. While it’s still a struggle for me to make my bed, having a clean shop makes your space refreshing and comfortable to the customer instead of making them feel like they’ve just walked into their son’s messy room (which I’m sure evoke some frustrating memories). Your design team will also appreciate the cleanliness.
If you have coolers that the customer can see, the raw flowers should look just as much like artwork as the arrangements you have on display. It’s always great to put fully arranged products in the coolers. I realize this isn’t always possible if you have limited cooler space though. So instead of throwing your flowers haphazardly into the black mini garbage can, STRIP your flowers from their wholesale/farm packaging, and gently place the stems into large clear glass vases. This is clean, classy, and adds some sophistication to your coolers. Pull your highest quality flowers or arrangements to the front glass of your cooler. The same rule applies for the flowers by your shop windows.
It does not matter if your shop has a minimal, focused design or is filled with product and shrubbery everywhere. What matters is the flow: does the customer intuitively know where to walk and look when they enter the door? Guests should be on a tour from the first step upon entry all the way to the counter, turning their head in awe, imagining your work being showcased on their special day. When a clear path in a museum-like fashion guides them, your arrangements will be admired like that of the Mona Lisa. Your buyers will also be willing to pay top dollar for your artwork if they feel the worth of it.
4. Designs on Display
Your work is beautiful. Let your customers see it. Whether you’re displaying fresh arrangements or professionally taken pictures, have some work on display to showcase for people to see and admire. It’s always crazy when I walk into shops, and I can’t tell if they are a florist or an accounting firm. Have options for your customers to view your designs. Picture books work and more modern florist I’ve met say iPads are great as well.
5. Sitting Table
Having a sitting area that is comfortable for you and the bride. A place where you’re comfortable making your sales pitch, and the bride is comfortable making her wedding decisions. Keep in mind that making any buying decision that will cost $2,000-$30,000 is made exponentially easier when the setting is both cozy and professional. I’ve seen florist utilizing couches and coffee tables as well as dining tables with nice table cloths.
6. Greeting Customers
Nothing can replace a smiling artist who is enthusiastic about their work. One new designer sticks out in my mind: Despite her obvious busyness, Jan from Cha-Lor Flowers in LaGrange, Illinois greeted me with the biggest smile and enthusiasm for her work. She put her full attention on me, and her passion made me want to buy from her instantly. Treat each person who walks in your door as the most important person in the world, and they will do the same with you. There will be days where you will be tired, but you already proved your courage by becoming a florist. Keep bleeding your passion on a daily basis.
With these simple tips, you should be able to drastically improve the image of your shop and turn more of those casual browsers and “just looking” consultations into money in your pocket. Print this post for your design team to keep in mind.
What other customer expectations do you strive to achieve?