Last week, I was asked to speak at the Teleflora national Sales Meeting. The topic was my story as a florist and what has kept my shop running all these years. For me, the story began before I became a florist when I was driving a county bus or later when I was selling hot dogs. I asked Jack Howard if he really wanted me to tell my whole story and he replied, “all of it!” What I revealed to my audience was that I was successful with all these jobs due to one common thread: my passion and attitude. From sing alongs on the bus, to offering a dog-aholic discount card, to walking customers to their car after wrapping up their flowers. It all begins and ends with my Passion and Attitude. Today, 23 years later, much of the same holds true for me and my business.
After listening to the other Teleflora speakers speak, I looked at all the materials they presented and really began to think. They talked about all the ways to help a florists’ success; they provide everything you could need to open and run your flower shop. From A-Z, they offer: POS, credit card clearing, fresh flower purchasing, marketing, design training, accounting tips, a websites and support. What more could a florist really want?
The problem (and a sore spot for many florists) is that Teleflora markets to retail customers. They use online marketing strategies, print, TV and anything possible to attract customers, even spending huge amounts to air a spot during the Super Bowl.
But here is the way I see it…
If Teleflora stopped the marketing, who would get those orders? Would it really be the local florist? Or would this not just give a bigger piece of the pie to 1800, FTD and Pro Flowers?
I believe that these orders would not go to a local florist as local florists aren’t marketing. And if you don’t market, no one knows about your products or services or brand!
So, where am I going with all this? Well, my talk to their team was how I made my shop successful and I did that with my passion for marketing and an attitude that if I didn’t go out and secure the orders in my neighborhood, then someone else would!
If you want to do better for yourself, you HAVE TO market. Teleflora has always supported the my efforts to help local florists in marketing to increase exposure. We have a great relationship with Teleflora supporting our growing our websites and marketing materials we print every holiday season. Teleflora has always been willing to support all our efforts.
I believe that Teleflora is sincerely concerned about the retail florist and has been looking for ways to ”Save the Florist.” Think about it, what do they have without us?
The point is to stop complaining and start working your opportunities. Passion and Attitude will shape your destiny so stop worrying about what the other guys are doing and focus on what you should be doing and utilize every resource you can!
Our team at Beneva and the team at Teleflora are always just a phone call away and can help with any number of marketing initiatives! Don’t be afraid to reach out and work with your peers, after all we need each other to keep this industry alive!
In my personal opinion the next time you see your Teleflora rep look at them as a consultant not a salesman. There is a world of resourches and affiliates that telelflora has access to to help you enhance your business. Share your concerns and look for solutions. Let’s stop pointing fingers and start creating solutions. Marketing in our own back yard is the first step in taking back our industry.