The Biggest Challenge Most Retail Florists Face? Addiction

February 27, 2012

The first step to change in our industry is to recognize just how many florists are addicted to blame and victimization. This addiction will never allow anyone to recognize the opportunities that are staring us in the eye.

Historically, we as an industry do very little to plan our future. We look for the wire services to figure it out, lead us there, and then complain that they are controlling us. It is like a child living under a parents roof and demanding to have total freedom. The first thing a parent would say is, “When you get your own house, then you may make your own decisions.”

Really, it is that simple. The behavior that is formed is one that:

 

a) A florist will hardly give anything time (like advertising) to work. They expect immediate gratification, yet lack the tools to evaluate the investment.

b) Do very little to change operations and philosophies in their shop and just expect everything to improve. Look up the meaning of insanity. It is, “Doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results.” Is this you?

c) If only…..If only….If only ProFlowers would go away, FTD would stop direct shipping, Teleflora would stop selling to the public, and Bloomnet would stop overstuffing bouquets and expecting florists (who do fill) to fill them.

 

Well here it is….Easter is just around the corner and most florists are holding on to the addiction. I often hear, “It isn’t what it used to be.” SO? Doing nothing makes it better?

FACT, most every shop that used our marketing postcards, or other groups that market Easter, have succeeded. It is an opportunity to send flowers. If we don’t step up, why should anyone pick us to send flowers? Who is to remind them? The wire services? Here we go again…

Flat screen TV’s are marketed 1 month before the Super Bowl, and Weber grills in spring and summer, and especially before the 4th of July. It’s time to look at our business as a retail competitor, not a hobby.

The other night a shop owner said they don’t have a website because they would rather SPEAK to their customers. They give them no other choice. His shop must be a hobby for him because I am in business to be the best I can be, and turn a profit in orders to keep my employees employed. We have responsibilities. We love this business, that is a given. To make money at it requires GETTING OUT OF THE BOX and breaking the addiction.

This will be the beginning and the best thing for FLORISTS FOR CHANGE. Better your operations and take back the industry one shop at a time!

Advertisements

Are YOU Marketing for Easter?

February 22, 2012

Easter not what it used to be? Is that what you hear out there? So many florists have made the mistake of writing off Easter. A mistake it is. By not marketing anymore, they have left a holiday on the table for the .com’s to take advantage of. NO COMPETITION. If you are looking for an edge, this is it. Doing what everyone else does will get you the same results. If I can ask you to do one thing, it would be INSERT Easter postcards in your newspaper the week before Easter and watch what happens. I can promise you will see a spike in sales. If not, I won’t ever ask you to try Easter again. So far everyone that has tried it, continued. This is an opportunity to step up ahead of your competition. The fact that no one in your market will be doing it is an edge. People DO still send flowers at Easter.

I talk to shops constantly that are looking for a better way. Looking to grow, yet the ONLY way to grow is to market, and the best time to market is when you have an audience. YES people do buy flowers to celebrate Easter, they just buy with people who provide the best offering.

We still have 2 days before our final deadline approaches for our Easter OVERSIZED postcard. Take a look and think about it. If not our piece, make your own, but most important, DON’T MISS this opportunity to get out in front of your customer. Easter is a flower holiday and the lack of marketing has directed what sales there still are to national companies which result in wire in’s for you. Something to think about…

 

 

Arthur Conforti


Get out of the Box this Wednesday with Art Conforti

February 16, 2012

• Why should customers shop with YOU?

• Why are customers shopping at ProFlowers?

• What is a retail florist supposed to do to stay alive in this rapidly changing retailing environment?

 

Start by thinking out of the box! What you did as little as 5 years ago is most likely not as effective as what you should be doing now.

The truth is, there is more business out there than any florist could handle, and plenty to go around.

The best part is, you can keep your customers buying from YOU, earn more business, and best of all, capture and grow your business again for FREE!

I will be speaking at Cleveland Plant and Flower on February 22nd to share the answears with the questions above. Stop in and I will GIVE you 4 simple steps to jump start your business as we discuss how to GET OUT OF THE BOX with retailing 2012!

The cost? Your time. I could never put a price on the value of your time. I promise to give you a new perspective on your business, from one local florist to another. If the cost is your time, the value is PRICELESS!

It will be a FREE 1 hour presentation that will get you to look at your business like you haven’t ever before. You will realize just how valuable a customer or a phone call is. You will not look at your business the same way. The attention you will learn to give your business is what it needs. We all need this. We all need to re think where we are today. Look around you, there is a shift. Traditional retail florists are failing. New shops are on the rise and the attitude is different. More Europeans are purchasing flower shops and opening them. They are not from the traditional mind set we have all been raised with. They are not waiting for business to come to them.

Don’t get caught in the box! 3 points to remember:

#1:  When you answer the phone, what is your roll? Who are you? A salesman? Wrong. You are an educated order taker. You are a form of a concierge. You are there (in most cases) to convey a message, and the floral design will compliment or enhance the meaning of that message.

#2:  Your driver can be your best marketer, I will show you how.

#3:  Wire services. Who needs them? You won’t want to miss this!

I am bringing footballs, we’re going to have a few good laughs, and I promise you will be re energized about your business within 1 hour. I, like you, have been a retail florist for almost 30 years. Starting a family shop with just my Mother and Father, I found my way out of the box once I realized I was IN THE BOX. I look forward to seeing you Feb 22nd at Cleveland Plant and Flower. Please join me, I promise to EXCEED YOUR EXPECTATIONS, and best of all, it’s FREE!


Changing Existing Orders

February 10, 2012

What seems like a simple request to your customer can be a disaster for you, the retailer.

Think about this…

Most shops are not set up with systems to change orders (notes are written on scrap paper, newspapers, lunch bags, and who knows what else). If you miss this or lose it, you may find yourself having to crawl out from under a rock. Being timely requires great organization. There is no room for error at Valentine’s Day, so a little forward thinking could make the biggest difference.

How to eliminate customers from calling back to change messages:

Inform all your employees to explain at the end of the order, “I believe I have everything necessary to complete your order and I would like to review the details with you since we cannot make changes once we process your request.”

Then, simply review the recipient information, product, and card message. For example, “We have your bouquet of red roses and lilies for $125.00 and a box of chocolates at $39.95 being delivered on Tuesday, February 14th to Jane Doe at 1234 New St. in Sarasota, FL. The recipient’s phone number is 123-4567. The enclosure card will read, Dear text text text.”

Now, ask if the customer has any questions, thank them again, and process the order.

Your drivers will appreciate it as you will reduce the chances of typos and wrong delivery addresses while instilling confidence that you have accurate information.

You could even let them know there is a $5 or $10.00 fee for changing orders (I don’t care for that but some shops do).

Make the most of your Valentine’s Day, communicate with your staff and increase efficiency!


Chevy Introduces Interactive App for the Super Bowl

February 5, 2012

The internet became available to the public back in 1994-1995. By 1998 people were being driven by Super Bowl ads to their computers for special offers and to interact with the game. You would be prompted to do things including seeing the ads and winning contests. They key was they were driving viewers to the internet.

This year, Chevy will be the very first to begin the app movement. You MUST download their app (not mobile version of a website) to play. Considering this past September, 2 out of 3 smartphone users made a purchase using their smartphones! This stat along with Chevy during the Super Bowl will clearly introduce everyone to the app world.

Apps are fun, easy to use and best of all FAST. It’s new and florists who have an APP or using FLORALAPP are considerably ahead of their competition. Why play catch-up, haven’t we done this enough?

There is no need to “sell” anyone on the value of having an app, I just hope to educate florists to the value of capturing customers before your competition does.

This Super Bowl should be a great one. Check out Doris on our website now at  www.beneva.com