Thank you Alison Ellis of Floral Artistry for sharing 15 tips for florists on how to book more weddings!
· Be easy to reach via e-mail. E-mail is essential to coordinating with your clients.
· Schedule consultations with the lead wedding designer—someone who is skilled and versed in weddings, works well with customers and translates ideas into designs.
· Update your portfolios and website to reflect the best of your work and professional photos are always best. This means that wedding bouquet from 1995 has to go. Heck, maybe that bouquet from 2009 has to go, too! Keep it fresh.
· Keep up! Follow trends on blogs, websites, magazines, social media, etc. You have to know what’s happening in your industry. (Your clients do!)
· Decide which services you offer and which you don’t. Are you: a floral designer; an event designer; a florist who does weddings; a wedding designer who owns a flower shop; a lighting specialist? You don’t have to be all things to all weddings!
· Do what you do. Don’t worry about what the other guys are up to.
· Be upfront about your pricing. Find out what the clients’ budget is and either do your best to stick to it or suggest what you think is a reasonable budget for what they want. Years ago I was advised to never inquire about budget and to always “up-sell” to clients planning a wedding. After all it’s their wedding day—a day to “go for it”—it’s a chance to steer them towards more expensive options. Wrong. People can’t spent money they don’t have—period.
· If the pricing or style doesn’t work, then move on. It’s OK to decide that a client is not a good fit. It will make life easier in the long run.
· Don’t overbook. Taking on more than you can handle is never a good idea.
· Require a signed contract and a reasonable deposit of at least 20-30% of the total budget to book an event.
· Be concise in proposals about what is required to book a date, when final payment is due, etc.
· If you send out a proposal and don’t hear back within a reasonable timeframe you should follow up—once—with the client to see if there are any questions you can answer.
· Charge fairly, but you have to be compensated for your flower markup, design fee, delivery and set-up, travel, etc. If you are not charging enough, then why are you working so darn hard?
· Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. (Definitely don’t do that!)
· Listen to what your clients want. Then, make it happen.