Prom Profits VI – Prom Sales Strategies By Sarah Botchick

When selling for prom, there are a variety of sales techniques that can help increase your sales and profits.

1) SELL THE BRACELET FIRST. They came to you to buy flower – they are not leaving without them! Buying jewelry is normal and comfortable to your customers – flowers are new and a bit foreign.

2) Ask “Which bracelet would look best with your dress?” – Always be positive saying “Would you like a bracelet” is totally different than saying “Which bracelet would you like?”

3) Treat it like a jewelry store – have a mirror and an inexpensive jewelry pad handy for them trying it on. This technique increases the perceived value of the product.

4) Emphasize the “multi-use” concept – many of the newer styles of bracelets are classy enough for prom, yet can easily convert to being worn with jeans and a t-shirt the next day. If they know they will get more than one use out of their corsage, its easier to spend more money! For use as the florist, this is long term advertising – every time they look at that bracelet, they will think of your shop.

5) Don’t forget the add ons – rhinestones, bling, feathers. These are one of the most profitable items in your store because there is almost no labor factor, but the dollar increase can be substantial.

6) Offer “something extra.” – Again, be positive, “Which hairpiece would you like to go with your corsage?” Will every customer buy one? Probably not. But if you don’t ask, you are assuring that none of your customers will buy them!

7) Have the youngest person in your shop as the designated prom sales person. They “get” these items and can enthusiastically sell them.

8) TRAIN your staff. Prom is a relatively new sales area for many florists, make sure your team is comfortable with this.

Try implementing some of these strategies today, and watch your prom profits soar!

Thank you, Sarah, for this great marketing article! Sarah is the Marketing Director for Pioneer Imports and Wholesale.

green cymbidium orchid corsage

Designed by Samantha Barnes of Greenhouse Gallery Florist in
Colts Neck, NJ

Prom Profits V – WOW Your Website and Internet Marketing By Sarah Botchick

There is no question that to successfully sell prom flowers, you need to think a little different. Like it or not, today’s teens are attached to some type of mobile device every minute of the day! The first place they are going to look for anything they will purchase is online. While the big “push” is for social media marketing, its been proven that search drives more sales. People socialize on social media, the buy on websites.

So you need to WOW your website – its your second store now. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
1) Make sure you have a PROM section of the site – your teen customers don’t know to look under “Weddings” for corsages or boutonnieres.
2) Use lots of pictures of cool and trendy designs. Your own are preferable, but if you would like more, we have 300+ beauty shots available for you to download. Click here to request them: http://www.pioneerwholesaleco.com/promimages
3) Make sure that your website has prominent links to all of your social media sites. Even if they don’t purchase right then, this allows you to have repeated contact with them.
4) Price everything! The same as in your store – if they can’t see a price instantly, you lose them.
5) Make use of the Fitz Design 4U Facebook page – they post great pictures of prom products in use everyday that you can share on your Facebook page.

Your website and Internet Marketing are one more great tool in your prom profits tool belt!

Thank you, Sarah Botchick, Marketing Director, Pioneer Imports & Wholesale for this insightful post on Prom Marketing!

wristlet corsage with succulents

Designed by Kris of KRISanthemums in Oregon

Prom Profits IV – WOW Your Shop By Sarah Botchick

You couldn’t sell Valentine’s Day flowers without a Valentine’s display in your store, so its time to WOW your shop!

1) Make use of wall space with display boards and mannequins.

2) Use bracelet display racks.

3) Offer both “creative” and “shopping” displays. Many florists are having success with “Bling Buffets” for the girls to choose from.

4) Have a corsage board with different design options created – from conservative to “wow”. Remember that YOU can visualize designs – your teen customers cannot! Use this as the conversation piece. If the boys do come up, ask which designs best represent their date’s personality.

5) This is not a generation that is comfortable with “Don’t worry, I’ll make it pretty.” The more you show them, the more they will buy!

6) PRICE EVERYTHING. This generation is used to walking into a store and instantly seeing a price – if you make them ask for a price, they probably won’t. They will be more likely to walk out, feeling uncomfortable.

7) Have prom magazines on display.

8) Use digital picture frames to show samples of your past work. Need to show more variety in your collection? We have 300+ prom “beauty shot” images available for you to use for free! Click here to request the link: http://www.pioneerwholesaleco.com/promimages

9) If you can afford it – a flat screen TV or large computer monitor will be even more impressive than a digital picture frame.

How do you WOW your shop for prom? We would love to hear about it!

Thank you, Sarah of Pioneer Imports & Wholesale for this helpful list on how to increase profits from Prom!

wristlet corsage bracelets

Prom Profits III – Connecting with the GIRL by Sarah Botchick

The key to prom sales, and future sales, is connecting with the girl. This is her “mini wedding” – she has been planning it for weeks, months, maybe years. She has everything planned out perfectly. She spent days shopping for a dress. Everything is about the dress. In the florist’s mind, the corsage is about the flowers. In the girl’s mind -the corsage is fashion accessory for the dress. If you create an appropriate fashion accessory, you win the customer. To do this, you need to know what today’s dress styles are. Have you been prom dress shopping at your local stores? Online? How about prom fashion shows, prom magazines?

Prom magazines are the best $4.99 you will spend all year. Why? Not only do they show you the hot colors and styles, they also give you insight into your customer. When the girl comes into your store, hand her the prom magazine, and ask her to find her dress, or a similar one. This tells you two things – her style and her budget. If she shows you a $400 dress, you are going to show her different corsage options than if she shows you a $200 dress. (This works for wedding marketing too, by the way.)

“But the girls don’t come in to order the dress, the boy does!” There are two ways to handle this. The first is to get to the girl before the boy comes in by reaching the girl at the schools and at prom fashion shows. This is too detailed to explain in a blog post, but if you would like more information on this, visit: http://www.pioneerwholesaleco.com/prom-marketing-strategies-reaching-the-girls-at-the-school
The second way is to work with what you’ve got. Educate the boy! Explain how special the day is to his date, and how if he wants to enjoy his evening, he needs to make sure that the prom flowers are as special as everything else they are planning.

Flower Friends, I highly recommend visiting the link above, Sarah has sample letters featured which are quite helpful!
Thank you to Sarah Botchick, Marketing Director, Pioneer Imports & Wholesale for this helpful article on Connecting with the GIRL for Prom Profits.

Pioneer Wholesale and Imports

Prom Profits II – Goals & Planning by Sarah Botchick

Think of any success that you experience in your business, and you will find that generally a lot of planning goes into it. We often compare Prom to Valentine’s Day. On Valentine’s Day you have a lot of people rushing into your shop all at once… and then it is over. It is hectic and stressful, but where would your business be without it?

So what do you do to make Valentine’s Day a success?
1) Figure out your sales goals
2) Plan inventory to support those sales goals
3) Plan and execute promotions
4) Create displays
5) Train your staff
6) Plan your upsells
7) Drink a lot of coffee, work like a maniac, and grin and bear it!

So how do we apply those principles to prom? In order to figure out where you are going, you need to first figure out where you are at, especially establishing what part of the market share you really have. How? By finding out how many students are in the junior and senior class of the schools in your area – and then compare that to how many corsages and boutonnieres you sold last year. Chances are good you have a lot less of the market share than you think you do.

After figuring out how you are doing on market share, the next thing to do is to set specific goals. Do you want to increase your market share? Increase the value of each sale? Expand to other neighboring areas. To reach your goals, they must be specific, and you must share them with your staff. Many florists find it helpful to post the goals on a wall, somewhere where all the staff can see them.

Now that you have established your goals… its time to plan. Fitz Design has shared with us their Prom Planning Worksheet – a simple Excel spreadsheet that makes planning easy. Download it here: http://www.pioneerwholesaleco.com/prom-marketing-strategies-prom-checklist-for-success then enter the date of the prom, and it fills in your other steps and deadlines for you!

After planning comes the critical “Connecting” stage… stay tuned for next week!

Thank you to Sarah Botchick, Marketing Director, Pioneer Imports & Wholesale for this helpful article on Goals & Planning from Prom Profits.

pink prom boutonniere

Entries for the Prom Design Contest – Vote for your favorite!

We have 35 entries in our Prom Design Contest!

Now it’s your turn to vote for your favorite!

Please leave your vote in the comment section on this page – the number of your selection and why you like it.

We will not count votes left on the facebook page or on individual photo pages.

The top FIVE entries will be posted next Monday on Flirty Fleurs, Pioneer Imports & Wholesale will select the winner from those 5 entries.

cymbidium orchid pink corsage

# 1

green cymbidium orchid corsage

# 2

blue corsage and rhinestones

# 3

wristlet corsage orchid and peacock

# 4

wristlet corsage with succulents

# 5

wristlet corsage with orange and purple flowers

# 6

orange and green corsage

# 7

wrist corsage with orchids

# 8

pink blue corsage

# 9

wristlet corsage with magenta orchids

# 10

rhinestone wristlet corsage

# 11

orchid and daisy corsage

# 12

phal orchid boutonniere

# 13

wristlet corsage with green and purple

# 14

corsages

# 15

# 16

# 16

arm corsage with purple and blue flowers

# 17

vintage wrist corsage

# 18

wrist corsage with feathers

# 19

wrist corsage with green and pink flowers

# 20

wrist corsage with peach hyacinth

# 21

contemporary boutonniere

# 22

pink and green corsage

# 23

pink orchid boutonniere

# 24

pink and teal corsage

# 25

wrist corsage with purple flowers

# 26

# 27

# 27

wristlet corsage with red and black

# 28

red rose corsage

# 29

wristlet corsage with black and pink roses

# 30

white and grey corsage

# 31

white hyacinth corsage

# 32

black and white corsage

# 33

wristlet corsage with green orchid

# 34

purple and green boutonniere

# 35

Discussing Prom Profits, by Sarah Botchick

Now that the Valentine’s rush is over, we get to start preparing for another floral “holiday” – which is generally more of a season – PROM! Even though I have been raised in the floral industry, I never thought much about prom being a major source of sales for florists. Until one day in March of 2009 when I met Dan Fisher, the owner of Fitz Design, and learned about these cool new products for corsages. Like most young women, I was instantly drawn to the bling. But having been raised by my dad, a very conservative business man, I was leery about whether or not our florist customers would be willing to buy these very different new products. We started small, offering a few items to our customers in April 2009. Our first season was so successful that in December 2010 we decided to take the plunge and become a Dazzling Distributor for Fitz Design, meaning that we would stock every single item they offered. We are now in our fifth prom season and up to over 1500 prom items, about 1000 from Fitz Design.

Thru the past five prom seasons I have learned incredible sales strategies for florists from Dan and the rest of the Fitz Design team, thru a variety of methods, including working with them at the AIFD Symposium for the past two years. When sharing these strategies with my customers, they in turn share their own prom success stories with me. The goal of this blog series is to help even the most seasoned floral designer learn new ways to increase their prom profits.

One of the most important things to remember in prom sales is the “Why?” Why should you deal with these kids who don’t know what they are doing and taking up your time to spend $25 on a corsage? Because they are NEW CUSTOMERS with NEW MONEY. Even if you have a thriving floral business, you need to keep getting new customers to replace those that die, move, etc. Today’s prom girls are tomorrow’s brides… When you connect with them at prom, you make a customer for life. The average lifetime floral value of a prom customer is $35k. Let me ask you – what would you do if a bride walked in your shop with a $35k floral budget? After picking yourself up off the floor, you would undoubtedly go out of your way to help her in anyway you could. If you help these prom customers, you can reap the same results. (And by the way, we are going to work on getting you more than $25 for the corsage too!)

As we go thru this series, always keep that WHY at the front of your mind… it will help you get thru all of the challenges of the season!

Stay tuned- next blog we will talk about Goals and Planning for Prom.

Written by Sarah Botchick
Marketing Director
Pioneer Import & Wholesale

pink rose wrist corsage