We’ve all been there. A customer calls requesting an arrangement she saw online, but you don’t have the exact flowers or containers pictured in your inventory.
Be upbeat, not apologetic, when pitching alternative flowers or containers, says sales expert Tim Huckabee, of FloralStrategies. He’ll be at SAF Amelia Island 2015, ready to offer attendees dozens of ideas to improve their customer service, raise the value of their average orders and motivate their employees to reach their potential.
“Welcome to the 21st century,” said Tim Huckabee, founder of FloralStrategies and a Floral Management columnist. “It’s just the nature of Web shopping for flowers today.”
When this happens, don’t get discouraged or apologetic. “Customers will typically be amenable to an alternative,” he said — “as long as you are able to think quickly and offer your alternative enthusiastically.”
First, identify products that are similar to the original: in lieu of orange roses, suggest orange tulips, or flowers that are peach or coral. Out of Teleflora’s “Make Someone Smile” mugs? Suggest a bright yellow container with a smiley face balloon instead.
As you alter the design, “remember to build up the customer’s confidence by validating her choice among the alternatives you’ve offered,” Huckabee said. Try: “That’s going to be a wonderful gift” or “This will look stunning with (that flower, that container)”. “Essentially, you’re offering a little pat on the back that while it won’t be exactly what she saw online, she made a fantastic and equally attractive choice.”
For more advice on handling substitutions with ease, check out “Dear Tim…” in this month’s Floral Management.
Want more candid, constructive advice from Huckabee? Catch him at SAF Amelia Island 2015, where he’ll demonstrate easy tricks to raise the value of your average order, as well as ways to empower your sales staff. Register here.