As florists ready themselves for a busy Christmas and Hanukkah season later this fall, longtime industry educator and training pro Tim Huckabee of FloralStrategies LLC has a message: Don’t neglect your team training efforts if you want to maximize sales potential this year.
On Oct. 29, Huckabee will share specific holiday-focused training tips during “Tim’s Calling… LIVE for the Holiday Season,” a free webinar for Society of American Florists members that begins at 1 pm ET. Ahead of the session, Huckabee shared four “secrets” to help your employees drive strong holiday sales and deliver top-notch service. Link to Tim’s webinar
- Focus on the phone. “We have already seen how COVID impacted Easter and Mother’s Day sales, so I expect the same for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Huckabee said. “More than ever, professional phone skills are key: engaging the customer and selling at healthy prices instead of using the antiquated, ‘How much do you want to spend?’ approach.”
- Ditch sales-busting phrases. “Bad sales skills seem to be the only thing resistant to COVID,” Huckabee said. “They’re raging now, as always. Shop owners actually think that asking customers for their budget and telling every caller, ‘Our arrangements start at…’ is good customer service. No wonder our industry is shrinking! Those are bad habits that shrink sales and diminish our unique value.”
- Open doors with open orders. “COVID has brought many challenges and struggles to our industry but there is a silver lining too,” Huckabee said. “The smartest florists have moved to selling considerably more open orders, not based on an expensive container or detailed recipe and customers love them. I see this as a wonderful, positive trend, allowing even the smallest florist to focus on selling what they have, using the containers on hand and encouraging customers to trust their creative skills.”