One of the greatest pleasures of my last decade in the flower business has been getting to know, work with Tim Huckabee – the founder of FloralStrategies and the creator of the first sales training program for florists.
Tim has been in the business since 1997. He started out taking orders over the phone at a very busy flower shop in New York. This was the perfect place to start refining his approach to approach to taking orders.
From there he developed the first and only on-site sales training program for for florists. Tim would come to a flower shop and teach his approach – one that led to better service, happier customers and higher order values. It just works better than letting employees of whatever comes naturally, or letting customers take the lead on the call.
It is an approach that has been proven over and over again. The typical florist will see average order values increase $10 to $20. More importantly flower shop employees end up doing a much better job of listening to the customer and understanding what it is that they really want. This is better for everyone – both florists and their customers benefit.
Joseph DeLarge, Eco|Stems – Toronto, ON Canada
Just wanted to let you know I just took a $100 order from a customer who normally sends an average of $75! Your system is so easy and really works.
It is also in stark contrast to some of the more recent entries into sales training for florists that take a cruder "blunt force" approach. These methods advocate for a 20% increase on every sale – something that simply is not sustainable. It might work the first couple of times, leading to a sense of euphoria and even more aggressive selling, but long term it alienates the customer who will simply go elsewhere because they are sick of feeling pressured.
Another highly respected industry educator – Rick Rivers of Florist Bootcamp – calls this "breaking the glass ceiling" and considers it one of the worst mistakes a florist can make. Bigger sales in the short term are traded for long term retention as customers stop calling the local florist and opt instead for order-gatherers and drop shippers where they don't feel pressured.
This is completely different from the FloralStrategies method, which is all about understanding the customer, the situation and selling accordingly.
Hana & Posy – Philadelphia, PA
Just wanted to let you know that your workshop has been very effective at our store. This week we are now selling $80 arrangements instead of $50 arrangements, with ease and confidence! Thanks!!!
Tim has also added new offerings over the years. He does regular monthly webinars on floral sales training, and has also introduced the TOTAL Training package. This includes on annual visit from Tim for on-site training, one regular monthly webinar just for flower shop managers, another one for employees, and a monthly test call with a 20-point follow-up report. Most recently Tim has started training floral wholesalers – helping them introduce new and exciting varieties to their florist customers.
Tim also remains one of the most sought-after speakers at floral industry conventions and events, and his monthly Flower Shop CSI column is one of the most popular in Floral Management magazine.
Elaine’s Florist & Gift Baskets – Houston, TX USA
Just wanted to send a note to thank you for working with the staff at Elaine’s Florist & Gift Baskets. My sales for the year were already up 20% and what we learned from you in just 6 hours has increased my sales another 20%. After being in business for 20 years, that is an impressive number. I can’t begin to describe the excitement in my employees when they use your selling methods and the customer takes their lead. My average vase arrangement has gone from $67 to $84 within one month. It amazes me that many floral shops do not seem to have a problem paying their money monthly to the wire services and giving up 27% of an order rather than having you come in and increase their sales 20% at 100% profit. Thank you, thank you, Elaine