Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: Session 22

pink 009e

The Question:

As a busy floral designer, I am constantly getting inquiries.  What a huge blessing!  To determine whether or not the potential client and I are a good fit, I send them a questionnaire.  They answer the questions by telling me more about the details and style of their event.  They also select a budget for their event.  I have been frustrated, because I am getting the most ridiculously low budgets.  Absolutely unreasonable for the items they need!  Earlier this week, I had a bride list that she needed (1) Bridal Bouquet, (5) Bridesmaid Bouquets, Boutonnieres, Corsages, an Altar Arrangement, and (15) Centerpieces......for a budget of $800.  We all know, that won't even cover supplies!

My question is:  What do I do with this potential client?  Do I politely dismiss her and tell her I don't think we'll be a good fit?  Do I schedule the appointment anyway and try to sell her the value of my product?  To deal with this issue so far, I have been responding to the email with a "quick quote".  Basically, I'll send a little email back saying "according to the items that you have selected, your estimate will be around $X,XXX".  Some move forward with booking the appointment, and others I never hear from again.

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The Answers:

I think "quick quotes" is a really good idea. I would also suggest you write something about your prices on your website, like weddings begin at $ xxx.

-Emelie Ekborg (Svenska Blomsterbloggar)

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It's a problem I am also facing at the moment, and think I will finally put some pricing range on my website. I think this will be helpful both for brides that have no idea what to budget for their flowers and also for me, so I will not have to answer inquiries which will anyway lead nowhere...

-Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)

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You are not alone! This happens to me constantly. I don't have a formal questionnaire, but I ask a few questions about their event; and if I think this is going to be the case then I send them a price list. The price list is very general, but it does state my order minimum and average prices on individual items.  That usually does a lot of the talking for me, and I don't have to go into detail about why I don't think we are a good fit for each other. If they respond, then I assume they have read it over and done the math on their end to see if we are a good match. Sometimes people like this do have the budget for it, they just didn't understand how quickly the cost of flowers adds up...and sometimes they just want lots of stuff for cheap! If it is the former I usually tell them what I think their budget could buy them, and then refer them to florists who might be a better option for them.

-Sarah Winward (Honey of a Thousand Flowers)

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Thanks Sarah, Emelie and Laetitia!

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Think I’ll leave you with some Sullivan Owen designs today…

Sullivan-Owen-Floral-Design-Philadelphia

Sullivan-Owen-Floral-Design-Philadelphia-Coral-Peach

Sullivan-Owen-Floral-Design-Philadelphia-Protea-2

Sullivan-Owen-Floral-Design-Philadelphia-Yellow-Tulip

Sullivan-Owen-Florist-Philadelphia-Bridal-Bouquet-WrenandField photo 2

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

5 comments:

Great flower lady said...

Seems like your readers are asking the same questions about brides and budgets. I will say again PUT A PRICE Min. on your website. IT weeds out all low budget brides who know they can not meet that price. I did this a few seasons ago and have NOT looked back. Its been a God send. JUST do it. I plaster it all over my site, blog, FB. HAS worked wonderful and I Don't have to waste time with the budgets I do not want.. Good luck.

anastasia said...

I actually just put together a price sheet like the one Sarah suggested. So far, so good!

MEWS said...

Agreed, setting your minimum on your website and your questionnaire helps weed out the low budgets. Also put general pricing on your website. If a bride can not afford her vision I just tell her she needs to change her vision or her budget, but this is what I can do for this amount...usually she ups her budget but sometimes moves on and that's ok :-)

Laurie (Fleurie) said...

Great advice. Putting this on my list to update on my information! Always great to hear others are dealing with the same issues of low low budgets. Many times, I think it is mostly lack of knowledge that leads brides to a low dollar amount. Our job to politely inform them.

Mimi said...

Besides the economic downturn, I believe many brides just put flowers at the bottom of their list. They have unrealistic ideas about what wedding flowers cost. Sometimes I'm just asked to do a bridal bouquet or the ceremony flowers for brides who have small budgets. But, I think I will begin to put prices on our website. Never considered that before.