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You Have to Ask for the Sale

You Have to Ask for the Sale

It’s not too late to present a holiday offer to your existing customers. Here’s how.

As I’ve worked with florists in private coaching sessions over the last several months, I’ve found myself repeating one message: You have to ask for the sale. It’s one thing to have an offer—a holiday centerpiece, a Valentine’s Day design, a one-of-a- kind style—but it’s another thing to actually invite customers to buy what you’re selling. You have to ask for the sale.

When I started in the flower business more than two decades ago, “sales strategies” relied heavily on print advertisements (anybody remember the phone book?); word-of-mouth; wire services; and the ever-important “location, location, location.” Today, however, savvy sellers understand how to put a much more effective sales strategy to work with direct marketing.

Instead of casting a wide net, “direct marketing” means reaching out to your existing customer base or email subscribers, and the strategy is simple: Start with the people who are already familiar with your brand because they’re the most likely to buy from you.

While it’s all too common to throw an offer out there that attempts to appeal to everybody, with a direct marketing strategy, florists have the opportunity to get to know what their customers actually like (i.e., what they actually buy) and create offers that are aligned with what existing customers are most interested in buying from them.

HOW TO CREATE A HOLIDAY OFFER — NOW

If you haven’t presented an offer for the upcoming holidays to your existing customer list, now is the time to do so! It’s as easy as reaching out to the customers who’ve already bought from you with an offer and inviting them to buy again.
You can create an offer that’s appealing and ask for the sale in four steps:

Step 1

Create your offer. What would your customers love to get from you? How much does it cost? What is it called? When is it available? When does the offer expire? How do they place an order? Do you have a photo of the item?

Step 2

Write an email inviting your customers to take advantage of the offer.

Step 3

Send that email to every person on your email list, and post the offer on social media.

Step 4

Follow up with a clear invitation to buy. “Click here to order today!” “Are you ready to place your holiday order?” “We’re here to take your order today.”

Aside from making it easier to shop by adding “Click here to buy” links to your email and social media posts, don’t be afraid to present your offer more than once. It’s unrealistic to assume that you’ve done your best to market your offer just because you sent one email or posted one holiday “social media shout out.” Customers need to be reminded more than once what you’re selling; most people do not react to initial messages.

You have to ask for the sale—and, often—more than once. Reach out to the customers who already know and love what you do. And remember The clearer your offer, the easier it is for customers to get to a “yes.”

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