Stay tuned for Live Blogging coverage of the 2012 Florists For Change meeting in Grand Rapids, MI.
Kicking off our Michigan FFC meeting!
Betsy is opening the meeting by reviewing the agenda for the next 2 days.
Some board members are not able to attend:
- Dirk Lorenz: eye surgery, can’t fly
- Harold Hoogasian: rescuing coffee trees from insect attack
- Steve Juiffre: meeting with Google national executive
Betsy is thanking the Associate Members:
- Florist 2.0: Ryan Freeman
- Flower Shop Network: Brock & Loranne Attwell
- FloristWare: Mark Anderson
- MAS: Hal Conklin
- AdvoCharge: Robin Braun
She is encouraging the AMs to actively promote themselves to the membership, as FFC members are actively looking for solutions.
Keith Hill of Beaverton Florists is now speaking to review the history of FFC for new members. He promises to keep this short for those of us who have attended prior meetings.
The history recap was derailed slightly down the rabbit trail of Keith’s love of peer groups…
Long story short: FFC is a non-profit organization created to help improve the situation facing florists. We’ve lost almost half of the florists in North America – the challenge is real.
FFC board members are not compensated for their work – the contribute on strictly a volunteer basis. Board members travel to FFC shows at their own expense.
The organization has been formed, the goals determined, and progress is being made. The focus of this meeting will be about growing membership.
Bonnie Bank from Superior Florist in NYC is giving her story about she became involved in FFC.
Bonnie is a practising CPA with a law degree who married a florist and began splitting time between the flower shop and her CPA firm. With her financial background she is uniquely positioned to understand the pressures and struggles faced by retail florists.
Bonnie also leads a number of regional meetings introducing florists to FFC.
After a quick break we will have Bob Negen of Whiz-Bang Marketing presenting to the group.
It looks like Bob is just about ready to teach us how to Explode Our Sales
Betsy is asking for a roll call: Name your business and location, and pass the mic
We have shops here from California, Oregon, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Kentucky – and lots of other states! Oh, and a few of us Canadians, too!
Bob’s early failures made him change & grow, learn about marketing and staff management.
The difficulties he encountered taught him to embrace problems and create opportunities.
“If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re going.” -Prof Erwin Corey
“You are where you are because of who you are and what you do.”
“Your passion for your products is not enough to make you profitable.”
Great designs make beautiful arrangements. Great retailers make money.
We need to be both.
Good marketing doesn’t cost – it pays.
Buying more advertising DOES NOT equal marketing your business.
I’m not going to run through every bullet point from Bob’s slides – if you get the chance to see Bob in action it’s probably worth your time. For now, I’ll hit a few highlights.
Understand “Lifetime Value” of a customer!
The value of a transaction can never exceed the value of a customer.
Unhappy customers who get good service often become more loyal than initially satisfied clients.
“The biggest mistake I see local florists making is using a wire service web site. That’s an order collecting site, not…” one that is useful for branding and introducing people to your company.
Bob is a big believer in Gift Certificates (Cards) – not coupons. He has formulas available for figuring the right amounts to use, fine print, policies.
Building up your revenue: Sales training is the low-hanging fruit. Sales is a skill – we can’t expect people to perform skilled tasks without giving them the skills they need.
Those bits of data in your customer list represent real people with real needs. Build relationships with your customers!
Amex data: Your best customer outspends your average customer by 16x.
It’s not your customer’s job to remember you, it’s your job to be remembered!
You buy Advertising. Marketing is a philosophy, actions, a mindset.
Before we go to break, Bob is pitching his Retail Mastery System. A few florists in the room already use it and love it.
I just won a copy of the Marketing Kit – will probably give it away to a Florist 2.0 client.
Bob’s been talking about staffing and recruiting for the last hour. I’m not writing much about it because this is Bob’s bread and butter. Here’s a highlight: “If it’s not written, it’s not real – you can’t run your business on rumours.”
Train your employees well in the non-negotiable standards.
“Seagull management: Fly in, crap on everything, fly out.” Not effective!
Time for a break. I think we’re doing breakout groups this afternoon, but we’ll be back later on with more details.