Retail Florist Salesperson – Part 2


by admin

By Karen Marinelli

An important key to success for any Retail Florist operation is strong sales. In this second installment, we will discuss the training of a great Retail Florist Salesperson. I also provide a suggested telephone script as a basis for making the most of every phone sales opportunity.

Training A mentor of mine recently told me when I was complaining about how tiring it was to train a new employee… have patience, good training makes great employees.

FloristShe was right. Training is of utmost importance. No detail is too small; some just deserve more attention than others. Content of your telephone salesperson training should include such basics as tone of voice, greetings, telephone etiquette and telephone usage. You’ll also need to train new salespeople on product and service offerings. It will take quite a while before he knows all of the possibilities, so it’s important to teach him how to handle a question he doesn’t know the answer to. Do you want him to say… “I’m not sure.” Or “Hmm, that’s a good question, may I put you on hold for just one minute while I find out?”. You’ll need to make it a priority of yourself, your manager, or an experienced trusted employee to be available to answer those questions quickly so that excellent customer service can be maintained.

Make a list of your shop’s golden rules of customer service. Some suggestions include… never put a customer on hold for more than 3 minutes. Never say “I can’t”, instead say what you can do. When a customer has a complaint-First… LISTEN! One that’s close to my heart: Never hold a separate conversation with a co-worker when a customer is present. I’m sure you have your own list. These are things that you feel so strongly about that it somehow surprises you when others don’t know them. Remember, when you’re training a new employee, he doesn’t know these things until you tell him.

Once your new salesperson is on the phone and waiting on customers, you’ll want to train him to make the most of each sales opportunity. Completely ban the phrase “how much do you want to spend?” Instead, train him to ask questions to determine the customer’s preferences and budget. Train him to sell the best choice of flowers and services at the best price that fits the customer’s situation.

So, in my experience, I like to start my training with those golden rules of customer service. Move into product and service training and then finish off with sales techniques. In product and service training, you should provide written documentation of the products, services and pricing options. Trainees should be encouraged to organize their own training materials for use as reference during sales calls. Since prices and products are constantly changing, I recommend a loose-leaf notebook or a folder rather than a printed catalog or book. This allows for flexibility and makes it possible to keep things current. Key information should also be posted at the telephone stations for easy reference.

Not all shop owners would agree, but I do advocate a telephone sales script. It needs to be the foundation for the best sales practices. It also needs to be taught and used in such a way that elevates it from a canned script to an excellent framework for sales and customer service. We’ve all experienced on of those terrible phone scripts-from a telemarketer or from a phone company sales person (why is the phone company one of the most infuriating organizations to have a phone conversation with???). Below is a sample script that can and should be built upon for use in your store. Add those touches that make it your own and teach your employees when and how to deviate from it to best serve the customer.