8 Ways to Profitably Please Even Picky Prom Prospects

“I dread prom season!” It's easy to understand why you often hear floral designers say this: Prom season requires lots of skilled, labor-intensive and personalized design work in a short time. Yet prom flowers are typically inexpensive, so profit margins can be small. The florist's dilemma? Prom flowers also can generate high sales volume, help you connect with future flower customers and showcase your artistic talent. Add to this the very real challenge of working with uncertain young buyers on their first flower purchase. They’re often influenced enough by the opinions of their mom and friends to feel uncomfortable making a selection. It can be difficult to profitably please picky prom goers! How can you turn these novice customers into future flower buyers while reducing the time it takes to guide them through the process? Prom preparation! Here are eight suggestions for setting the stage for dramatic prom sales, streamlining the process, increasing the perceived value of our product and making it fun to buy flowers.

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1.     Develop a prom network to help increase sales

Create a joint marketing plan with a local dress shop, a tux shop, photographer, restaurant, transportation firm, etc., to refer services and advertise as a group.
  • Promote your designs by placing a design of the week in each business along with flyers and coupons.
  • Offer prom 2018 T-shirts printed with each company’s logo. These continue to promote the group after prom season.
  • Post a prom fashion trend article with photos on social media, school newspaper and each business’ website.
  • Post a series of prom flower photos on your shop’s Instagram feed.

2.     Reach out to schools for gathering orders

  • Volunteer to present flower programs to school and civic groups explaining prom trends, budgets, flowers, etiquette, etc.
  • On the day the prom court is announced, send gifts wristlets and bouts to schools to honor the prom court, prom sponsors, junior and senior teachers.
  • If your school still allows florists to sell prom flowers on campus, set up a sales table at lunch, break and afterschool events.
  • Create flyers that offer a discount coupon. Enlist a few active students to hand them out to fellow students. Have the student salesperson sign the coupons and give them a bonus for each coupon returned for prom flowers. This gives the seller and buyer a good deal.

3.     Make it fun ‘n easy to shop for prom flowers

Plan a prom party in your shop to encourage advance orders.

  • Share dates and times on social media.
  • Offer specials and packages.
  • Give discounts to students who hand out your flyers.
  • Think 2-2-2: Schedule two weeks ahead, two days a week, for two hours.

Encourage groups of friends to place their orders together while enjoying pizza.

  • Suggest couples attend together and bring the dress to coordinate His & Her orders.
  • Decorate with a prom theme and play popular music.
  • Hang framed photos of finished designs live artwork in your shop.

Help prom kids feel comfortable and confident placing orders.

  • Showcase designs as artwork on order boards to increase the value of the sale.
  • Encourage customers to select their own design materials: Fill trays with various design materials like wire forms, ribbon, beads and other decorative accents in pre-priced collections.
  • Include fun elements like lights.
  • Bag the selected items with each order immediately to remove from available stock.
See production line tips in this previous blog.

4.     Upsell orders by adding floral jewelry

Flower jewelry is becoming increasingly popular for proms, weddings and other formal events. Necklaces, bracelets, cuffs, rings, belts, anklets, fascinators and bout art are frequent requests. Cash in on this fresh jewels trend by promoting the look on your website, social media and in your shop.
  • Show floral jewelry in jewelry-store-like displays alongside traditional wrist corsages and boutonnieres.
  • Post a menu board of design styles, prices and add-ons.
  • Make and sell basic wire forms in advance. Glue flowers in on design day.
  • Provide trays for collecting items for customized orders.
  • Pull from stock selected items and attach to their order to prevent overselling.
  • Display recommended flowers and label with variety, name and available colors.
See floral jewelry-making tips.

5.     Increase your prom flower options

Offer higher priced items. If flower crowns, floral purses and bouquets aren’t already hot items in your area, consider adding them to your prom menu. Visit these two blogs for tips on creating flower crowns and botanical purses: 7 Simple Ways to Design Fabulous Flower Crowns Designing Botanical Shoes and Purses

6.     Finalize the sale

  • Require payment in advance to speed up the pick-up process.
  • Give a numbered receipt with an assigned time for the day of pick up.
  • Remind them of pick-up hours for prom day. Make it early enough for corrections.
  • Ask for their mobile number. Then, call or text if they miss their assigned time.
  • Offer a discount coupon for a future purchase or a free rose the week after prom.

7.     Set up a production line for faster design

Save labor and time by gluing flowers into designs instead of wiring and taping each flower. This is the perfect place to utilize broken blooms. If the basic form is made in advance, it only takes a minute to glue the flower heads in place.
  • Slip a PVC pipe inside a row of bracelets to glue several at one time.
  • Group designs that require flowers of the same color.
  • Glue flowers into the row of wristlets.
  • Allow flowers to dry before packaging for the cooler.
  • Organize the cooler by alphabet and assigned pick up times.
To save time repeating care instructions at delivery, add a flower care card to each order (don’t place in a freezer or leave in a hot car, etc.).

8.     Connect with your new customers

In the midst of the chaos, take time to connect with these future customers and make them feel welcome! You can win young friends on prom morning by setting out boxes of donuts or other treats and small bottles of water for the sleepyheads to enjoy while they wait in line. What suggestions can you share for making prom season more profitable for florists and pleasurable for new young customers?


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osusonu October 06, 2020
Thank you for the tips!

Great ideas !

Jerri Prose December 18, 2019
Very very helpful but I wanted to see price range for buttonare & corsages
camille green December 18, 2019

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