The sympathy business has always been a mainstay of florists, yet floral needs have evolved over the years due to changing lifestyles, loss of traditions, and donations to charities in lieu of sympathy flowers. There are, however, promising new trends in the sympathy business; with so much potential revenue, it’s important to know how to maximize your marketing efforts in this area. Here are a few key strategies you can use to make sure your flower business is the #1 choice for local funeral homes, funeral directors and people in need of sympathy flowers.
Personalize your designs
One of the most important current trends in sympathy flowers is personalization: Families are using memorial services and celebrations of life to tell a story about their loved one, express their personality and inspire fond memories. It’s important to work with your customers to create unique arrangements that bring comfort in a very personal way. This can be anything from unique spray shapes and grave blankets to memorial arrangements that complement cremation urns. Make sure to photograph each new arrangement you design, to create a portfolio to show to potential customers.
Connect with local funeral homes
Develop a strong relationship with area funeral directors and their staff. Let them know that you are available whenever they need you, as in many cases their need will be immediate. Show them a guide that includes photos of available arrangements, focusing on how you can personalize these arrangements to meet the needs of grieving loved ones. Another way to strengthen this relationship is to make the funeral home look good. This can be as simple as providing weekly fresh flowers for their entrance, with your contact information next to or near the arrangement.
Develop a relationship with senior citizens
These days, many seniors make their own funeral arrangements prior to death, so as not to be a burden to their loved ones. One way to assist seniors and their families when they are choosing their flowers is to connect with nursing homes: Provide local nursing homes and assisted living facilities with entrance flowers and become acquainted with the staff, who will then pass on your name as a recommended florist. Many senior groups also have monthly functions or annual events, like the Red Hat Society, AARP, and local senior citizen halls. Become familiar with these and whenever possible, donate flowers to their main location or for their events.
Promote your sympathy business
Make it easy for people to find you when they are looking for a florist during what can be an emotionally challenging time. Create a tasteful marketing piece that funeral directors can use to refer you to families. You can also place targeted banner ads on funeral planning websites like FSN Funeral Homes. With a targeted strategy implemented in a tasteful, respectful way, your sympathy business will continue to grow, year after year.