Master Your Pricing: Pricing On The Spot

Today we’re bringing you the first of a four part series and we’re thrilled to introduce you to Alison Ellis, owner of Floral Artistry and Real Flower Business! Alison will be joining is for the next 4 Wednesdays to share some of her tips on pricing for floral designers. Please feel free to leave your questions for Alison in the comments at the end of today’s post. Welcome, Alison…

Orchard Cove Photography

Alison:

I teach florists how to price their work and consistently turn a profit in their business, but some of the most common pricing struggles floral designers face often revolve around communication before booking an event.

It’s critical to understand how money flows into your business and it’s equally important that you feel confident when presenting prices to clients. When you don’t feel confident in your pricing, you can end up feeling insecure every time you give a quote because there’s a part of you that’s not sure if you’re worthy of charging this much!

It’s hard to run a business with an insecure mindset. (It’s even more difficult to try to grow your business from a place of uncertainty.)

How do you communicate price and value to clients before booking an event?

In the upcoming weeks I’ll be covering 4 aspects of pricing where designers often struggle and I’m going to share how you can actually improve and correct these issues.

Correcting pricing “mistakes” may take practice, but you’ll be able to implement some of these tips immediately.

The first mistake florists often make is quoting on the spot.

Quoting on the spot can happen without warning sometimes. A customer asks, “How much for….” and a knee-jerk reaction leads you to promptly reply with a “best guess” in order to satisfy the request.

Quoting on the spot can happen on a site visit with a client who’s already booked, or it can happen in an initial consultation before you’ve booked a gig, but it’s important to have a plan for how you’ll handle “on the spot” pricing requests smoothly.

We don’t want to seem like we’re holding back information, but it’s completely acceptable to refuse to “ballpark” something and instead, choose to run the actual numbers.

In practice, pricing on the spot can be dangerous to your bottom line. What if you price on the spot and you’re wrong? What if you forget how this new addition will impact the overall delivery & set-up charge because you need a bigger vehicle or an additional employee?

It’s not always easy to go back to a customer with a price that’s actually higher than you’d estimated “on the spot”. If you don’t price on the spot, you’ll avoid this issue altogether.

Conversely, what if you quote too high, thus losing the sale “on the spot”, when you could have come up with a more accurate (and therefore acceptable) number if you’d allowed yourself the time?

What should you do when someone asks you to quote on the spot?

Here’s how I handle requests to “price on the spot”….it’s simple, straight forward and totally painless….it’s as easy as saying, “I’ll get a price for you on that.”

Now, the customer may say, “OK, but what’s your best guesstimate? Can you give me a ballpark? Are we looking at $100 or $1,000?”, and again, the reply is the same, “I will have to sit down with my calculator and run some real numbers to work out a price for you; I’ll have that for you this week.”


Pro tip: If knowing the price “right now” is more important to a client than getting an accurate quote, they may be too price driven. I don’t price on a hunch. I deal in real numbers.


Bonus: Here’s how I might present a price to a client after they’ve requested an addition:

Dear Mary,

I have updated your initial quote based on the changes we made in our meeting on Thursday.

If you’d like to add the (fill in the blank…aisle flowers, arbor, cocktail pieces) that comes to $500 which brings the grand total to $4,282 including the sales tax.

If there’s anything else you’d like to add please let me know. We can make additional changes as needed until 4 weeks before your wedding. Final payment is due by August 12th.

Please let me know if any questions.

Best regards,

Alison

Join the conversation! How do you handle pricing on the spot?

 Coming up in the series…

• Set a minimum.

• Stay in the driver’s seat.

• Give yourself a raise.

5 thoughts on “Master Your Pricing: Pricing On The Spot

  1. Madeleine elmer

    Alison has been such a support to independent designers in encouraging us to price our work according to industry standards. Grateful for her presence and experience in our online industry community!

    Reply
  2. david dahlson

    Alison.
    Glad you are back on FF! Pricing on the spot is always tricky, but one way to continue the dialogue is ask them to set the parameters on the spot. How many guests are you expecting; size of ceremony venue; size of reception; how many arrangements; how many bridesmaid bouquets; how many bout’s and so forth? My experience is most people are not ready with empirical answers, and usually are vague; thus providing a suitable opportunity to adjourn and then both parties can agree to meet again, by which time the parties should have the facts in hand.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Master Your Pricing Series on Botanical Brouhaha

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