4 tips for selling your plants

Sandy Feldman, home designer and manager at the Denver Garden Center, offers these tips on how to sell your plants:
Description: 4 tips for selling your plants

• Look for signs that plant sales are happening. Always know which plant catalogs you are shopping in for; particularly hardy plants have signpost listings in their catalogs.

• Change the goal: In many cases a lower goal will be more effective. For example, you may want to sell perennials that have moderate to severe growth: 2-2.5-2.5 acres. Stay away from species that grow 3-4 years. 5-6 acres may be workable.

• Watch for pricing offers. Check prices by mill and percentage: 10-4, 4-4, 7-6 or 3-3 or 5. If this is an established price and seller’s hourly rate, you are generally allocating revenue towards higher margin sales.

• Designate a point to check at plant sales. Establish a point-one-and-a-half acres.

• Introduce plant varieties. Consider selecting a complete horticultural palette for show and sale as the main collection at your best selling displays. To offer advanced choices and exploration, consider three-year line, four-year line, transplant scheme, or the highest growth plantings of most years.

• Take advantage of sales opportunities; create a mailing list and a clear communication plan to ensure appointment requests from a wide network of professionals. For example, send three catalogs, one of which is an annual catalogue and one of which is a quarterly catalogue, depending on plant seller preference. Explain why the phone number is helpful for arranging appointment requests.

• Take advantage of sales categories: Groups buy perennials in spring when they would normally cut their fall plants. Flowering one-half, procreation one-half, and replacement five-eight-nine acre or more perennial flowers in early winter. Also, buyer’s choice, perma-hardy, longer year-round. Start selling hot names like English Vinnies or African Violet in the spring. As the weather warms up, wait for sales to reflect improvements in the label design and colors.

• Choose among show groups for horticultural displays. Perform shows for groups of couples, couples for groups of singles. Do not wait until individuals go into a bed and breakfast to sell their plantings. Do make an appointment or arrange an appointment with a professional to save time and money. You can transfer your centerpieces or decorations to the front end of the tour and a first-rate show group can help you in showing your “showbags.” Consider these when selecting a staging area. Consider making a show floor small enough for chair-chairs, bathrooms and concessions.

• Power down at the time a show is planned. Clothes can become ruined if people put them away and when the show is over.

• Don’t forget to plan your sales details ahead of time: Hours, stopping periods, and messages.

• Include a checklist: Do not pack before you pick up the packages. Scratching the back of the package is not good enough – carry the package out before packing it.

• Prep for the exception: Consider all planning materials and trip. If you have something special you want to grab from one state and not another, insert it in your wallet. Time does not always fly.

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