In our last couple blog posts, we surveyed the different types of guarantees offered by companies selling live plants through the mail, and noted some of the practices that might deter customers from ordering. In today’s post, I’ll focus on some best practices that encourage customers to place an order.
Focus on the Positive. Some companies, such as Annie’s Annuals, say it simply: “We guarantee you’ll receive healthy, vigorous, true to name plants that transplant well and prosper with your good care.”
One of my favorite guarantees, from Easy to Grow Bulbs, outlines every little thing they guarantee, in easy-to-follow bulleted copy:
“We guarantee that the bulbs and plants you receive will be:
• True to name
• The size noted on our site or larger
• Healthy, firm and ready to grow
• Disease and pest free
• The varieties you ordered. No substitutes are made without your expressed permission
• Clearly labeled so you’ll know which bag is which
• Commercially cultivated; never taken from the wild
• Supported by detailed planting instructions”
It’s so much easier to buy from a company that spells out what they will guarantee rather than every eventuality that they won’t.
Offer Proof. Give specific reasons why customers can expect success with your products. Show photos of how well your products come packed. Note a high customer satisfaction rating on Garden Watchdog. Oakes Daylilies points out that they have a pretty good idea of which daylilies are reliable performers because they’ve grown more than 4,000 varieties of them.
Explain why the customer should expect success with your plants, and you’ll enjoy higher sales as a result.
Offer Help. Make sure you provide the information people need to grow your plants successfully. Easy to Grow Bulbs emphasizes the importance of planting bulbs immediately on arrival. Chamblee Rose Nursery reminds buyers to choose varieties appropriate for their zone, and to call if advice is needed on protecting against unusual weather conditions.
With the recent increase in new gardeners, don’t assume that your buyers know what to do ensure success. Spell out things that you may consider obvious, and offer to help with any questions.
Reinforce the End Benefit. Remind the customer why they’re buying from you in the first place. A good example of this is the closing of Brent & Becky’s Bulbs’ guarantee: “We wish you much success, lots of flowers and many happy days filled with smiles!”
That sure beats the close to another guarantee I found: “If you require an unconditional guarantee, please shop elsewhere.” Whew, I don’t require an unconditional guarantee, but don’t worry – I will shop elsewhere! You’ll find me at the “happy days filled with smiles” counter!