Booking Your First Corporate Client

By Ryan ONeil
What if you could have the type of clientele that brought your business consistent revenue and allowed you free creative expression? What if you could leverage your design skills in such a way that you were able to establish your brand along side BIG names?That's exactly what you can achieve with corporate events. In this post you'll learn exactly how to go about booking your first corporate client.

Step 1:
Decide what type of corporate service you want to provide

Corporate services range from subscription-based to event design. Before deciding on what direction you want to go, take a few factors into consideration.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What does my body of work represent? Is it large scale, light and airy, masculine, architectural, modern, bridal, or traditional?
  2. What businesses are in my locale? Hotels, office buildings, airport, hospital, med spa, dentist, steak houses, PR Firms, bridal salons, or restaurants? Make a list!
  3. Which business has the type of customers I WANT?
  4. Which business would I LOVE to work with and why?
  5. Which of these are in my area?

Next decide the type of business model you would prefer:

  • Option 1 - Subscription/Rental: This model is great for creating stability and cash flow into your business. If you're just starting out and are home-based, it is a perfect model! You'll love the ability to create your floral arrangements or menu items, pack them in your car, and then deliver them with ease. Logistically speaking, it's a pretty straight forward model. For restaurants, hotels, and spas you can expect to deliver end-of-week as that's when most of their customers are coming in.  For offices, you can expect to deliver Monday mornings. The thing with subscription based businesses is that you'll be responsible for ongoing services.  You'll have to deliver great service and products on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If you travel a lot or don't like having to be somewhere CONSISTENTLY, this might not be for you. Your clients may call you in the middle of the week with an emergency broken vase situation, or the VP may be in town and they want to send flowers. Whatever the case, expect to be somewhat on call for services.
  • Option 2 - Event Design Services: If you like designing on a larger scale capacity then events may be more your style. From galas to meetings, your design will typically follow a corporate directive. The yield from these type of events are very profitable. In most cases, you'll be paid in full vs. a net 30-90 day with most subscription business models. You'll also be able to market your services to your ideal clients much faster. The best part is that you'll be referred to other established brands looking for event services.
  • Option 3 - A Custom Service Option: As I always say, the more niche, the better! The goal is for YOU to become the go to florist for "XYZ". Let's say you have a lot of realtor friends and contacts. Naturally, this might be your sweet spot to find your clients! Your business can be exclusively for Welcome Home Floral Arrangement Packages or At Home Catering Services for staging or photo shoots. You can make clients pay an annual membership of $$$$ to have access to your design services with free delivery. The possibilities are endless!  You can work out the details to best suit your clients. 

Step 2:
Hold a corporate consultation and book your first client

For demonstration purposes, I will be taking you through a consultation for weekly floral arrangement rental services. Below is the EXACT process that you will be used to book your first client.

You can reach directly out to your prospects through phone or email.  A simple request to provide them with a custom floral arrangement proposal at their convenience will suffice. Make sure to list 1-3 perks of working with you such as free vase rental, free delivery, long lasting blooms, etc. You can also let the client know who you have worked with in the past and how you could provide them with aesthetic value to enhance their establishment. As a result, clients and the staff will have a more pleasant experience at work. Floral arranging services don't need much "explaining"; the service is quite straight forward.  In any case, you may need to educate your prospect.  Make sure you have a list of benefits on hand.

During the Consultation
Once you have a consultation, prepare to WOW the client with a truly personalized walk-through. In order to provide the client with the best floral selection for their establishment, you will need to make sure you provide a streamlined experience. Using the corporate client walk through pdf below, you'll be able to ask the RIGHT questions, every time!  The client walk through is about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of space.

  • First you'll meet with the client on site at their office/space. Are they looking for weekly or bi-weekly delivery? Find out their ideal budget.
  • Next you will start by getting some general information on their goals, what is or isn't working for them, and how many rooms they want floral arrangement installations to be present. Do they want a blooming or foliage installation?  Use your expertise.
  • As you start the walk through, ask if you can snap photos of each installation area for more customization in the proposal. Some offices may or may not be okay with photos being taken if documents, etc. are in plain sight. It's always best to ask.

The walk-through:

  • Review where they want to have the weekly floral arrangement placed. Examine the traffic of the area, the lighting, the decor, and the height/width of the space. You'll be able to create a unique design package based on the venue. Take notes of the space: is it art deco? traditional? Parisian? zen? What is the best way to describe the space?
  • Next make some quick notes on what flowers would work best. In an office setting, tropicals hold up really well.  Take photos when needed.  You can refer back to the photos or use them in the design proposal.
  • Repeat this step for each room. To keep conversation relevant, ask the person walking through with you his/her favorite flowers. Ask about traffic of the space and if their are any other design services they are in need of. Some clients want floor plants or decor services. For this you can provide referrals or suggestions.

Preparing your proposal:
YAAAAY! You did it! Okay, Okay. No need to panic. You're about to whip up a gorgeous proposal for your ideal client. Your client is busy and may or may not be the decision maker. So you'll want to be informative, but short and sweet with it.

Step 3:
Here is exactly what your 1-2 page proposal needs to have:

  • At the top client information and point of contact information. Date of consultation and your contact information.
  • The body of the quote should include a suggested recipe for the client. List the main items you will be using as a part of the client's contract.
  • The bottom portion of the proposal serves as part of the contract, if they so choose to book you. You should include the weekly/monthly investment, duration of the contract, a pay-in-full perk, and clearly list all the services in an itemized manner. Be very black/white with this portion of the proposal. They need to understand clearly what they are getting and what the investment is. 

I hope this helps as you work to booking your first corporate client!  

Hi, I'm Rochell! I help florists and event stylist create truly irresistible businesses, charge (and be paid!) what they’re worth and intentionally engineer success so they can stand out! In my own floral design firm I’ve booked $100k+ events, commanded 5 figure days and generated $30k+ months through corporate floral services – and I’m excited to share my secrets, the highs, the lows,  and shortcuts so you can too! Is corporate floral design & styling something you'd like to add to your floral business model? If it is, then our Stems & Strategy Session would be a perfect fit for you! 

Tags: Tips, Efficiency, Small Business Sally, Curate, Established Ed


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