Why We Created Our Florist Budget Calculator

By Ryan ONeil

We're a huge fan of calculators. Just consider the fact that we've previously given away a rental calculator and a markup calculator to help you price your arrangements for maximum profit. But there's one more calculator we've talked a lot about, and that's the budget calculator we use Twisted Willow's website.

When we updated our website to increase our wedding conversions by 400%, this was probably the most complex piece. But it has been worth it in our processes as a company. We've decided to share our secret recipe for the budget calculator... next week. First, it's important to understand the "why" behind our most important tool for getting sales qualified leads. 

Twisted Willow's Budget Calulator Screenshot.png

Educating Pinterest Brides With Caviar Dreams And Intimate Budgets
Every florist has had to deal with potential clients who come into a consultation with the whole wedding planned on pinterest including the style and colors of the bridal bouquet, the flowers they want for the bouts and corsages, and the exact name of the tall vase they want to hold their reception centerpieces. But many times, when they're given the cost of their dream wedding florals, their bubble is completely burst and they're left having to reimagine everything, even considering the term "DIY" for some brides. Unfortunately for the florist, potential clients with wrecked dreams tend not do well with booking as they take much longer to re-evaluate their budget and options - that's if they end up being within the range of events you take anyways.

We decided that we'd rather not pop those dream bubbles in the middle of a consultation. There's a pretty simple rule I've learned: if you ever try to educate someone and sell them in the same conversation, you're going to come off as a snake oil salesman. If we state what the client considers an enormous price and then try to convince them why it's fair, it will never happen. They need to be educated BEFORE that.

Instead of getting clients that hadn't been qualified or having to educate someone in the consultation, our online budget tool helps educate potential clients on how much they can expect to pay for their wedding florals. If they're comfortable with the projected range, they can schedule a consultation and go in confident that we'll be able to bring their big dreams to life.

At the root of it, you want to be able to keep the consultation about the flowers and the vision for the event, not the prices. By educating a potential client on pricing before the consultation, you can focus on what really matters, rather than tiptoeing around the elephant in the room.

More Sales Qualified Leads
Twisted Willow has been around since 2013. A couple of years ago, my wife, Rachael, and I made the decision to focus on clients who want us to handle all of their flowers in the ceremony and reception, as well as accent pieces. This market is around $4,000 to $12,000 per event. Prior to that, our average event was around $2,000. In this transition, we changed a lot about our business--we update our florist logo, created a new website, and developed a new client welcome packet to give to potential clients in their initial consultation. We knew that everything we did would have to cater to the type of clientele we were aiming for and didn't want to spend unnecessary time with potential clients who would not be comfortable signing a contract with us because of our pricing. Our budget calculator ultimately helps qualify potential clients and, even though we aren't the florist for them, it even educates smaller clients in our area who are working with more intimate budgets.
If someone fills out the information on the form and is under our criteria, they are given a projected range of their florals and a message that says "Interested in more info for your wedding? Check your date below. Our floral investments start at $3,000. We'd love to hear about your vision and see if we can bring it to life." It then shows them the Check My Date form. If they fill out the form even after seeing the type of investment it will be, they are likely a bit more flexible in their budget than their answers initially led on. More often than not, though, potential clients who are not comfortable with that price tag will not bother to fill out the Check My Date form.
Now, if the information on the form does meet our criteria, they will see a message that says "Interested in seeing if your date is open? Check your date below. We specialize in exquisite events with flexible budgets and would love to hear more about your vision." It then also shows the Check My Date form but this message does not attempt to deter clients from filling out the date checker because they are already sales qualified. It also allows us to customize our messaging based on the client type, which leads to a better experience.
Quick Way To Learn About The Potential Client
You can learn a lot about a potential client with just a couple of questions. For example, one of the questions we use on our Budget Calculator is "Do you have any specific ideas for florals, decor, or design at your event?" with answer options:

  • I'm extremely flexible and open
  • I have a few ideas, but nothing is locked down.
  • I've got the design fairly planned out. I just need a good designer who can help make it happen.

A potential client who answers with the third option is most likely going to require more of your time. We'll get into what that means for their "budget multiple" in next week's article about the floral budget calculator itself but knowing that about the potential client can be crucial to knowing if they are the right fit for you or not. Perhaps you have several other large weddings around the same time as their's, if you know in advance that they will want to be very hands on and take more time than you have available, you can turn them down gently or recommend them to another florist. 

Next week we're going to take a good look at exactly how our budget calculator works and give away our secret recipe so your web developer can develop a similar one for your website.


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