Upsell: Increase Your Interiorscape Business Revenue

You can better serve your interiorscape clients by learning the art of the upsell.

The Retail Upsell

Before horticulture, I started out in retail management. I’ve worked in fine jewelry, outlets, and department chains. Even though the merchandise was different, the corporate level knew how to take advantage of the short time a customer was in the store. Not only did we display complimentary items at checkout points, but every cashier was trained to suggest products that would enhance the customer’s purchase.

A jewelry cleaner to keep their diamonds sparkling. Funky socks to match funky ties. An important warranty just in case that electronic device crapped out. While the customer is only spending a few extra bucks, that small upsell revenue stream can make a major difference in year-end sales. 

Unlike the average brick and mortar store, I’m assuming most interiorscape companies don’t have a constant flow of walk-in customers or even a store front. When we do get a potential customer’s attention that may be the one and only time we have. While it’s easy to suggest a matching belt or shoe for an outfit, the interiorscape model tends to incorporate everything into one bundle. The plants, containers, and free replacement if they crap out—there isn’t a whole lot left to add on. Here are a few ways I try to capitalize on every sale.

Top Dressings to Underplanting

upsell rocks

While I’ve had a few customers immediately tell me they want rocks instead of standard Spanish moss, most have no idea the unique selection we can offer today. From mixing different sizes and colors of natural stone to lime green reindeer moss to lightweight polypebbles, there are several creative ways to dress up a planter. Depending on the style of the location, I first verbally explain the different choices. Then I show clients images of the best option that will complement their space. Suggesting unique trailing foliage like the neon pothos or Brazilian philly as soil cover is another opportunity to increase the sale.

Blooming Rotation to Vertical Planters

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the elegance of a phalenopsis orchid bowl. Whether I’m designing for a reception area, boardroom, or any space meant to impress, I inform customers about the blooming rotation service that allows them to have gorgeous flowers year-round. Besides orchids and bromeliads, I’ve found kalanchoes and anthuriums are also reasonably priced options.

To give your client the longest bloom life, don’t use red kalanchoes, which die faster than other colors. White kalanchoes brown very easy and can look nasty if you don’t pick off every dead flower. Pink anthuriums seem to rebloom more often than red. Out of the bromeliads, the flat neoregelia will hold their color much longer than the traditional guzmania.

upsell flower

If a client loves the pop of color but doesn’t want the reoccurring cost, I suggest artificial flower stems instead. Orchid, bromeliad, and anthurium replicas are so realistic looking that only you and your client will know they are not real.

Vertical planters are a fairly recent trend in our industry, so the general public may have no idea they exist unless you educate them. From small wall hangings to entire two-story floor to ceiling installations, the possibilities are endless. If the space is modern and edgy, and the client wants something unique, vertical planters could be the very thing they need and don’t mind paying extra for. 

Artificial Foliage Care

Whether your company offers this service or not, I have not been able to find one local janitorial or housekeeping company that does. The opportunity to pick up more business may be wide open in your market. Whenever I walk through a potential account, I stop and inspect any silk plant on sight. Nine out of ten times, the cloth leaves are caked with dirt or the plant has seen much better days. If the client is walking with me, I’ll show them the dirt on my finger and offer a quarterly cleaning and refurbishing plan. Sometimes the old fake ficus is beyond repair and, lucky for them, I have a hundred other styles of artificial trees to offer.

Share Your Upsell Ideas

These are only three ideas for upselling that provide countless opportunities to increase your interiorscape business revenue. Comment below with more ideas on how to use the art of the upsell!

Sherry has been part of the interiorscape industry for over fifteen years, starting at an entry level job at North Florida's largest greenhouse and currently owning two horticulture companies. At UMaine, Sherry majored in English where she worked part-time writing scripts for a local college TV studio.

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