Sympathy Sales for Florists: the Power of Blooming Relationships

Patriotic sympathy and tribute piece.

At a time when loss and mourning prevail, a beautiful floral arrangement can offer a quiet solace, a poignant tribute, or a vibrant celebration of life. Almost everyone understands the significance of flowers at funerals, both as a tradition and as a sincere gesture of sympathy. This provides florists with an essential role to play in significant moments of people's lives, as well as a dependable source of revenue. However, it's clear that the landscape of sympathy sales is evolving, with funeral homes increasingly taking the initiative—and a commission—selling flowers to bereaved families.

Sympathy and tribute angel statuary

In response to this shift, BloomNet aims to assist florists in reclaiming their rightful place in the sympathy sales ecosystem. Our 2023 Tribute Selection Guide: Expressions of Flowers features over 100 different floral arrangements and showcases nearly 30 top trending keepsakes, including angels, statues, crosses, plaques and steppingstones, wind chimes, lanterns, planters, vases, luminaries, cemetery bushes and more. Create on-trend personalized and memorable funeral, cremation, memorial sympathy for the home and celebration of life designs that will help your customers and their families to express their heartfelt sentiments. BloomNet Members receive special pricing on this year’s Tribute Selection Guide.

To help you further, the Society of American Florists’ Floral Education Hub has a collection of resources to help gain back sympathy sales environment by enhancing relationships with funeral directors, effectively negotiating commissions, and combating the increasingly prevalent “in lieu of flowers” suggestion. These resources include:

Sympathy and tribute floral arrangement.
  • Win Back Sympathy Sales: This article from Floral Management delves into the art of maintaining and even expanding sympathy sales in the face of change. It presents innovative ways to remain the go-to florist for funeral homes and includes insightful advice from a funeral home director. It suggests plausible alternatives that florists can propose to funeral homes instead of the usual "in lieu of" phrasing, allowing for continued opportunities for florists to provide their essential services.
  • Working with Funeral Homes: Another key to regaining a foothold in the sympathy sales market is fostering lasting relationships with local funeral homes. This resource offers practical tips for creating and nurturing these important connections. A thriving relationship with funeral homes can lead to more fruitful cooperation, providing mutual benefits for both businesses while ultimately serving the families in their times of need.
  • Florists Get Social for Gen Z Sympathy Sales: It's undeniable that younger generations are increasingly relying on digital platforms for information, shopping, and services. Adapting to this shift can open new avenues for sympathy sales. This article discusses how some pioneering florists have tactfully marketed their sympathy work to younger generations via social media, thus successfully connecting with a new customer base.

At BloomNet, we understand that navigating these changing waters can be challenging. The funeral industry's shift towards a more prominent role in floral sales necessitates an agile and innovative approach from florists. This adaptation isn't merely about maintaining a revenue stream—it's about ensuring that your role as florists continues to be recognized and valued during significant moments in people's lives.

We believe that by strengthening your relationships with funeral homes, we can foster a spirit of cooperation that benefits both parties and, most importantly, provides comfort and support to the families we serve. By negotiating commissions effectively and presenting alternatives to the "in lieu of flowers" concept, we can uphold the importance of your profession and preserve the centuries-old tradition of expressing sympathy through flowers. By engaging with the younger generations on platforms they frequent, we can continue to evolve and flourish, just like the flowers we so carefully nurture.

Let's bloom together in this evolving industry, continuing to spread love, comfort, and solace with each arrangement we craft and each life we touch. To place your order for the 2023 Tribute Selection Guide: Expressions of Flowers, click here