But Brenda Fraser, founder of Photosynthesis Floral Design in 2002, has managed to do exactly that. She lists Melrose Arch Hotel, Stanlib, Jawitz, Pam Golding and Broll Property Group among her main clients.
Find Your Niche.
Fraser’s secret to landing such prestigious clients lies in the combination of a unique product and some good old cold calling. Photosynthesis specialises in Ikebana, an ancient Japanese art of floral design that is typified by structured, modern and restrained arrangements, and she believes having such a unique product really helped her business. “We have tried to stay away from the traditional approach to floristry,” she says. It makes sense that big clients, who usually pay big money, don’t want something that’s run-of-the-mill – product or service differentiation appeals to these clients.
Banking on the beauty of her product, Fraser says she did a few cold calls and sent complimentary arrangements to prospective clients, following up afterwards to gauge their reaction. It’s not a new approach but if your product is good enough, it’s one that can really impress. Fraser’s approach was targeted: “I knew they were building Melrose Arch Hotel and what they were doing with it so I arranged something to suit it, and sent it to them,” she says, adding: “Find the relevant contact person in the organisation and target them, not just anyone.”
Once you’ve impressed a potential prospect with what you can do, it’s vital that you carry through with good service – after all, what’s the point of landing a big contract only to lose it a month later due to poor service delivery? As Fraser says of her industry: “The competition is great but the service isn’t. We approached things from a service angle and really listened to clients and made something bespoke for them.” Don’t underestimate the power of listening – it lets you know exactly what your client needs, giving you the unique opportunity to tailor-make something for them, an approach that has workedfor Photosynthesis.
It’s not surprising that big contracts have a way of being self-perpetuating, leading to other big contracts. This is because big companies have a greater reach and footprint, touching the lives of more people and businesses, thus increasing the power of word of mouth marketing exponentially. It’s another reason to make sure your service is outstanding.
Creating A Positive Experience At All Touch-Points.
Fraser points out the importance of making sure that every point of contact your company has with a new or prospective client creates a positive experience. “I need to remember that my driver who delivers the flowers to a potential or existing client needs to live my brand as much as I do,” she says. Strong branding on the outside needs to be complemented by strong internal systems so that when you get a client, you can deliver. Fraser surrounds herself with a team that builds strong relationships with client contacts – don’t make the mistake of forgetting that individual people work in huge organisations and they are the ones who will pass on your good (or bad) name.