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The Flowering Minds Blog

A Powerful Sales Tool for Florists: Reciprocity

Feb 24, 2023

Reciprocity: A Floristry Sales Tool

You've probably heard of the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated.

In the business world, this is called reciprocity...and it can be a powerful sales tool!

Reciprocity is based on the concept that we humans are hardwired to respond positively to someone who has just done something nice for us. It's an instinctive reaction, and one that's rooted in our survival instincts. When someone does something nice for us, our first thought is usually "what can I do for them in return?"

In the world of sales, reciprocity can be a great way to boost flower sales. To start, you'll need to figure out what kind of favors your customers would appreciate and how best to offer them.


How Does Reciprocity Work?

So, what's the psychology behind reciprocity? It turns out that we humans have a fundamental desire for fairness. We experience pleasure when someone does something nice for us and reciprocating is our way of trying to maintain balance in our relationships. That's why reciprocity works so well in the sales world, as buyers subconsciously feel the need to give back after someone has placed an effort into offering them something valuable - like a free sample or helpful advice about their flowers!

Of course, the would-be buyers don't realize what's happening behind the scenes and just think they've received an awesome deal - something florists should keep in mind when looking for creative ways to use reciprocity in their businesses!


How to utilize reciprocity in Event Floristry

Here are some ideas to build good will with your customers so they choose to do business with you.

Offer customers free merchandise with their purchase such as:

• A toss bouquet for the bride

• A boutonniere for the groom

• Wedding cake flowers

• A walk-through at the venue

Even if you already don't charge for an item, consider telling the customer that it is "on the house," so they understand that it IS valuable and that you are giving it to them free of charge.

If you choose to give one of the items above, I recommend you only give one. You still want to charge so that you can profit from your work, but choosing one item to give "on the house" will help you stand out and build up good will with your potential client. When a client is spending thousands of dollars with their florist, I guarantee they will appreciate that you acknowledge this by giving them something as well. 


Using Reciprocity in Retail Floristry

Here are some ideas to build good will with your customers so they choose to do business with you.

Offer customers free merchandise with their purchase such as:

• a packet of flower seeds, branded with your logo.

• a branded t-shirt

• a branded mug

• a small succulent or plant

It’s always nice to walk out of the shop with some high quality swag! This will ensure your shop was memorable and they will come back because you utilized reciprocity. 


Reciprocity creates return customers and good referrals.

Florists understand the value of repeat business and good referrals for their businesses. After a customer has had a great experience, they will be more likely to come back or recommend the florist to friends and family. With this in mind, taking advantage of reciprocity is key – creating something so special for the customer that it prompts them to return and tell others around them about the experience. For floral businesses especially, providing an unforgettable experience can lead to increased sales and better word of mouth, which can be incredibly powerful.


If you haven't gathered this already- reciprocity is an incredibly powerful tool for flower businesses. Not only does it make customers feel valued and appreciated, but it also stimulates sales. It gives customers the sense that they’re getting something in return for their patronage and will keep them more likely to return than a one time purchase. While planting the seed of reciprocity into your flower business may take time, its long term rewards are sure to be worth it. When reciprocity is used appropriately it can create an environment of mutual respect and trust that translates into an increased number of loyal customers and happy referrals.


Alyssa x

P.S. Want to learn more about how to increase your sales? Join the Flowering Minds membership to access ALL my tips and tricks to thrive in your floristry business. 

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