Maximise Sales this Spring

13 March 2023
  • Whastsapp

In common with probably all my colleagues in the horticultural industry, I look forward to the dark days of winter ending and take delight at the first signs of spring. Spring is always full of potential, opportunities, renewed energy, and sales! Plants are bursting into life again and customers are coming out of their hibernation with enthusiasm and joy, ready to spend money again on plants and products that bring so many benefits in terms of wellbeing, health, and environment.  Despite our best efforts as an industry to flatten the demand curve for gardening products, peak sales of course still occur in the spring – this is the time when some serious profit can be made, so it is vital to be ready for when the weather changes and the anticipated surge in demand happens. Here are some tips to help you prepare for spring and maximise your sales opportunities.  

Encourage your customers to stock up well in advance. At this time of the year, the weather can be unseasonably warm which often encourages some early retail activity. Those retailers that are understocked will miss vital sales opportunities, so work with your customers to get stock onto their premises early. To do this you might have to offer extended credit – but why not? It’s better that the stock sits on a garden centre where it can be purchased rather than on your nursery where it still needs to be maintained.  

Help your customers to sell your products. Typically, in this industry suppliers leave all the responsibility for sales to the retailer, but in the grocery industry its very common that a manufacturer will work with the retailer to sell more product. I remember a classic example of this in 1971 – my father worked for Wander, who manufactured Ovaltine. They brought Muhammed Ali over from the USA to visit supermarkets and sign tins of Ovaltine – you can imagine how much more Ovaltine was sold. Whilst this might be an extreme example of manufacture and retailer cooperation the principles remain the same – look at how you can assist your customer to sell more products. Perhaps give them display ideas, or maybe go and spend a day at their centre talking to their customers about your plants and products. 

Review your sales order processes. Now is a great time to review how easy it is for customers to buy from you. Put yourself in your customers shoes and critically appraise the customer journey, from initial contact right through to receiving the delivery. Should you improve the information the customer receives? Should you improve the frequency of communication? Remember that each customer is different and so creating a bespoke communication plan for each customer will enable you to develop stronger and more profitable relationships. 


Review your customer list. There will be customers on your data base that are costly to manage and perhaps not very profitable for you. So now is the time to critically appraise your customers. Work out which ones are the most profitable, identify those that have more potential but are under performing, identify those that you are not selling to but should be, and of course identify those that are a lot of hassle. Don’t be afraid to drop customers – you don’t need every  customer, rather you need to manage the good ones more effectively. 

Let’s hope this spring will be a bumper one for our industry.  Yes, there is a cost-of-living crisis, but how people will choose to spend what disposable income they have is unknown. My guess is that they will spend on what gives them value for money wellbeing pleasure and joy, investing in their gardens and homes where they will spend most time.  I look forward to hearing reports of record sales being made.