United Flower Growers Limited (UFG) is New Zealand’s largest flower marketer, formed by the combination of grower-owned companies United Flower Auction Ltd and the flower operation arm of Market Gardeners Ltd.

A growing business

Keen to build the first complete and up-to-date database of NZ flower growers, UFG decided to invest in telemarketing to enrich the information in their CRM (customer relationship management) system.

“Knowing what cut flowers are available nationally means being able to identify gaps in the market and find new opportunities for growers to expand their businesses. To achieve this, we needed help to complete around 450 growers’ profiles,” says Rebecca Jones, Marketing Manager for UFG. “We were looking for more information on their businesses, where they’re located and what they grow.

“This type of project hadn’t been carried out in the flower industry before. With this detailed information on hand, UFG can become the platform on which the flower industry can bloom.”

The friendly factor

With limited internal resources and time, UFG decided to outsource the project. Hot Leads impressed them from the outset, and were chosen to help them out. “I liked the whole way that Hot Leads did their presentation and how professional they were,” says Rebecca. “They absolutely understood what we wanted to achieve.”

Rebecca’s early confidence in Hot Leads was endorsed by the reactions from UFG’s growers as the project progressed. “I can honestly say that I’ve had only positive responses from the growers that Hot Leads contacted,” she says. “Many of our growers have been in the business for a long time, so they appreciated talking to people who obviously knew the New Zealand market and didn’t come across as total strangers. Hot Leads just ‘got’ how to talk to them, in a way that was friendly, engaging and comfortable.”

Rebecca was equally delighted that Hot Leads were able to enter the data they collected directly into UFG’s CRM. “They were able to use our system, so there was no double handling of the data. That was really beneficial to us.”

Bloomin’ brilliant

Would Rebecca recommend Hot Leads to others?

“Yes, very much so,” she says. “They got everything done in the time we agreed, and within budget. I believe they charge a fair price for their services and they are extremely professional. They’re very good with their communications: everything was set out very clearly before the project started, and their follow-through has been excellent.”

What’s next?

The initial 2018 growers’ database project spanned a 6-month period and delivered a wealth of information to UFG. However, while flower growing is a major part of UFG’s business, they have a large customer base in the retail sector that needs to be carefully cultivated as well.

“We’ll probably go through a similar exercise again next year, targeting retailers,” says Rebecca. “I’ll definitely use Hot Leads again: they understand our business and deliver great results.”