Consultations - I Was Afraid Of This

Business By poshcakedesigns Updated 10 Aug 2008 , 5:05pm by snarkybaker

poshcakedesigns Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 6:37pm
post #1 of 20

I rent a kitchen so I can be legal. The place I rent from will not allow me to have clients come in to consult. Which up until now has not been an issue.

So I get an email from a bride telling me that her mom would not let her use me because she felt it was 'unprofessional' for a cake decorator to meet at a restaurant to consult for an order! How would you handle this?

I would hate to think that I am losing orders due to the fact that I can't meet at my shop boohooo

What would you do if you were me, I can't afford to go and rent an office space just to consult with people. icon_mad.gif

19 replies
JoAnnB Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 7:15pm
post #2 of 20

I ask them to select a place convenient to them to meet. Coffee shops are great, especially if you are NOT doing a tasting.

Lots of stores have areas where you can sit and have coffee.

BakingJeannie Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 7:19pm
post #3 of 20

Maybe you could use a community or condo club house. I live in a condo/townhouse community and we have a clue house with a business/office room for those living in the community. It's a great place to meet instead of a restaurant.

Just a though.

1234me Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 7:20pm
post #4 of 20

would they mind if you come to their house or meet at the church ore reception location?

poshcakedesigns Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 7:39pm
post #5 of 20

Thanks everyone - I have met with a few clients in their homes, I've met in restaurants and coffee shops and up until now I haven't heard anything negative. I always try to meet at a place where the client feels comfortable. I tell them I am licensed, I work from a licensed kitchen but due to space I have to arrange to meet them some place else and they can always call and confirm that I am licensed.

I don't know maybe it's just me being parnoid - I surely don't want to come across as being unprofessional because I don't have a shop to meet in. This could just be a fluck, one of a time incident but I sure don't want that to be a reason that I lose a potential client.

I can take losing clients because I'm to expensive or they found someone else they like better but being told your UNPROFESSIONAL because you don't have a shop to meet in just burns me up. icon_evil.gif

MeMo07 Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 7:52pm
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by poshcakedesigns

I rent a kitchen so I can be legal. The place I rent from will not allow me to have clients come in to consult. Which up until now has not been an issue.

So I get an email from a bride telling me that her mom would not let her use me because she felt it was 'unprofessional' for a cake decorator to meet at a restaurant to consult for an order! How would you handle this?

I would hate to think that I am losing orders due to the fact that I can't meet at my shop boohooo

What would you do if you were me, I can't afford to go and rent an office space just to consult with people. icon_mad.gif




I don't think you wanted this one anyways....LOL.


In all seriousness though, I see NOTHING unprofessional about not having an office space to work out of- it sounds like you are doing all you can. Maybe if someone doesn't feel comfortable meeting in a restaurant, you could offer to meet them where their ceremony will be held?

michellenj Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 8:14pm
post #7 of 20

Lots of hotels have quiet nooks in their lobbyies and public spaces, maybe you could find one nearby and do it there. She probably didn't mean to offend you with the "unprofessional" comment, she's just not familiar w/ the world of baking.

indydebi Posted 6 Aug 2008 , 11:47pm
post #8 of 20

She sounds like just a snotty know it all who knows nothing. Mom-zilla in the making. Expects the taj mahal but won't be willing to pay White Castle prices.

costumeczar Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 12:35am
post #9 of 20

I'm with Indydebi on this one...I once had someone tell me that they were "nervous" when they saw that my meeting place wasn't in a storefront, and they would only deal with vendors who had stores. Knowing the product that comes out of the stores in my area, I just thought "good luck with that" and moved on to the next appointment.

You're not going to get every customer to hire you, so don't sweat the buttheads.

fluttercakes Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 1:07am
post #10 of 20

I have had a couple of people kinda turn their nose up at me when I tell them I rent kitchen space and don't have a storefront. I swear people are so silly! I'm completely legal, I work out of a inspected and licensed kitchen, I am fully insured...what more do they want?!?! However, most of the people that do the 'no storefront...no deal' thing are the ones looking for last minute cakes or individual cookies, pastries, etc...I'm just not that kind of bakery (I want to be, but the $$$ is just not there right now)!

I have never had anyone call me unprofessional though...and if they did, I'd have to clock 'em one! Yeesh! Sorry this happened to you, but it's probably for the best anyways icon_biggrin.gif

korkyo Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 1:53am
post #11 of 20

...............so don't sweat the buttheads!!!!

HAHA HA!! I love that one. icon_biggrin.gif
[/quote]

littlecake Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 3:35am
post #12 of 20

let the princess and the queen go elsewhere...i don't understand the need to tell you this if they weren't gonna use you anyway.

as one poster said a few months ago(i wish i could remember who)...life is to short to dance with ugly people.

there are plenty of nice folks we can be of service to...

it's really been a strange anomoly (call mulder and scully)...the older and crankier i get...the more i discriminate what customers i'll take, (i send PIA's on their way a lot more these days)....anyhoo...the more i don't put up with their junk...the more they LOVE me....weird huh?....

Lynnzee Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 4:53am
post #13 of 20

How are you unprofessional if you do not have a office or store front. It seemed to me that your business is making cakes and very nice one from the look at yopur profile. I would think as long as you have a kitchen that should be office enough, anyway that is where the magic happens!!! icon_biggrin.gif

margaretb Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 5:52am
post #14 of 20

Our financial planner used to meet us at restaurants all the time. The only time I went to her office was to drop off a form. Does that make her unprofessional? No. Meeting for a business lunch (consultation) is standard professional behaviour. Would they like you to triple your prices to cover office rental? Good grief. I'd probably think of a line to explain why clients can't go to your work area -- e.g. My kitchen facility does not have a customer area, therefore it violates the health code to allow non-employees into the work area. I think it is pretty professional to follow the health code regulations and lease terms of your facility.

all4cake Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 6:25am
post #15 of 20

"I have a list of clients who would disagree as to my professionalism. I don't yet feel it necessary to have a separate consultation area and my prices reflect my low overhead. However, I do respect your mother's desire not to do business with me at this time. Please, feel free to contact me if I may be of service to you in the future. Sincerely...."

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 6:40am
post #16 of 20

tell her you would gladly rent an office space for an hour if they would add that to the cake price icon_smile.gif

i swear sometimes... people just surprise me.

poshcakedesigns Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 12:11pm
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by all4cake

"I have a list of clients who would disagree as to my professionalism. I don't yet feel it necessary to have a separate consultation area and my prices reflect my low overhead. However, I do respect your mother's desire not to do business with me at this time. Please, feel free to contact me if I may be of service to you in the future. Sincerely...."




Thank YOU - I am so going to use this quote.... icon_wink.gif

all4cake Posted 7 Aug 2008 , 5:29pm
post #18 of 20

You're welcome. Let us know how it goes!

JulieB Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 3:12am
post #19 of 20

I'll bet that's not the reason she's not using you, it's just an excuse. Don't sweat it, there's a customer with a better attitude coming along soon.

snarkybaker Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 5:05pm
post #20 of 20

Don't take it personally, for some people, the "prestige" factor is a big part of their decision making process. It is entirely possible that in her mind you simple aren't impressive enough if you don't have a fancy little shop that she can talk to her friends about. " We got Muffy's cake from this darling shop over an Pearl St." blah blah blah.

" We got Muffy's cake from that nice cake lady that we met at Panera Bread", just doesn't make as good a conversation at the church social.

I know that we get new business for no other reason than people love the look of our shop. I had a bride walk in and plunk down $1800 without a tasting, without looking at a book etc. She walked in and said " This place is so me! I had to have my cake from here." Weird, but it works.

Just accept that it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the Mother's preconceived notion of what buying her daughters wedding cake would be like.

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