I am new to selling cakes and mostly selling to friends and family and the odd co-worker. I have such a hard time taking criticism! I know that they are a paying customer so they have the right to be picky (been on the other side myself), but I find that I am just super sensitive about this. How do you deal with that? How do you not take it personally or do I just not have the right personality for this?
I'm surprised that your family and friends would be that critical of you. Normally, we are our own worst critics.
However, when someone is critical of me, I just take it in stride and really try to improve upon whatever the issue is. It will just make me a better person, cake decorator, employee..whatever the situation is.
You are cut out for this! Just listen to them...and then if they are valid, learn from them..if not, throw them out the window!
I usually don't ask for opinions about cakes I've made or point out things that I may think are sub-par on a cake I've made (and we all see things on our cakes that only we think are less than perfect !) Be confident when presenting the cake you've made to your customer/friend/family/co-worker and don't invite criticism (or honest feedback) ie. "I hope this is what you wanted..." or "Does this look OK?" if you really don't think you're able to deal with it...We are always our own worst critics anyway! I do however love it when a customer tells me they love the cake I've done for them!! Makes my day!
It depends on who it is. Most people love the cakes because they don't compare them to CC like I do. My husband is honest with me and it doesn't hurt because I know he is trying to help me and I want him to be honest. I guess the one person I have problems with is my mom. She would NEVER say anything negative you I can read her like a book. I made a 2 tier shower cake for her (in my photos) that I thought was what she wanted. She liked it but it wasn't what she thought she wanted. She never said anything negative, and she thought I did a good job and I kept waiting on the "but...". It just wasn't her style but it did fit the couple and her personalities. I would never tell her but that one bothers me more than any other. I think this is why I'm so stressed out about my cakes for OSSAS, I know my flaws and I hate to have them pointed out. Sorry to hijack....I"m just stressing right now.
There are some people I ask to critique (my mom in particular) and usually because I like their ideas and their sense of colour. I can be challenged in that area! But here's the senario - A former co-worker/friend asked for a birthday cake for her husband's b-day. I asked what she was thinking of, she said a guitar as close to a replica of his as possible, vanilla cake and mocha icing. I emailed her a few days later with my quote and details. Anyway, I emailed her a pic of the cake today, I am delivering it tomorrow and she said she didn't like the boarder. I was already nervous about the cake - I've never ever charged that much for a cake. Anyway, it wasn't a big deal, but she really gave me the "whatever you think" impression and actually said she would leave it up to me. Then she didn't. I'm a bit peeved, but I don't know that I have any right to be. She's a paying customer but she wasn't very specific in her request as far as colours etc. I don't know, again, I think I might just be too sensitive. If that's the worst a customer ever says, then I think I'm pretty lucky!
Don't feel too bad. It's hard for anybody to stand back and take criticism. Even the slightest "it was awesome, but maybe next time you coud do _______" type of comment stays on my mind for days. Maybe it just means we are perfectionists and really care about what we do. It sure helps me to think that way.
Just what are they complaining about?
The cake is dry? It doesn't look good? etc....
Depending on what they are be critical about might help us help you handle it.