Response To A Customer

Business By aandsmommy Updated 2 Oct 2008 , 2:10am by indydebi

aandsmommy Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 8:09pm
post #1 of 26

Hi everyone,

I know I have seen a response to the type of email that I posted below, but am not sure how to search for it. So anyhow, I quoted a lady for 3D drums at $6/serving and I got this response back...

"I'm a bit surprised at the cost per serving. I recently went to a cake baker near me and got a quote. She said hers was $3 per serving and the exact same dimensions were discussed. She would also be using fondant, etc. To be honest, you seem easier to talk with and that's one of the reasons I wanted to work with you. The other baker wasn't as easy going. Any chance we can work something out on the price? My hope is to establish a relationship with a cake person since I always seem to have an occasion. I just gave my husband a surprise 40th and my daughter's Bat Mitzvah is about a year or so away. Anyway, please give it some thought."

Anyhow, I don't negotiate on my prices and I have never had anyone try to get me to change a price for them. Usually if I am out of their league, they just let me know that the price is too much. No hard feelings and we happily go our separate ways. I do make everything from scratch and no longer feel like giving my work away. Any thoughts on a NICE way to respond. I would love to use Indydebi's response of asking the Mercedes dealer to give me the Chevy price down the street icon_lol.gif (or whatever it was)!

Thanks!

25 replies
Deb_ Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 8:32pm
post #2 of 26

Hi, I'd probably keep it short and sweet because this lady obviously can't afford you and will always be trying to negotiate price with you.

Dear.......,

Thank you for the inquiry. While I would be honored to work with you, I am unable to offer my high quality baked goods at the price you quoted.
If you change your mind, I'd be happy to bake the drums for you at the quoted price.
Sincerely,


You don't need to offer any more info. than that. We set our prices at what we feel comfortable with and I agree that you should not negotiate just because she may order a BarMitzfah cake from you in a year. She's being ridiculous....don't lower your prices for her.

CakeDiva73 Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 8:38pm
post #3 of 26

I agree with dkelly - her response is simple, eloquent and basically stops this woman in her tracks. She is doing the classic 'dangling of the carrot' when she says she always has an event, blah, blah, blah. Quite frankly, if she has another baker who is willing to do it for half the price, what's to talk about? She would rather go with you because you're easier to talk to?? It makes no sense, unless she in interviewing you for her new BFF!! icon_smile.gif

I think it comes down to you offering a superior quality of work, hence your price. She wants champagne on a beer budget and for some reason, thinks she can talk you into accepting that.

aandsmommy Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 8:51pm
post #4 of 26

Sounds like a good response...quick and to the point.

So I do not need to state anything about why I am more pricey...ie, from scratch, 3 layers of filling, 4 layers of cake, etc?

Thanks again!

sari66 Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:25pm
post #5 of 26

Nope no need to explain just keep it short and sweet

Deb_ Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:31pm
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by aandsmommy

Sounds like a good response...quick and to the point.

So I do not need to state anything about why I am more pricey...ie, from scratch, 3 layers of filling, 4 layers of cake, etc?

Thanks again!




I wouldn't, this lady obviously knows that your products are far superior to the local bakery that she supposedly got the lower quote from.....that's why she wants you.

I don't think it has as much to do with the fact that "you're easier to talk to" (even though I'm sure that's true). She stated that the other baker wasn't as easy going. (maybe she tried to get a lower price from them too and they declined).
If she can supposedly get the same product, i.e. dimensions, fondant etc., for half the price, than why is she asking you to lower your price? Because she knows your cakes are better, that's why.

She sounds like the classic "always trying to get something for cheaper" client.

You don't have to defend or explain your prices to her. She didn't specifically ask you in her e-mail why your quote was so much higher, so there's no need to offer her a reason. I think you're better off without her. She sounds like a pain in the a$$ tapedshut.gif

indydebi Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:53pm
post #7 of 26

YOu've gotten very good advice. Short and sweet is the nice way to go. She wont' really care about explanation because she doesn't care ... she's price shopping it.

I've shared this story before, but I had a bride who narrowed it down to me and one other lady. She told me the other lady was 1/2 my price ($1.50/serving compared to my $3/serving). I told her, "Sounds like you're getting some good comparison numbers. If you decide to go with her, you'll be getting a real pricing deal." I never offered to reduce my price.

She booked with me. But it would have been no problem for me if she went with the other person. Doing a cake for $1.50/serving is a money loser for me and I wasn't going to do it. If she walked away, that would be fine with me.

I really liked dkelly's response.

OhMyGanache Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 10:26pm
post #8 of 26

Dear ________,

I so appreciate your kind words. I pride myself as much on good customer relations as I do on my cakes.

I would love to work with you, however, I am not in a position to adjust my prices. My expenses are set, and therefor, so are my prices.

If you have any further questions, or I can be of any further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

_________________

SugarLover2 Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 12:31am
post #9 of 26

I agree. Send your email and keep it simple. My fear would be if you make it too long she will take that as a sign that maybe she can still talk you into it. Not to mention if you did lower your price on this cake, she'd expect it on all of them.

littlecake Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 1:17am
post #10 of 26

what's the point in answering this manipulative PITA?

after that email. i wouldn't want to do her cakes.

FromScratch Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 1:28am
post #11 of 26

You ower her no explainations.. she knows that you would be the best option, but we can't always afford the best option. No harm no foul. Keep it short and sweet if you answer her and leave no room for questions.

kelleym Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 1:43am
post #12 of 26

Let me just rephrase her letter:

"I went to another baker whose work is inferior to yours and who I don't like personally, and her price was half yours! Well, what I'd really like is to have the better cake for half the price. Would you be willing to take a pay cut so I can have what I want? If it helps you to make a decision, please know that I host several events a year that require cakes, and I would like to establish a relationship with you so that you give me a price break on all of them."

icon_rolleyes.gif

Momkiksbutt Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 1:49am
post #13 of 26

Stick to your guns sista!! This sounds like just another "I want more for less" person to me. She will pay you what it is worth or go somewhere else.....

indydebi Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 1:50am
post #14 of 26

kelley, that sure puts it in perspective! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 1:53am
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

what's the point in answering this manipulative PITA?

after that email. i wouldn't want to do her cakes.




I can't imagine why folks in your area think you are a meany.

icon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gif

(((hug)))

sayhellojana Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 2:04am
post #16 of 26

Let me first say that I DO NOT sell my cakes (I'm nowhere near as talented as some of these ladies), however I do understand how much work it is to bake from scratch, decorate and customize everything. And have you seen how much a pound of butter is lately? Geeze. I don't think you should give away your services, but you should try to accommodate a little bit. Maybe you could drop your price a tiny bit, just so she understands that you do want to work with her (maybe like 5.75/serving?), but not oo much so she knows your not a pushover. She'll figure it out. From there.

And really, i would question weather or not she really did contact another bakery. She could be bluffing.

aligotmatt Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 2:09am
post #17 of 26

I have customers that i work with all the time and I give them free cake stand rentals and free delivery (It's about a 6 minute drive and keeps em happy).

There are ways to compromise your price without compromising your price, know what I mean? If you somehow think she'll be a valuable client, you could work out something that would NOT be lowering your cost. I like the first response though, short and sweet.

CambriasCakes Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 7:00am
post #18 of 26

Are you kidding me? Does she honestly expect you to believe that she would turn down a cake at half your cost because you're "easier to talk to"? Really? I'd be pissed if someone tried to patronize me by even suggesting that! How much talking would you two be doing while making her cake anyhow?

I may have been born at night, but damn, it wasn't last night!

The first response was perfect....if she only knew what you were thinking while you typed it! icon_twisted.gif

MustloveDogs Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 7:30am
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Quote:

I don't think you should give away your services, but you should try to accommodate a little bit. Maybe you could drop your price a tiny bit




I'm sorry but I see no reason to drop prices just because they ask for it.
If someone wants to run their business that way, then they should mark their cakes up the amount they are willing to "drop" them.

aandsmommy Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 11:40am
post #20 of 26

I did it...thanks so much everyone! I wrote what PoleKitten had posted. No, I definitely was not going to budge on my price...I just did not know how to say it so eloquently. I really appreciate the advice and I will keep that email as a form email for all the people who actually try this on me again!

Thanks so much.

aandsmommy Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 11:41am
post #21 of 26

I did it...thanks so much everyone! I wrote what PoleKitten had posted. No, I definitely was not going to budge on my price...I just did not know how to say it so eloquently. I really appreciate the advice and I will keep that email as a form email for all the people who actually try this on me again!

Thanks so much.

jr33176 Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 2:10pm
post #22 of 26

I'm glad you sent the email and stuck to your guns. Let us know if she ends up asking you to do her cake. icon_biggrin.gif

I will say, in reading lady's email, it seemed written in a nice way. You can't blame a potential customer for trying, because "it never hurts to ask"

The problem is when we cave in and lower our prices... I think all of us need to feel confident in our prices and value. HECK, *I* need to follow all the advice given here as I regularly have people who say, "I was at X event and your cake was amazing. I would love to have you do one for me, but... (insert sob story here). What could you do for me?"

Thanks to everyone here, I AM getting better at it!
usaribbon.gif (speaking of caving in, my daughter really wanted me to put "that twisty USA in"...)

SugaredUp Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 12:47am
post #23 of 26

I really liked Pole Kitten's response. That was a good way to go!

sweetideas Posted 1 Oct 2008 , 1:05am
post #24 of 26

I guess I don't blame her for trying. I am glad you stuck to your guns...because it was a very polite was of her saying, I will order lots of cakes if you always give me this discount at 1/2 off.... icon_smile.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 2 Oct 2008 , 12:27am
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetideas

I guess I don't blame her for trying. I am glad you stuck to your guns...because it was a very polite was of her saying, I will order lots of cakes if you always give me this discount at 1/2 off.... icon_smile.gif




To be quite honest every time I hear that I cringe -- if I had a dime for every time I heard that I would be a multi, multi millionaire! icon_cool.gif You'll find that's frequently a ploy customers use which I interpret as code for "give me everything for nothing now and I'll dangle a carrot in front of you with no intention of ever giving it to you." Unfortunately that's been my experience so I'm quite cynical which is why I stick to my guns when I quote a price and don't bother with the haggling. icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 2 Oct 2008 , 2:10am
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

-- if I had a dime for every time I heard that I would be a multi, multi millionaire! icon_cool.gif You'll find that's frequently a ploy customers use which I interpret as code for "give me everything for nothing now and I'll dangle a carrot in front of you with no intention of ever giving it to you."




Amen! When I worked for the wire/powercord mfg'r, we'd get this all the time. We knew when a customer asked us to quote "5,000 to 100,000" cords, that the order was going to be for 5,000. So when we'd quote volume discount for 75,000 ... they'd want to order 5,000 with a promise of eventually ordering the other 70,000. And of course, we'd never see the order for 70,000.

So I told my bosses that I was implementing a policy .... when their "promise" of 70,000 actually becomes an order, then I "promise" to issue a credit to them to equal the 75,000 price. Until then, they had to pay the price quoted for a lousy 5000 pieces.

I got sick of carrots. icon_rolleyes.gif

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