How Would You Answer This?

Business By CakeForte Updated 10 Oct 2008 , 4:03pm by ziggytarheel

CakeForte Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 4:44pm
post #1 of 19

I have a new lead. Here is what they said in the email.

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"Could you all do a cake similar to either of the two featured in the links below for 50 people? If so, what would this cost?"

Then they sent two links of a fondant cake w/ gum paste roses.
****

From MY past history with leads like this....I know that there is a HIGH (almost 100%) chance that this client will not turn into a booking because she asked about the cost right away. She already knows I can do that cake because I have almost identical ones on my website homepage. I have never booked a client that has asked about the price up front , so I don't bother quoting a price in an email because they don't know what I have to offer.

I'm asking because even if I did book a consult....this is one that would probably turn into a "no show" which I asked about last week.

What would you say?

18 replies
kelleym Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 5:02pm
post #2 of 19

Well, if you're positive it's a complete waste of time, you could file it in File 13.... icon_twisted.gif

Or...something like this:

Dear Bride:
I have many cakes in my portfolio similar to the cakes you linked, which can be scaled to around 50 servings. My prices start at a minimum of $X.XX per serving. If you would like to schedule a consultation and tasting, please let me know ASAP. The fee for the consultation is $25.00, payable in advance, which will be applied to your total should you decide to book with me. My next opening for a consultation is Saturday 10/18 (or whatever). Please call me ASAP if you would like to meet on this date!

Sincerely,
CakeForte

That should give her an idea of price (if you are out of her budget) and weed her out if she wasn't serious about her inquiry or a tasting.

KoryAK Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 5:20pm
post #3 of 19

I think you need to treat each lead as though it is valid - tho that is not to say bend over backwards for ones that seem fishy.

abayes Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 5:27pm
post #4 of 19

I liked what kellym said

BARBARAJEAN Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 5:29pm
post #5 of 19

I say just give her the information she is asking for. Let her take the ball from there. She has not even asked for a consultation. I am always asked for a ball park price, and I always ask the price of anything that I buy. I am not messing around with ordering if the price is out of my league. That would just waste someone elses time. I would think that is is just an ordinary question that is simply answered and not try to read anything into it.

TexasSugar Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 5:32pm
post #6 of 19

Prices always comes up in the initial conversation, and I think it should. I would much rather someone ask me up front what the cost is, and if that is too much tell me. The flip side is for me to spend lots of time in the planning stage only to find out they weren't expecting it to be that much and ended up wasting that time because they can't afford it or don't want to pay that much.

I don't order from a resturant menu with out knowing the price of my food, especially if I am paying. Before the plumber gets to work I want to know how much he is going to charge me. I don't try on clothes at a store until I look at the price tag. There is no point of me trying on a $100 dress if I only have $50 to spend. Would you go pick out a car, fill out all the paper work, then ask how much it is going to cost?

Some people know how much they can and want to spend and I'd rather they be honest about that from the beginning. So I don't think you should discount all orders that ask for the price tag from the beginning.

Kitagrl Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 5:37pm
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BARBARAJEAN

I say just give her the information she is asking for. Let her take the ball from there. She has not even asked for a consultation. I am always asked for a ball park price, and I always ask the price of anything that I buy. I am not messing around with ordering if the price is out of my league. That would just waste someone elses time. I would think that is is just an ordinary question that is simply answered and not try to read anything into it.




I agree. She could have sent the same email to several bakers. Comparison pricing is going to happen more and more these days.

aligotmatt Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 5:50pm
post #8 of 19

I like what KelleyM said. I say things similar, except I try to give a range, like, 'depending on your final decisions for this cake, like cake flavor, fillings and design, it can be anywhere from $200-$350, once we sit down and finalize this information I can give you a more accurate price"

marmalade1687 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 6:35pm
post #9 of 19

Ditto on what KellyM said! I have a standard email that I send out to potential clients which gives them an ESTIMATE on what they are looking at, and what kind of services I can provide for them if they choose to book with me. Also include when you are available for a consultation - treat this as a marketing call - don't throw away potential business! I find that the more information that you give in advance, the better chance you have on booking that client. And, if the client has a more complete picture of your services, they are going to want to meet with you and make the effort to keep the appointment. icon_biggrin.gif

Just a suggestion...Keep a copy of your "marketing email" in your draft folder for easy reference so that you can copy and paste it for each information request. That way, you will be ready for each request, and you'll just have to tweak each email you send out for individual questions/answers. icon_cool.gifthumbs_up.gif

CakeForte Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 2:16am
post #10 of 19

I'll take your suggestions and see what happens. I always respond to leads, so I don't know why it's assumed that I wouldn't, just because I said I can tell it probably won't turn into a sale.

My pricing isn't secret, but telling her a price doesn't take into account any customization or delivery for that matter. I have never booked a sale that asked me "How much is this cake here?"

CakeForte Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 2:20am
post #11 of 19

I'll take your suggestions and see what happens. I always respond to leads, so I don't know why it's assumed that I wouldn't, just because I said I can tell it probably won't turn into a sale.

My pricing isn't secret, but telling her a price doesn't take into account any customization or delivery for that matter. I have never booked a sale that asked me "How much is this cake here?"

RobzC8kz Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 7:58pm
post #12 of 19

You know, I've had many clients come to me via email and it's never a guaranteed sale. They're also not guaranteed no sales either.

I prefer to meet face to face with my clients so that I can gather ideas, create a sketch of the finished product so they can see exactly what they're getting, and finalize all the details before I even quote them a price. But not everyone wants this type of one-on-one customer service.

Some people want a price up front based on a picture and once you quote them, they're gone. Many people don't realize how much a cake actually costs unless they've been buying custom cakes their whole lives!

Try to get your perspective client to sit with you. Tell her that you can give her an exact quote once you get the exact details from her. And tell her that unless you do meet with her, any quotes you give are going to be incorrect for her particular situation!

If that doesn't bring her to the table, then don't sweat it.

Kitagrl Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 8:11pm
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobzC8kz

You know, I've had many clients come to me via email and it's never a guaranteed sale. They're also not guaranteed no sales either.

I prefer to meet face to face with my clients so that I can gather ideas, create a sketch of the finished product so they can see exactly what they're getting, and finalize all the details before I even quote them a price. But not everyone wants this type of one-on-one customer service.

Some people want a price up front based on a picture and once you quote them, they're gone. Many people don't realize how much a cake actually costs unless they've been buying custom cakes their whole lives!

Try to get your perspective client to sit with you. Tell her that you can give her an exact quote once you get the exact details from her. And tell her that unless you do meet with her, any quotes you give are going to be incorrect for her particular situation!

If that doesn't bring her to the table, then don't sweat it.




I would only suggest this though if your cake order is going to bring in enough money to cover your time and effort with this. I'm trying to get more into weddings...meanwhile I still have party cakes...and $100 for a party cake is NOT worth sitting down and sketching. For that, they tell me what they want, and I say "ok", via email or phone.

I'm not going to sketch anything unless they request it, or unless its a profitable order. KWIM?

CakeForte Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 1:03am
post #14 of 19

Robz, you and I are on the exact same page! That is why I don't quote pricing via email. My OWN market research has shown that 100% of brides who ask ME that question do not book. This has nothing to do with me, or what I say in response to them.

So really, I'm looking for a way to get them interested in what I have to offer...and then actually show up. There is a direct link to this question, and my problem of "no shows". However I'm not satisfied with it always being this way, so I want to try and resolve that.

I only do weddings and large parties. I'm in business to make money on my terms and achieve certain things that I want to do, and I can reach my goals faster (and be happy while doing it) by making 1 wedding cake versus 15 party cakes.

I know I won't get every order...but I can get close. There is a reason why corporations have extensive teams of marketing analysts. It's "psychology" if you will.

The bride that asks me the price up front is different from the one that emails me "Hi...I found your website and love the cakes in your gallery. I'm getting married in June...are you available? What is the next step."

I just have to find a way to "successfully" reach the first client...I'm doing something to attract them because they are contacting me first.

MaisieBake Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 6:28am
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeForte

That is why I don't quote pricing via email. My OWN market research has shown that 100% of brides who ask ME that question do not book. This has nothing to do with me, or what I say in response to them.

So really, I'm looking for a way to get them interested in what I have to offer...and then actually show up. There is a direct link to this question, and my problem of "no shows".




Do you not give a price range at all?

As a potential customer, pigs will fly before I agree to sit through a sales presentation without knowing the rough price range of the product being sold. Really, no matter how much I like your photos, I'm not in the market for a $15-a-slice cake, and also not for a $1-a-slice cake. And if I can't get a straight answer out of a potential vendor ("I start at $X a slice for plain buttercream with a standard filling") I'm feeling like either I'm about to be taken for a ride or I'm wasting my time. Either way (and it doesn't matter which because they're both unacceptable), I'm looking for another vendor.

indydebi Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 11:43am
post #16 of 19

1. I ENCOURAGE brides to comparison shop. If I'm the first person they've sampled with, I even give them names of other bakeries/cakeries to check out.
2. If they ask for a price via email, I give them a price. Mine are flat out posted on my website anyway, so it's no biggie to me. I close the email with an invitation to "call to schedule your sampling appt when you're ready to make your decision."
3. Email is free. It only costs me 37 seconds of my time to zap a reply back to her.
4. So what's the big deal? icon_confused.gif

cfao Posted 9 Oct 2008 , 12:35pm
post #17 of 19

I agree with indydebi, give them a price. I posted all of my pricing for cakes, packages and delivery fees on my web site last year. It has cut down on most of the emails I used to get from brides looking for $1 per slice cakes. They can easily go through my price lists and be pretty close on figuring out what their final price will be, including delivery.

ziggytarheel Posted 10 Oct 2008 , 4:00pm
post #18 of 19

I never do business with anyone who won't give me a price range before I give them my time. I would not feel comfortable dealing with someone who wouldn't tell me a range up front and I likely would not trust them either.

If you are in my price range, your work looks good, and you seem easy to deal with, I would then give you the opportunity to sell me on your product.

I am not sure why 100% of those who ask about price wouldn't book? Are your prices on the high side?

ziggytarheel Posted 10 Oct 2008 , 4:03pm
post #19 of 19

oops

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