Nervous About New Customers...

Business By trumpetmidget Updated 7 Mar 2009 , 8:08am by say_it_with_cake

trumpetmidget Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 2:27am
post #1 of 11

I am an at-home baker, fully licensed. I have had my license for a year and a half and average about 1-2 cakes a month (though, I haven't had any yet this year...). I have a website, but it is not easily found when googled. I have done cakes for friends and friends of friends, but never for a complete stranger. This week, I have had 2 calls from people who found my site and called out of the blue. Neither of them called back after hearing the prices, but I am getting nervous. I have not made for strangers yet. How did you go from making cakes for friends to making cakes for everyone? How do you get past your nerves of talking to someone completely new? And, how do you not get offended that they don't call you back? I assume my prices were too high for them - but I will not bring my prices down. I am not hugely expensive ($3 a serving to start, $5 for a carved cake). I guess I just need my nerves settled and need to know that this is a good thing. I know it is, but...well...I guess I am just very stinking nervous that my little home business is turning into something slowly, but surely. Thanks for letting me babble!
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10 replies
indydebi Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 2:51am
post #2 of 11

I'm assuming you got licensed because you wanted to become a business, am I right? icon_confused.gif (Otherwise wouldnt' you have just continued to do it for free as a hobby?).

And when planning to do this as a business, you didn't expect just your family and friends to be the only source of income for this business, did you? icon_confused.gif

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How did you go from making cakes for friends to making cakes for everyone?


You make the cakes the same way, so it's a pretty easy transition. thumbs_up.gif

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How do you get past your nerves of talking to someone completely new?


Never had that problem! icon_biggrin.gif How did you do it in high school? In college? When you talk to the cashier or to someone at the bank? Same process. thumbs_up.gif

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And, how do you not get offended that they don't call you back?



"Who cares .... who's next?" icon_biggrin.gif Just remember, they are not rejecting you personally. It's not personal ... it's business.

It's a growing process. So spread those wings and venture out of the nest ... it's a fun adventure! thumbs_up.gif

-Tubbs Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 2:55am
post #3 of 11

I'm just a couple of steps ahead of you, have been baking for 'strangers' for a little while, but haven't had LOTS of business.

The only advice I have is to 'fake it till you make it'. Your prices are not unreasonable and your cakes are pretty - there's no reason to be nervous.

As for the 'rejections', well - you just need to grow some extra backbone - there's plenty to go round here on CC - someone will lend you theirs!! Seriously, it's business, and not everyone can or wants to pay your prices - nothing personal. Move on.

Good luck with your business.

Deb_ Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 3:05am
post #4 of 11

Just do what Marsha did from The Brady Bunch........when you meet someone new picture them sitting there in their underwear icon_biggrin.gif

The more you do the more comfortable you'll be. Pretend the person is your BIL's, sister's, husband's, mother.......extended family, if it makes you more comfortable.

ButtercupMama Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 6:50am
post #5 of 11

Yep, the best advice I got when I started my business was from my auntie who said, "And just remember, it's not personal...it's just business!" Just like Indydebi just said!!
And I didn't even know what my aunt was talking about until I started taking things personally; then I was like, "ohhhhhhhhh."
I think it's a woman thing; we just take it to heart. It's very difficult not to, and I am still training myself in that direction! thumbs_up.gif

cylstrial Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 4:59pm
post #6 of 11

Love the "Fake it til ya make it" idea. That's a really good suggestion!

My thought is that you should put your prices up on your website. That might cut down on some of the rejection and then people probably won't bother you as much. It's nothing bothering if they book with you, but if you're just answering the phone and they decide not to book with you...then it's bothersome.

Good luck! You can do it!!

Margieluvstobake Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 6:39pm
post #7 of 11

Trumpetmidget....I looked at your photos, and your cakes look great and you are very talented. Continue to make them that way and people will be happy with them. Putting your prices on your website would probably be a good idea. Your prices are very reasonable. I've looked at websites of decorators in my area, and when they don't have basic prices shown, I think they are really high. I hope you do well.

CakeDiva73 Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 6:58pm
post #8 of 11

What everyone is saying is right, ........but; sometimes that's easier said then done when you are not used to being confident & are new to the concept of talking to people as a professional. icon_smile.gif

I was home with 4 little kids for years and my conversations didn't venture too far past Barney and the latest prank Spongebob pulled on Squidward. (Clearly watching waaaay too much Nick!!)

I think it takes practice and, honestly, a couple times of having to face a pushy client and politely saying "next!".

I also totally agree about posting your prices on your website. If you are afraid of scaring people away (as I first was) it only makes sense for them to be scared away online since I don't think hearing you quote the price over the phone will change their mind if they are not planning on paying $3 - $5 a slice.

And I also don't think your prices are outrageous. icon_smile.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 4 Mar 2009 , 6:59pm
post #9 of 11

What everyone is saying is right, ........but; sometimes that's easier said then done when you are not used to being confident & are new to the concept of talking to people as a professional. icon_smile.gif

I was home with 4 little kids for years and my conversations didn't venture too far past Barney and the latest prank Spongebob pulled on Squidward. (Clearly watching waaaay too much Nick!!)

I think it takes practice and, honestly, a couple times of having to face a pushy client and politely saying "next!".

I also totally agree about posting your prices on your website. If you are afraid of scaring people away (as I first was) it only makes sense for them to be scared away online since I don't think hearing you quote the price over the phone will change their mind if they are not planning on paying $3 - $5 a slice.

And I also don't think your prices are outrageous. icon_smile.gif

MichelleM77 Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 6:43am
post #10 of 11

I'm right there with you! I'm not great making conversation and business talk makes me sooo nervous. I work at home and in an office by myself in the middle of the night, so I don't talk much. icon_smile.gifI can't wait to have a shop and hide in the back making cakes while someone else takes the orders. LOL!

I'm between $2-3 and am expensive, so I'm used to the "oh I can't afford you" situation. I'm slooowly learning to grow thick skin. It ain't easy!

say_it_with_cake Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 8:08am
post #11 of 11

I'm exactly the same, especially when it comes to saying the price... so now I don't! I used to babble on a bit from nerves and I'm sure I lost orders because I sounded like an idiot lol.

So now I take all the details, (I have a list beside the phone of what questions I need to ask them in case I get flustered!), ask for their email address and then send them a written quote.

The quote includes all details of their cake and a price per serve as well as a total (I find that those who might cringe at $90 are ok with $3 per serve - go figure lol). The added bonus is that you don't have to hear them say no! If you don't hear back from them forget about it - stand by your prices and only make cakes for those who are prepared to pay you appropriately for your time icon_smile.gif

As for more orders, you've gone to all the trouble of gaining your license, why not advertise? The local paper is a good place to start or if you have children, place a small ad in the school newsletter - that's what I did and now I'm run off my feet!

HTH, the very best of luck to you icon_smile.gif

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