Why Is This Client Driving Me Insane? What Do I Do??

Decorating By BakerzJoy Updated 7 Jan 2010 , 3:29am by _Jamie_

BakerzJoy Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 6:56pm
post #1 of 27

Ok, so I have this lady who obviously knows what she wants in a cake. I made a cake for her last Summer, a fish cake in my photos that is AMAZING!! I fought tooth and nail with her because she thought the price was too much but I was so strong and held tight to the quote I gave her. She loved the cake, but preceeded to tell me before hand that she always had these types of cakes made for her and one girl did $30 for every cake and delivered it to her. Then she said she hired another girl to do her cakes and she showed up one day and the frosting slid off the side due to temperature outside and she fired her.
I felt like I had to show this lady what I could do, but felt under pressure because, as we all know accidents are out of our control.
Now this lady needs a cake for everything, i mean she could keep me in business for sure. She was telling me about 3 more cakes she wanted me to do once the fish cake got done and that was within a two month span. So, after the fish cake got delivered, I was getting ready to start on the next cake she asked me to do and I didn't hear from her. I emailed her about 6 days before it was due and she said, oh sorry I don't need it.
So, in my mind, I'm thinking she must have really not liked the fish cake because she didn't want me to do this next cake for her.

After not hearing from her again for awhile, I counted her off my client list happily. Then out of the woodworks she calls me a week and a half before Christmas and asks me for a purse cake. Well, I quoted her again and she was trying to bring my price down. I told her it won't be a 3d cake but I could draw a purse on a small sheet cake for cheaper. She said i'll call ya back. I never heard from her and the party came and went.
Just when I think she may be gone again, she just emails me today and says her brother is turning 40 in Feb and wanted to know some ideas for a deer/fishing cake. I wrote her an email but never sent it because it sounds so rude. I want to let her know how I feel, but I can't seem to find any nice bones in my body right now.
Please let me know how I should approach this without sounding rude but firm!

26 replies
_Jamie_ Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:00pm
post #2 of 27

Easy. Same exact reply to every inquiry. "When do you want to draw up a contract/order form and pay the deposit? Price is XXXdollars. Thank you and have a great day.

You need to train this woman to expect consistent, professional procedures when ordering a work of art from you.

No matter how good of a aclient she has the potential to be, cuz she ain't jack yet.

kokopuff Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:06pm
post #3 of 27

Sounds like she wants your ideas but for someone cheaper to make her cake.

jodibug0975 Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:07pm
post #4 of 27

"Let me know what your budget is and I will be happy to come up with some ideas that will be in your price range."

jodibug0975 Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:10pm
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuff

Sounds like she wants your ideas but for someone cheaper to make her cake.




In that case....

"what is the date of the event?"

followed up with...

"I'm sorry, I am booked that entire week."

tinygoose Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:13pm
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodibug0975

"Let me know what your budget is and I will be happy to come up with some ideas that will be in your price range."




Ditto to jodi.

Yes you would love to design her a cake for this event. "May I ask what your budget is, as budget generally dictates design."

Mike1394 Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:14pm
post #7 of 27

All she is doing is trying to talk you down in price. Don't send her ideas, or get to far into details.

Mike

leepat Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:15pm
post #8 of 27

I had a lady like this. She is now on my no bake list. When she calls I tell her I am booked for the week.

Love2BakeCakes Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:15pm
post #9 of 27

I like that answer jodibug0975! thumbs_up.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:19pm
post #10 of 27

I would simply ask what her budget is and then you can send pictures according to her budget.I am sort of having the same issues right now with a few regular clients..They want a cake....send me photos and then continue to tell me they don't need that much cake...and don't really want to spend that much..Yadda Yadda yadda so I am now just saying my cake minimum is $40.00 so if you want this cake it is this much...take it or leave it!!You should not feel bullied into discounting or justifying your prices to anyone.

icer101 Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:21pm
post #11 of 27

let go of her... the stress she causes you.. isn,t worth it.. did that at the beauty shop for 40 yrs.. rather sat and twiddle my thumbs.. no money.. than to do clients like her .. cake or hair.. people like her.. travel from place to place ... looking for a deal.. then talk about the last person that did anything for them.. believe me... a nicer client will call.. hth

cheeseball Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:36pm
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerzJoy

She proceeded to tell me before hand that she always had these types of cakes made for her and one girl did $30 for every cake and delivered it to her.




"Then why in the name of all that's holy do you keep calling me, ma'am?!?" icon_twisted.gif

Mrs-A Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:42pm
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeseball

Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerzJoy

She proceeded to tell me before hand that she always had these types of cakes made for her and one girl did $30 for every cake and delivered it to her.



"Then why in the name of all that's holy do you keep calling me, ma'am?!?" icon_twisted.gif




this is exactly what i thought... i wonder if the $30 cake girl faked her death to get away from this woman

bobwonderbuns Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 7:57pm
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs-A

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheeseball

Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerzJoy

She proceeded to tell me before hand that she always had these types of cakes made for her and one girl did $30 for every cake and delivered it to her.



"Then why in the name of all that's holy do you keep calling me, ma'am?!?" icon_twisted.gif



this is exactly what i thought... i wonder if the $30 cake girl faked her death to get away from this woman




Okay now I know NOT to be drinking my rootbeer when I read answers like this -- it burns spewing out of my nose! icon_lol.gif

MacsMom Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 8:29pm
post #15 of 27

Ugh... I had a client who could only afford $40 cakes so I made cakes worth $40. - cakes that are nowhere near the designs that she sees in my portfolio of cakes.

She finally sent an e-mail, saying that she can't afford the remaining cakes she had on order. My gut says she was hoping to get more out of the designs.

Later she e-mailed and asked where to buy fondant as she wanted to try making her own, which made me grin because now she will see that the true cost of making a cake for 10 to 12 people is very close to $40. And the time involved is worth so much more than the ingredients!

bobwonderbuns Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 8:30pm
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacsMom


Later she e-mailed and asked where to buy fondant as she wanted to try making her own, which made me grin because now she will see that the true cost of making a cake for 10 to 12 people is very close to $40. And the time involved is worth so much more than the ingredients!




Can you say Wilton fondant?? icon_twisted.gificon_lol.gif Maybe then she'll appreciate you! icon_biggrin.gif

BakerzJoy Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 8:46pm
post #17 of 27

Wow, great advice!! I died laughing when Mrs-A said that the $30 girl probably faked her death to get away from this lady.....it sounds like that's a possibility!
Also, I have felt all along that this lady was wanting my ideas so that someone can make the cake for cheaper. I will be working on an email to her soon that is professional. I like the idea of asking her budget first before putting forth any work or thought. The problem with these kinda people is that they don't understand that when they tell us what the want, our minds start going crazy with how and what we could do. That alone drives me nuts especially when you'll never bring that idea to life cause they've been stringing you along the whole time! Unfortunatly she is good friends with my other clients, so I hope she'll be professional with her response too. I am extremely confident in my work and it shows, so I shouldn't have any worries. I have a strong client list and repeat customers. But heck you know how people can be. I know I can't be responsible for how she responds to my email!

jodibug0975 Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 8:52pm
post #18 of 27

Can't wait to hear about your email to her and her response back.

KHalstead Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 9:10pm
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacsMom



Later she e-mailed and asked where to buy fondant as she wanted to try making her own




You should have said " I have absolutely NO idea, I make mine from scratch, fresh for each order!"

HarleyDee Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 10:24pm
post #20 of 27

I would definitely say something along the lines of what everyone else has posted. "What is your budget and how many people do you need to feed?"

I agree that it sounds like she is fishing for ideas.. don't give her anymore icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 10:41pm
post #21 of 27

Send her the link for Fondarific or something. haha.

Definitely require deposits or prepayment. If its Monday, I look at my weekend cakes and every one of them should be either deposited or fully paid by that time. If one happens not to have a deposit, it means its a no-show unless we had made prior arrangements (which is rarely).

In general I get a deposit within a couple days of the initial phone or email consult...unless its 6 or 8 months down the road in which case some people wait.

cakesbycathy Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 10:43pm
post #22 of 27

I agree with some other posters, I think she is fishing for ideas and then taking them to someone who is cheaper. Time to stop giving her ideas until you have some money.

Either dump her as a client now or change how you are dealing with her. With this woman I would ask her how many guests she is expecting. Then I would tell her "my price per serving is $XXX, so the cake would be $XXX. If that is in your budget then I will type up the contract and as soon as I receive your 50% non-refundable deposit, your order will be booked. If that is not in your budget I completely understand."

You stood your ground the first time when it came to price thumbs_up.gif
You can definitely let her realize (in a professional way) that she will not be able to push you around.

BakerzJoy Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 1:42am
post #23 of 27

Okay everyone, I felt very good about sending an email to this client. I have included it to keep you updated on this matter. I will post her response when she writes back. Thank you all for helping and for your great straight foward advice....luv this site and you guys!!

EMAIL-
Before I can do any work including research for you, I need to find out your budget and receive a headcount so I can give a quote per head on the cake. If it's excepted, I'll need to get a deposit to hold the date. Then we can work on the design and ideas based on your budget and the headcount. Let me know what you want to do, Thank you!
Aimee

_Jamie_ Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 3:04am
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerzJoy

Okay everyone, I felt very good about sending an email to this client. I have included it to keep you updated on this matter. I will post her response when she writes back. Thank you all for helping and for your great straight foward advice....luv this site and you guys!!

EMAIL-
Before I can do any work including research for you, I need to find out your budget and receive a headcount so I can give a quote per head on the cake. If it's excepted, I'll need to get a deposit to hold the date. Then we can work on the design and ideas based on your budget and the headcount. Let me know what you want to do, Thank you!
Aimee




Please change excepted to accepted before you send it. icon_smile.gif Just me and my red pen. I don't give a hoot if I misspell on a forum, but am a stickler for official stuff.....don't hit me!

auntmamie Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 3:19am
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Jamie_

Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerzJoy

Okay everyone, I felt very good about sending an email to this client. I have included it to keep you updated on this matter. I will post her response when she writes back. Thank you all for helping and for your great straight foward advice....luv this site and you guys!!

EMAIL-
Before I can do any work including research for you, I need to find out your budget and receive a headcount so I can give a quote per head on the cake. If it's excepted, I'll need to get a deposit to hold the date. Then we can work on the design and ideas based on your budget and the headcount. Let me know what you want to do, Thank you!
Aimee



Please change excepted to accepted before you send it. icon_smile.gif Just me and my red pen. I don't give a hoot if I misspell on a forum, but am a stickler for official stuff.....don't hit me!




Second what Jamie said - it's definitely accepted, not excepted.

CakeMommyTX Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 3:20am
post #26 of 27

I don't like the whole she fired the other cake lady deal.
I don't work for anyone, but I'll work with them in creating the perfect cake for their event.

_Jamie_ Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 3:29am
post #27 of 27

Oh my....she fired the other cake girl? Ugh. Poor girl. Bet she's still reeling from that let down. What a loon....yeah, basic generic responses are what will work best with her. What do you want, how much do you have to spend, what can I help you with. Contract, deposit, no ifs ands or buttttts.

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