How To Tactfully Say 'no Pricematching' W/o Blowing Them Off

Business By Cakepro Updated 26 Jan 2010 , 2:50am by HarleyDee

Cakepro Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 3:40am
post #1 of 24

As a private cake designer, when a bride asked me to pricematch another cake person or bakery, I did not mind saying "no" and closing the door. I figured if they wanted my services badly enough, they would find a way to afford me. LOL. And more often than not, I got their business anyway.

Well, now I have a shop and really do need to get my cakes out in the community...and I know I can't afford to just turn people away as I had before.

Having never been trained in sales, I don't know how to politely say "No, I will not pricematch Joe Blow Bakery" without completely blowing them off. What is the wording one uses when you want to keep them on the hook, when you want them to WANT you badly enough to suck it up and pay the extra money?

I know that sales is very much a psychological game, and I need to see the playbook! Any recommended reading or videos would be very appreciated too.

Really, if you are happy to just blow off a bride as I used to be, you don't need to respond to tell me that. I applaud you. icon_smile.gif I need help keeping them on the hook but can't find the correct words, and I know that some of you are amazing salespeople.

Thanks so much!!

23 replies
weirkd Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 3:48am
post #2 of 24

Well you can go with the honest approach! You can just tell them that you are giving them the best deal you can and that you use quality ingredients that are expensive. And maybe offer them something in return like a free 6" anniversary cake or 10% off their next order or something like that.

ALVARGA Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 3:50am
post #3 of 24

I have worked in sales for 15+ years and the rule is we only price match on the exact same merchandise and only if the competitor has it in stock. I would suggest that since each of your cakes is handmade and no two are alike that you do not price match any of your cakes. Your cakes as individaul as the brides that come through your door and there for you cannot match prices on anything that is one of a kind. I hope this helps.

Cakepro Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 4:02am
post #4 of 24

No, we are definitely NOT pricematching.

What I am looking for is the ACTUAL, SPECIFIC WORDING using actual sales tactics/techniques on how to tell them I don't pricematch but I am NOT closing the door on the sale.

I am working on such an email right now. I quoted her $1000 and she asked if I would PM another bakery who quoted her $800. So far my response is, "Im sorry, but we dont price match other bakeries. There can be a huge difference in the quality of ingredients, recipes, and artistic skills of the cake designer. I would love to be part of your wedding day and make a spectacular cake for you, so _________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________.

Hope that makes it more clear about what I'm seeking. icon_smile.gif

The_Lil_Cakehouse Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 4:33am
post #5 of 24

I am confident I can make a spectacular cake for you on your wedding day, that is just as custom as your day is. I hope we can work together to make your day extra special.

prterrell Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 6:30am
post #6 of 24

Here is what I can do for you for:

((What it is you can do for her))

This cake will be $799 (or whatever the price is that is as close as you can get to the requested amount).

Melnick Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 7:54am
post #7 of 24

Have a read through this thread by Snarkybaker http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-665609-0.html, particularly the opening post.

I would suggest though that you don't lead off with pricing. If a customer asks if you price match, don't answer the question, say instead "Tell me what you are after?" and ask loads of questions, look very interested, sketch etc and when you get to the end, tell them what you can do it for. Hopefully they'll also like you in the process - personality makes a lot of sales. Some people WANT to give YOU the sale because they like you and will happily pay the higher price. Sometimes you might come in cheaper and will be the better priced option. Whatever you do, don't be apologetic about your not being able to match prices. Be confident so that your customer sees you are confident and proud of your product.

Bunsen Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 8:34am
post #8 of 24

We do not price match as with custom cakes no two products are the same and a direct comparison cannot be made. Each bakery uses different recipes and each design has different techniques which vary greatly in skill level and the time required to execute them. Due to the cost of the quality ingredients we use and the time we spend perfecting your custom cake we are unable to reduce the price on this cake but we are happy to discuss ways in which we can adapt the cake to accommodate your budget.

prterrell Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 8:38am
post #9 of 24

I've used the Haute Couture metaphor before and it applies here, too. Can you imagine asking Vallentino to price match Dior? icon_lol.gif

Melnick Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 8:46am
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunsen

We do not price match as with custom cakes no two products are the same and a direct comparison cannot be made. Each bakery uses different recipes and each design has different techniques which vary greatly in skill level and the time required to execute them. Due to the cost of the quality ingredients we use and the time we spend perfecting your custom cake we are unable to reduce the price on this cake but we are happy to discuss ways in which we can adapt the cake to accommodate your budget.




thumbs_up.gif That sounds great!

snarkybaker Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 4:55pm
post #11 of 24

If you are truly making a "custom" cake, there is no such thing as "price matching" because you are selling them a different product. What you need to do in this case is explain why your cakes are $200 more. At my shop, I would say-

" Our cakes do run a little more. I have 5 fully trained pastry chefs on staff. I think it is important to have the extra hands available in case of a cake emergency. We use all local and as close to organic ingredients as we can. Our flour is from a mill not 20 miles from here, our eggs and butter both come from local farms. We never freeze our cakes."

In other words..if price is an issue, you really haven't SOLD her your cake, because she thinks it is the same as the other cake.


I would be sure to mention " I can certainly make you an $800 cake, but this cake is $1000." so that if it really is at the upper limits of her budget, you can still earn the sale, but if someone is talking all about price, it means they aren't in love with your cake yet, cause nobody puts a price on love.

cakesweetiecake Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:09pm
post #12 of 24

Match prices? Wow! I've never heard of that regarding cake.

I agree with others about pointing out and playing up your strengths.

Mike1394 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:18pm
post #13 of 24

but if someone is talking all about price, cause nobody puts a price on love.


Snarky, I'm thinking ya never been to the streets of Detroit have ya? icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

Darthburn Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:25pm
post #14 of 24

I like what Snarky said... Heck I'm ready to buy a cake right now!

I think it's good to point out that you use fresh or organic food and flavors while telling them that you can't proomise that the other bakeries do.

And it's good to let them know you want to help work with them to accomodate their budget.

You all are so good. Just wanted to say that. icon_smile.gif

Btw... I think I've had Joe Blow's Bakery cakes and they are that good.

CakeMommyTX Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:32pm
post #15 of 24

Maybe I'm priced to low, I've never had anyone want me to price match?
I give them the price, they pay it.

Darthburn Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:38pm
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

Maybe I'm priced to low, I've never had anyone want me to price match?
I give them the price, they pay it.




Maybe they just know quality when they see it, and figure any price they get... no matter how low or high... is a steal when getting art from the world renowned CakeMommy! icon_smile.gif

ccr03 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:47pm
post #17 of 24

I'm not as high-end as snarky (and I'm cool w/that), but she is 100% right. Even if you NEED the order - NEVER show that to your customer!! I remember my very first quinceanera cake, the lady tried to haggle w/me and said she cold get the cake for nearly $200 cheaper at another place. I knew she was lying b/c I called that other bakery when I was doing research. I told her, unfortunately, I couldn't give her that price and that the price was set. Well, she ordered from me.

Sales is all about selling yourself and your business! A local music store has a GREAT selection of used DVD's and CD's but I won't go back to them ever b/c I can't stand their customer service.

But as far as wording, don't say sorry - say unfortunately.
"Unfortunately, that is not something I can do. But I can assure you that all cakes are made and decorated by me, so you are going to get what I am promising you. What you are tasting today is what you'll be tasting the day of your wedding.
Now, if you did want to stay in that budget, this is what I can do (and then give her an option)"

Recently, I had a lady inquire about a cake and it turn out to be more than she budgeted for. I gave her a revised design (aka more simple) within her budget and she went with the original design.

cownsj Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 5:48pm
post #18 of 24

First, never use the word "NO". It automatically puts a negative connotation in their heads. You want to ask questions that will result in positive answers, or information only.

If they keep bringing the question back to price you can say something like, "Other than price, what is it that you are looking for in your cake?". And How can I earn your business today? Studies have been done in the car industry: the number one reason a person buys a car where they buy their car is not price but they LIKE the salesperson.

AND, the number one reason a person doesn't buy a car in a particular place is that they do NOT like the salesperson. And we all know that everyone is out negotiating price on cars. If you instill confidence and make your client know you and like you, you stand a greater chance of getting their business.

Remember, you do have to earn their business, not just expect them to give it to you. Chit chat, get to know them, make it a very personal experience. Let them know you care about them and their cake and they'll like you. All along the way just keept selling them on their "one of a kind cake", how your cakes are made fresh especially for them, the freshness of your cake, your top quality ingredients, your attention to detail, etc., etc.

If they bring up your competition, do NOT put them down, just remind them of all the positives you have to offer them. Also, never use the words dollars or cents. If you are talking price per slice, it's three fifty, not three dollars and fifty cents. If you are talking a whole cake price it's one forty not one hundred forty dollars.

lchristi27 Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 6:03pm
post #19 of 24

I think a lot of these wedding websites/magazines etc. tell brides to 'shop around' and get the best deal possible on stuff. Of course this create's havoc on the talented cake bakers out there.

To keep in-pace with what these brides are reading, I would also tell them to 'feel free to shop around before you make your decision. I understand how perfect your day needs to be and that this is a tough decision to make. If it would help, I have refrence letters from prior customers that I would be happy to share with you"

By doing this, they may gain trust in you knowing that you are ok with them doing some competitive shopping.

pattycakesnj Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 6:21pm
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

Maybe I'm priced to low, I've never had anyone want me to price match?
I give them the price, they pay it.


must be my problem too. LOL

CakeMommyTX Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 6:26pm
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darthburn

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

Maybe I'm priced to low, I've never had anyone want me to price match?
I give them the price, they pay it.



Maybe they just know quality when they see it, and figure any price they get... no matter how low or high... is a steal when getting art from the world renowned CakeMommy! icon_smile.gif




I'd like to think that is the case icon_lol.gif
But sometimes it worries me when they are all to eager to give me their credit card right then and there, either I'm a super freaking amazing cake artist, or I'm cheap icon_confused.gif

johnson6ofus Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 1:08am
post #22 of 24

1. I "get it"--- we worked on the design, I understand what you want, and I know I can deliver something you will love.
2. I use _____________ to ensure the best tasting cake possible.
3. My cake is my art, and every baker/ artist is different. I will spend hours making the ________ and the ________ details so that your cake is spectacular.


I agree---- it is the relationship----- that makes the sale.

jillmakescakes Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 1:20am
post #23 of 24

Why are you higher than the bakery she's wanting you to match?

Is it because you use better ingredients?
Is it because your work is better?
Is it because your stuff is fresher?
Is it because your work is custom whereas their is not?

Or, (and don't get mad) is it simply because you have a higher profit margin?

If it is any of the first 4, then that is your response: We cannot price match because we are already offering you the best value. We provide you with XX,XX,XX and we believe the product to be superior to what you will find elsewhere. (it's not generally a good idea to bash the competition directly).

Now, if it simply because you want a higher profit margin and the work is comparable, then you just have to be short and sweet "We would love to be part of your special day, be we are not able to price match."

HarleyDee Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 2:50am
post #24 of 24

Haha, I would just ask them if they called the number for WalMart.. otherwise why would they be asking about price matching icon_biggrin.gif

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