Dealing With Customers

Business By laurijaymc Updated 28 Jun 2010 , 10:29pm by Melvira

laurijaymc Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 4:39pm
post #1 of 22

I am constantly having potential customers call wanting to get prices and the first thing they say is "I am checking on prices because I am on a tight budget." Most are brides.

What is the first thing you say to them and how do you answer their questions? I am tired of the cheap uneducated customers! icon_mad.gif

21 replies
WendyB Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 4:46pm
post #2 of 22

"Yes, we're all on tight budgets. How much were you looking to spend?"

artscallion Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 4:59pm
post #3 of 22

me: "And how much is that budget and for how many guests?"

them: $___.__

SCENARIO A...
me: "very good. What date do you need this for? I several options we can discuss."

them: __/__/__

me: "Great/I'm sorry. I'm booked/available on that date."

OR

SCENARIO B...

me: "I'm sorry. I don't offer anything that would fit into that budget."

I get the budget-to-guest ratio and the date out of the way first thing, before I say a single thing about my prices or colors or flowers or tastings, etc. Otherwise I am potentially wasting their time and mine.

cakesdivine Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 5:00pm
post #4 of 22

I ask their cake budget and how many they are wanting to serve. 9 times out of 10 they want a cake to feed volumes and the price to be non-existant...LOL!

Beer budgets with champagne expectations...cake muggles are bad but cake muggles who don't want to spend over $100 on a cake even if it has to feed 300 are extremely annoying.

cupcakemkr Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 5:02pm
post #5 of 22

For brides I say: "I understand. My base price for a simple butter cream cake is $.$$ and fondant covered $.$$; flowers, ribbons, toppers are additional. Iwould be happy to set up a tasting for you for $25, if you book with me the price of the tasting will go towards the price of your order."

For party cakes - I drop off the tasting bit.

leah_s Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 5:41pm
post #6 of 22

I post my prices on my website, so I really don't get a lot of those calls.

Mindy1975 Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 6:03pm
post #7 of 22

I usually tell them right off the bat what my average wedding cake goes for these days. THat usually gets them off the phone, or they continue with the conversation and we end up booking a tasting.

KHalstead Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 6:17pm
post #8 of 22

I like the idea of figuring in all the extras and so forth and just saying...........well, a cake to feed around 100 will be $XXX.XX that way they know what they're in for.

For whatever reason when you say I charge $2.50/serv. they can never figure out that it's OVER $200 and in most cases closer to $300.00!!

They're brides not mathematicians I guess LOL

awatterson Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 6:35pm
post #9 of 22

Yeah. I just had someone email me that they were on a tight budget and they wanted a cake to feed 300! My prices are on my website too, but she said that she was bargain hunting. If you are on that tight of a budget then you need to cut down the amount of people you are having at your wedding.

laurijaymc Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 8:49pm
post #10 of 22

Thanks ladies,

My prices are on my website. I do not like to give any prices until I can sit down with them because they do not always know how many they really need to serve. As you know, it all depends on the food that they are serving, if they are having a grooms cake ........ I will tell them my prices start at $ per serving but do not like to work that way. And when they call shopping around like that they do not know what they are doing, they just think they are being smart and looking at the cheapest route, they should go to Walmart!

cakelady31 Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 9:55pm
post #11 of 22

I start right from the beginning and tell them I charge $xx per serving.
I actually just experienced somewhat of an uncomfortable situation involving a customer.I knew I was going to hear it sooner or later!
Customer- I'd like to order a carrot cake birthday cake for my wife. I only need enough for about 6 people. This was on Wednesday.
I will need this for Friday, Is this ok?
Me- yes, I can. I will make you a beautifully decorated 8" , 2 layer carrot cake with cream cheese buttercream icing. This cake will cost you $xx.00.
Cust. - Great thank you !!
Thursday - cake is baked, torted and icing is mixing in the KA> The phone rings:
Cust- AH , yeah, I told my buddy about the cake, and well, he was rather taken aback by the cost! I was wondering why it's so much money when he says I can go to the local bakery and get one for 20 bucks less. He was picking on my pricing!! I had to remind him that my frosings do NOT come from a bucket ready made and that he could even get one cheaper than that from the local fruit stand. THIS COMES FROM A LOCAL BUSINESS MAN WHO GETS $90 / hr just to come in the door!!!

arsen102506 Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:46am
post #12 of 22

Hehe..Its a quite difficult to deal with that kind of person, but customer are always right. You have to be polite and honest to your customer and try to offer them at least cheap and nice looking cakes.

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 3:16am
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by laurijaymc

I am constantly having potential customers call wanting to get prices and the first thing they say is "I am checking on prices because I am on a tight budget." Most are brides.




In my Paula Deen accent, I tell them, "Oh darlin' that makes you just like every single bride I talk to! Let's see what we can do for you.....!" and take it from there.

Like leah, my prices were posted right on my website, so I rarely got these calls. When I did, early in the conversation, I'd ask them if they've had a chance to review the pricing page on my website. If yes, I go on with, "so what other information are you looking for?" If no, I ask for their email, "and I'm happy to email you an information packet."

Either way, I didn't waste any time on the phone. The Info Pkt was pre-created and with just a few clicks, an email was sent out to them in under a minute.

KHalstead Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 1:13pm
post #14 of 22

one person "tight budget" is another persons "jackpot"

I recently had a couple that kept reiterating "we're REALLY on a strict, tight budget with everything INCLUDING THE CAKE" They kept saying how they had to keep it under a certain amount, blah blah blah. I tried asking servings, etc. and she just kept saying....I'd really like to sit down with you and discuss everything.

Well, I charged her for the tasting and figured if she didn't book because I was TOO EXPENSIVE then so be it!

Turns out, they needed to feed 100 people and they have a budget of $600! Their cake is going to be covered in fondant w/ satin ribbon. I think the whole thing wound up being under $400 including delivery......they were so ecstatic! She giggled and said........ooohhhh....sounds like there will be some left over for a tip when I see my beautiful cake!

mayo2222 Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 1:30pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

one person "tight budget" is another persons "jackpot"

I recently had a couple that kept reiterating "we're REALLY on a strict, tight budget with everything INCLUDING THE CAKE" They kept saying how they had to keep it under a certain amount, blah blah blah. I tried asking servings, etc. and she just kept saying....I'd really like to sit down with you and discuss everything.

Well, I charged her for the tasting and figured if she didn't book because I was TOO EXPENSIVE then so be it!

Turns out, they needed to feed 100 people and they have a budget of $600! Their cake is going to be covered in fondant w/ satin ribbon. I think the whole thing wound up being under $400 including delivery......they were so ecstatic! She giggled and said........ooohhhh....sounds like there will be some left over for a tip when I see my beautiful cake!




Wow...that almost never happens icon_smile.gif Looks like you did hit the jackpot

meharding Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 1:37pm
post #16 of 22

I'm just a hobby baker. My son and his fiancee are planning their wedding for next March. The guest list keeps climbing. It is now at 270 people and they had budgeted $200 for cake...lol. Soooo I am going to make their cake. I hope it doesn't disappoint. I have made some small 6" cakes to practice, practice, practice on until I get the things she wants perfected.

Point to all this is sometimes young adults have unrealistic expectations for the cost of things. They have been poor, broke college students so long they just don't have a point of reference for the cost of custom cakes. I like your various approaches to guiding them into a price point. Bless you all for your business acumen and kind hearts.

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 1:44pm
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by meharding

I'm just a hobby baker. My son and his fiancee are planning their wedding for next March. The guest list keeps climbing. It is now at 270 people and they had budgeted $200 for cake...lol.




Day One: We're going to spend $200 on cake.
Day 36: We're adding 100 people to the guest list. We STILL plan on spending $200 on cake. icon_confused.gif

Why do they think they can add more people but they won't have to add more money? icon_eek.gif

icon_lol.gif here's the part that cracks me up: People seem to go brain dead when planning a wedding.

I would guarantee you that if these very same people were planning a birthday party for 20, but then had to increase it to 40 people, they'd easily figure out they have to spend more money on a bigger cake.

But put the word "wedding" in front of it and they go brain dead!

Melvira Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:33pm
post #18 of 22

You know Debi, it might be that there aren't any *professionals* out there telling people, "Now, when you plan your birthday party, the baker is going to try to rob you, so be on the offense when you go in there. Here's what you do. Tell them you'll have 25 guests and have a budget of $30, and if they can't do it for that price then they are obviously the WORST cake person you've ever met! Get them to accept those terms, then 2 days before the party, up the count to 110. They'll have to make the cake larger to accomodate your party, and you've still hit your budget of $30. Oh, don't worry, if you do it two days before the party, they'll be so scared of losing your business that they won't have the nerve to tell you no! Bakers are really stupid you know. That's why they're bakers. If they had a brain in their heads, they'd be party consultants like me. Losers. I hope their cakes sink in the middle and their icing separates!!" (This is when you find out the party planner wanted to be a cake decorator but wasn't any good, so they hate all bakers on principal!)

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:35pm
post #19 of 22

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Melvira, you still remain and will always be a pure classic!!!!

Melvira Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 3:00pm
post #20 of 22

Hey, I just call it like I see it. (And I hope everyone knows I'm not saying that ALL party planners are like that!) icon_lol.gif

laurijaymc Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 7:27pm
post #21 of 22

Oh my gosh, Melvira you are a riot! icon_razz.gif

Melvira Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 10:29pm
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by laurijaymc

Oh my gosh, Melvira you are a riot! icon_razz.gif




Thank you! icon_lol.gif Sometimes my sarcasm can drive you up the wall, but most of the time it's just fun!

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