Do you upsell your services? Or do you take orders based on exactly what somebody asks for?
I was in commercial interior design for a while before cakes, and let me tell you, it's easier to just offer the best finishes for the price they're willing to pay, than to start at the cheapest option, then convincing them to spend more. Though it may not be the case all the time, I find it works well for me.
And there's nothing wrong with a bit of an upsell. If you think it'll benefit the customer in some way, it doesn't hurt to at least bring it up!
On the cake side, I can't really say I upsold anything because I didnt' charge extra for things like flowers or other decorating details. One flat price regardless (with about 5 exceptions).
On the catering side, I would ALWAYS ask if they had considered a chocolate fountain or I would find out how much time the guests were going to wait on the arrival of the bride and groom ('coz if it was more than 30 minutes, then I STRONGLY recommended some appetizer something .... be it food, munchies or choc fntns).
If they couldnt' decide on which hot veggies they wanted on their buffet, I'd quietly suggest, "If you'd really like both, you can add the 3rd one for just 50 cents a person..."
A lot of it is sales experience and playing it by ear, based on the conversations.
My recommendation is to try to upsell something ..... not for the monetary reasons but because you dont' want to sound like a cake-order-taker-at -the-grocery. you want to sound like the cake and event expert who knows what they need and who is HELPING them plan a wonderful event. Not a person who just asks "do you want fries with that?"
I feel like my decorating creativity is stifled...that's the driver for my upselling...
If you think it'll benefit the customer in some way, it doesn't hurt to at least bring it up!
Allow me to follow up with this with how much I agree and to add that "benefit the customer" didn't always put money in my pocket .... right then.
But if I had a couple who were getting married in the same building and there was going to be about 15 minutes between end of ceremony and start of reception, I would actually talk them out of getting appetizers and just go straight to the buffet meal. while on the surface, this seems to have taken money out of my pocket, the end result is that I "sold" them a benefit and the word-of-mouth advertising I got was "wow, you should call Debi! She doesn't try to get you to spend everything you've got! she actually tells you what you DON'T need to buy!" And the referral business I got MORE than made up for the no-appetizer catering I booked with the first couple.
Sometimes what you are "upselling" is your expertise and reputation, which goes a long way for future business you may not have gotten at all!
You crack me up. love reading your comments.
I upsell a lot of my cakes. I always begin by asking what someone's cake budget is. Then I sketch out 3 designs. One or two in their range and one that is higher. (the sketches are quick B&W sketches - takes no time at all) I would say about half the time, I get a larger order than what they originally started out thinking.