Im sending this to a client:
"I'm not sure from the phone call the the other day if you wanted to still meet to go over the details and pricing of your cake. I'm more than happy to go over everything with you. We can still meet at the same time on Saturday @ 4pm. Just let me know if your still interested.
Hope you are having a great day."
Preface to the email:
I have a client that I have been working with for the past couple of months for a baby shower cake that is for November. Been getting info slowly. I met with her and her daughter for a meeting back in June to go over some basic info. They really seemed to want a quote for the cake that day (its a 3d rattle cake feeding 68 ) I roughly quoted her based off of basic pricing (my fault since I normally won't quote with out designing first). The daughter didn't seem as crazy about the cake as her mom was.
The other day the mom checked in to ask me about setting up another meeting to give me the invitation, names, colors, etc. I made the mistake of giving her the quotes for the cake. I was nice enough to give her 3 quotes (I know that was too nice) with different options for her cake (I only did it because either way that cake was at least the price I quoted before doing in extra from her details). She didn't seem upset when I told her the pricing on call number one.
The next day I get another call, 3 way with the daughter on the phone, (who is not paying) seeming upset over the price of the cake. Yes I did give her a quote the first time we met, but will I will admit that I didn't take into account the custom board that would be built, the extra 3d artwork, or tax. Since then I have redone my policy on rentals. She hasn't signed anything so the policy will affect her on renting the custom board. ($40 rental. $15 to rent + $25 refundable deposit. If she kept the platform still $40, $15 labor + $25 materials). Daughter was not happy with this. Said the price was the price of a wedding cake and that it wasn't fair for a baby shower. (Its not whats fair, it whats it worth). Ended the phone call with a "mom I don't know" and a " well thank you". Mom didn't say anything. I have no idea if we are still meeting to go over this cake. I'm starting not to care.
I know I made some mistakes. I only want to know if we are still meeting bc I could be working getting my two wedding orders ready for next week instead. Any tips on how to handle the rest of this?
I would offer to meet with them, but stand firm on your price. It's not always easy, but until they have booked with you there's no rule saying that the price won't change. Maybe you could have quoted a more accurate price to start, but I'm sure you learned from this experience. I know that brides sometimes add a lot of stuff and then wonder why their quote changed?
It almost sounds like they're trying to haggle to get a lower price. If you do meet with them, maybe you could offer them different options to keep the price within their budget (sheet cake, cupcakes or something like that).
Just stand firm and if they don't respond within a few days, you can move on. If I were in your situation I would send an email like this:
Hello (insert names here)
I would like to confirm our meeting for Saturday at 4PM to go over the details for your cake. When we meet I will be more than happy to discuss your design and pricing options. If you need to reschedule or will be unable to attend, please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you for your interest in (your business name), I look forward to meeting with you soon. Have a great day!
(Your name here)
Hope that helps!
Did you send that message already?
I wouldnt waste time meeting with them again. I would send an email going over what you discussed on the phone and letting them know that if they wish to place the order for this cake then the deposit of XXX amount or the total cost (which ever you require) is payable by xxx date. Until that is paid your order will not be on your schedule. Let them know you will need a reply by Wednesday (you decide). Otherwise you might not hear back from them until a week before it due.
Just a tip for the future. The bakery that I worked at had a 10-day guarantee on a quote. So if someone quoted you a price you had 10 days to book it to get that price. After 10 days the price could change, everyone was made aware of this during a price quote.
The reason why: We had so many people come in to order wedding cakes 18 months before the wedding. They would want tastings and price quotes and design options, etc. Then a year later (6 months before the date) they would book with us and then complain after the prices changed.
It makes sense since the price of ingredients constantly changes, overhead may or may not change, plus the cost of materials may or may not change due to shipping costs and heaven forbid if you have to change distributers. That will throw everything off.
Indy always says it best: Does the cost of gas go up? Does the cost of electricity, eggs, flour, butter? Prices go up. Its what they do.
The problem is coming in with what Jayde said. You need to make clear that unless a commitment is made (ie- contract and deposit) then no quote is valid. AND you need to hold off on giving quotes until you can do it correctly. If you cannot give an accurate quote at a meeting, then fine, don't give one and email them later. You need to come up with a way of making quotes quick and easy for both you and the client.
I think the problem I would have if I were the client, is
a) The quotes have changed quite a few times
b) you are giving reasons for the quotes changing that make it look like you aren't planning well. If the prices of supplies went up, well fine, but when you forget to price an item, that looks unprofessional.
Your email sounds fine (except you misspelled you're as your.) Although I do like Jason's better.
Honestly, if it would have been me, I would have taken one for them team, and called it an expensive learning lesson- in this case it was kind of your fault. Been there, done that, so don't be too hard on yourself!
I took the advice of amycakes22 and sent the client this email on Friday:
I would like to confirm our meeting for Saturday @ 4pm to go over the details for your cake. When we meet I will be more than happy to discuss your design and pricing options. If you need to reschedule or will be unable to attend, please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you for your interest in Dreme Cake Artistry, I look forward to meeting with you soon.
Have a great day!
She replied with:
I thought my daughter cancelled this appointment. I will call you to set up and confirm another appointment.
Thanks and have a great weekend."
How do you cancel an appointment that is not yours?
Anyways during the first consult I gave a her a rough quote and told her that artwork and extras will be priced accordingly. I did not know the exact cost of the board at that time. The rough quote was $130. To give her options I came up with three quotes the highest starting at $229 and the lowest $177. The difference is the fondant trim/bow vs customers bought ribbon and all the artwork. It only changed from the first time we met. I only told her options on the second phone call. I wasn't changing her quote as much as giving her options for what she could do once I added on the extras that weren't included with the rough quote.
Sorry I did leave out that she knew that the rough quote was a starting point and that the price would go up for the additional artwork. If she returns the platform for the cake she gets $25 back which can lower her cost to only $204-$152.
I learned in some early consults and designs that sometimes that multiple options may seem like a help but a lot of customers just want to know what's the cake going to look like and how much will it cost me. Realistically if I were a customer even if I was told there would be some add ons I would be surprised for a quote option that was $100 higher than the original ball park. Even if I am not paying for it myself I would not want my mother to pay that much extra on my behalf. I think for future orders once you quote a price I would in writing either send a contract or email explaining a policy about how long they have before that quote is invalid. Don't let customers bully you into on the spot pricing that you can;t stand by. Just stand firm and follow up by saying I'd rather do my work up front and ensure the first price I give you is fully accurate and that will take me 24 hours to get to you.