I'm just curious how many of you follow up after talking or giving quotes to potential customers? Is the follow up successful in bringing their business or placing an order.
I'm just curious because typically what I do is if someone asks me for so and so I just give them a base price or a quote if I have specifics.
Some people don't even respond, so I assume they can't afford me and I don't bother or chase after anyone.
My prices are listed on my website because I had issues with too many people contacting me (that werent willing to pay my price).
So for the people that don't respond to my initial email, should I call/email them back? or is it a waste of my time, because really if they want me they will book me.
This is what I do.
I never give a quote over the phone or email. I do refer them to my website so they can get an idea of what my prices start at. My potential customer must make a cake consultation appointment with me. At this appointment we discuss all of the details, design. flavor, price, etc. At this point the customer decides if they want to go with me. I've never had anyone, get up an leave and not place an order. I do follow-up with my customers the day after I deliver the cake to make sure everything was OK. I've only had one complaint, but this particular customer already complained when she picked up the cake. Moving on!
There is a glimps into what I do. Hope it helped.
I do celebration cakes along with wedding cakes so doing a consultation for EVERY cake just isn't feasible or cost effective.
I typically give a ball park price or send them my pricing page (i don't have a website yet, still in the works) to begin with and then if they want to pay my prices then i get more details and give them a written quote. I ALWAYS send it by email so that i have record of exactly what was sent/said. I don't typically follow up b/c i have a pretty high booking rate once we get to the quote process for a specific cake. Most of my clients already have an idea of 1) the cake they want or 2) what they want to spend so when i send a quote all that is usually left is them picking a flavor/filling and approving the text that will be written on the cake.
I don't worry about following up with those i don't hear from b/c i'm pretty clear in my email with the quote and on the quote form what day they have to have money to me to ensure that i can do their cake, and of course everything says that the cake isn't booked until i receive deposit and first come first served.
yes I like how you keep it simple. I think I will refer them to my website for prices. I don't have the ability to meet with all my customers before they place an order. It is somthing to think about.
I also don't have anything about requiring a deposit to book a cake. I am very easy going with that but people have no clue that being a sole baker/decorator it's very easy to fill up fast.
I guess im more wondering if following up with people ever works as far as getting an order goes.
From a customer's perspective: I wouldn't necessarily make the phone call. If I am calling around for ballpark quotes then I am going to call you if I am interested. Most customers are in information overload these days and "sales" calls are just the icing on the cake (pun intended!). While you may think of it as a follow-up call there are some people who will lump it into a general sales category.
Your challenge comes from not having a website with pics. I am a visual person so I want to see your prices but I also want to see your work. If I can see both before I make contact with you -- you are much more likely to get my business. It is all about those first impressions!
I too have a website that has all my prices listed but I still get emails asking how much for this and that..Very Frustrating...Anyhow,I ask questions like what is your budget (And I do have a cake minimum listed on my site) How many people they are wanting/expecting to feed.Theme or ideas...When I get a feel of what they are after I offer to send along pictures of cakes I feel are in their price range...Then we go from there.Occasionally I will get a customer who I think can't afford a more expensive cake but I am also very careful how I word it as to not to offend...Just this week that happened and I thought she just wanted a cheaper cake as that what she eluded too...She ended up ordering a Two tiered cake for $180.00...and went on to say that last year she paid over $200.00 for her daughter's first birthday cake so now I have a great regular customer who I know will pay for quality...
To answer your original question...No...I don't follow up because I have found that if you Nag or chase people down to order a cake they just get turned off and say Forget it!! If they want a cake they know where to find you...I send out a newsletter every month with specilas etc...from Mail Chimp..That seems to be the best way to ring a little bell in their ear to email or call you to order a cake.
I also had pricing on my website. I'd refer them to the website AND email them my intro information packet. No follow up on these. After a consultation, I'd email them the quote based on what we talked about. no follow up on these.
My booking rate was in the high 90's.
there are a number of schools of thought on follow up. My stats showed that sometimes brides can take anywhere from 5 days to 9 months to make a decision, so just because I haven't heard from them in a couple of days, means nothing.
Brides are doing the right thing and doing a LOT of research before they FINALLY get to the point of making final decisions.
Thank you all for your responses. I will have to check out the mail chimp. I was too thinking about sending out newsletters.
Kiddie: Do you just save everybodys emails (even just inquiries) or people that order from you only?
indy: I will do the same I have yet to make an info packet which I think I should for bridal shows anyway.
Sweet: Thanks I do have pics and all. But for some reason people email me and ask for prices. Everything is listed why do they ask!!!!
I did do a follow up and the lady emailed me back saying she made other arrangements. (I quoted her $10-12 servings for a ridiculously decorated 3d cake).
I knew she made other arrangements. But i just wanted to try and see if follow ups made a difference.
You all are right, these people know where to find me. I will leave it at that.
having an intro/info packet saves you a lot of time. I had anywhere from 7 to 10 to 12 attachments that were pre-written with all fo the info that i shared with clients over and over. It was a quick process to click-n-attach and boom, you're done ..... email on the way.
Way faster, easier, more efficient than typing it all from scratch. The info packet included menus, pricing, delivery policies, payment policies, helpful wedding planning tips, etc.
I also had the intro email pre-written and saved as a Word document. Easy to cut-n-paste it into the email.
If you'd like to see a copy of my packet, as an example, I'm happy to share. Just send me an email (not a PM ... an email) so I can reply with attachments.
I recommend using a twitter feed instead of a monthly email newsletter. Twitter offers much more flexibility in terms of the timing of announcements and special offers, you just have to keep them short and to the point.