I am just starting out. I was wondering when you ladies do quotes for cakes, do you follow up with the person after a certain period of time? If you don't here back from them do you just assume they made other arrangements and forget about it? Just wondering what everyones procedure is on these? TIA
Alot of my buisness comes fom outside our area for destination weddings so my experience may or may not help you. To be honest...there are very few home bakers here to my knowledge, and only 2-3 of us have websites. Because of that, i would say 75% of the people who contact me use me. The rest I kind of play it off how I feel during the USUALLY online or over phone consult. If they seem very interested I will wait a week, then email them saying I received a call from another potential client for the same day, and because I was already speaking with THEM about that day, I want to check to see if they had decided to go with me before I booked someone else.
This ALMOST ALWAYS WORKS!!
I do let people know I do not book/hold there date without a 50% NON REFUNDABLE deposit! I also have a contract stating this as well!
Beyond that, I usually let it be. I am not the pushy salesman type.
Hope this helps!
I don't contact them after the quote, but I like the "saving the date and someone else wants it" sales tactic In general, I figure that people are grownups and if they want to hire me they will, and if they don't I have other uses for my time than emailing and calling to see if they want to hire me. If they haven't sent me a deposit then they're not my client, and I assume they went somewhere else for their cake. No biggie.
I agree with costumeczar. Being a home baker and a mom, I couldn't imagine keeping up with and recontacting all the folks who contact me for a quote.
The only time I contacted a potiential customer was when I spoke to her on the phone and she told me she was mailing a deposit the next day. A week went by and I didn't have a deposit, so I contacted her telling her I didn't receive a deposit. I wanted to make sure she chose not to send it, rather than having it get lost in the mail. All I needed was a customer at my door and no cake to give her.
Please people, please don't do the phony 'Oh I have someone else who wants your date so if you want me you better fork over the deposit right away' thing. It's the #1 "flag" that brides are warned about in the articles about "10 Ways to Identify Unscruptulous Vendors Who Are Trying to Scam a Bride."
This tactic just perpetuates the myth that wedding vendors are scamming brides and just out to get every dolalr they can JUST because a bride uses "the W word".
Please don't prove them right. Please.
Brides are shopping early and they are taking their time about making decisions. In 2009, brides booked with me anytime from 2 days to 73 days after their sampling appt. don't stress it.
with their permission, I always added them to my newsletter mailing list, so they were always getting info from me on a regular basis, which was my way of keeping my name in front of them.
In 2008, I had 294 inquiries. In 2009, I had over 300 inquiries. No way am I doing excessive fol-up with all of them.
Follow up is standard sales tactics. Cakers--- you ARE sales people, as small business owners. There is nothing "nasty" about a short follow up email- it shows professionalism.
"hi, hope you had a chance to review my quote, let me answer any further questions, if not this cake keep me in mind for any future ones. Thanks for the opportunity. ".... or something similar...
With email, it costs nothing, takes one minute, and is a quick cut and paste. Marketing and sales DRIVES most business.
Thanks everyone for your advice!
Johnson6ofus, Good follow up e-mail!