What Would You Do?

Business By shaynajune Updated 28 Nov 2010 , 2:27am by sweetonyouzz

shaynajune Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 11:58am
post #1 of 21

Ok I had what I thought was a fantastic tasting with a couple. The bride e-mailed me later to ask about a change in the design and to also let me know that they were concerned about my frosting.

I have no hard feelings about them not caring for my frosting. I know that I can not please every person that walks in my shop. Most people love my frosting. Actually the couple I met with right before this couple told me how great it was. Pretty much everyone who has my frosting loves it.

When I received the e-mail I thought I would just let it slide. I guess my thoughts are if someone has complaints about my product that I shoud probably not deal with them because I would hate to get a bad review later on after I have delivered the cake.

Well yesterday I received another e-mail from the lady wanting a quote again on the change in design.

What would you do? Should I ignore it, write a polite letter to her stating why I think she would be happier going whith another baker or send the quote and take the order?

20 replies
artscallion Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 12:13pm
post #2 of 21

She may think that by commenting on your frosting that she is telling you to use a different one for her order or fix the one you used at the tasting.

If you only have the one frosting and are not willing to use another, you need to make that clear to her. I'd just email back saying, "Oh, I'm surprised to hear from again. I thought you didn't care for the frosting I'd be using on your cake and would be going with someone else."

BethLS Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 1:37pm
post #3 of 21

First of....WOW! You live literally about 15 minutes from me. Small world!

Secondly, this is why we conduct tastings! To see if the potential client likes the product we plan to deliver.

If a client said this to me, I'd have to let them polietly know I'm sorry they did not like the frosting, and thought you'd went to another baker. (Like art said!)

My reasons are this, if I switched icings just for them this one time, you might be stuck doing this a lot. Which isn't that big of a deal, but if you aren't used to working with a particular frosting, a wedding cake is not the time to "change it up".

Perhaps this particular couple is used to IMBC and you use a shortening based one? (But again, if I had this request I'd have to respectfully decline, as I don't personally like IMBC, and would be difficult for me to work with it since I don't have the experience with it)
Hope this helps, and it is very cool to know someone is a stones-throw away!

LindaF144a Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 1:49pm
post #4 of 21

They were concerned about the frosting? Did they say in what way specifically? Taste? Texture? Ingrdients?

Maybe she is looking for you give her more information before she says yes. It may not be the frosting at all. In selling when a customer raises a concern it is a way of saying they want more reassurance that they are making the right decision. You need to dig deeper. Think like a sales person, the psychology side of it not the pushy side.

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 2:28pm
post #5 of 21

This is my biggest personal beef with tastings. The tasting is not meant to get me a critique of my product. To me the tasting at best is to make a choice between different flavors. But who amongst us can't discern the difference between white cake, strawberry and chocolate?

Ultimately I think it is just a marketing idea to make nice and play tea party with the client. stoke stroke. And nothing wrong with that I guess.

If the client doesn't like something then they should book elsewhere. Do not insult me, a 35 year pro, by you a bride to be for a few months thinking you know more about tier cake than I do.

There's so much more to making a successful tier cake than just flavor.

You don't like mine? No worries. Be on your way.

You want me to develop a recipe for your palate?
$37.50 a half hour, three hour minimum plus ingredients.

They ain't all of a sudden some kind of expert 'cause they're getting married. I had one bride ask for a certain brand of vanilla--she couldn't even cover the cost of the Sam's Club vanilla I use. pffhhhht

costumeczar Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 2:34pm
post #6 of 21

I'd go ahead and send her the quote, and ask what it was about the icing that she's concerned about. Food is personal preference. I offer both confectioner's sugar buttercream and IMBC, and some people like one, and some people like the other, no big deal. I offer both at my tastings so that people can compare the two and let me know which one they prefer. A lot of people have never had IMBC, so it's new to them.

You might want to email back first to ask what it was about the icing that she's worried about, since if she doesn't like it she might want to go somewhere else for her cake. If she responds with something specific you can let her know if it's something that can be changed, or if she needs to go with the way that you do it.

leah_s Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 4:01pm
post #7 of 21

Generally speaking, this is a ploy (used in many cultures) to get you to lower your price. WALK AWAY.

jillmakescakes Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 2:26am
post #8 of 21

Dear Bride and Groom

It was my pleasure to meet with you and discuss your wedding, however give that you have concerns regarding my frosting recipes, then I don't think that I am the right baker for you. I do not offer additional frosting options, so the frosting you sampled at the appt is the frosting that would be used on your wedding cake.

I wish you the best in your new life together.

sincerely
XXXXXXX

jason_kraft Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 2:46am
post #9 of 21

Seems like that would be jumping the gun, I would find out what the specific concern was with the frosting. It may turn out to be something very minor, in which case you would be turning down an order for no reason.

CakeDiva101 Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 2:57am
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

Seems like that would be jumping the gun, I would find out what the specific concern was with the frosting. It may turn out to be something very minor, in which case you would be turning down an order for no reason.




thumbs_up.gif

sweetonyouzz Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 4:57am
post #11 of 21

I do not book a consult unless they are using me as their cake artist. In the rare case that they are just shopping around, I charge them. That way I have only had one consult that actually did not book..but I gave them a large estimate because the bride was just horrible, kind of a know-it-all...her mom was a cake dec, so she knew it all..she was disturbed because I did not have the 'exact' cake she wanted in my portfolio and she wanted me to decorate a 'practice' cake..uh,,,NO.. I.jacked the estimate up 200 bucks after that.

On the flip side though, I love the consult. It gives me a feel for exactly what to design for the couple or other celebration,,(I even do consults for confirmed birthday...larger stuff, you know<icon_wink.gif I have met some wonderful people and they get a feel for the personal service they get and they always refer me to their friends. I have had 7 wedding bookings for next summer this week alone from referred customers...so I think I must be doing something right.

If you get a bad feeling with this couple either do not take them as clients or be blunt and inquire about what they mean about your icing. If all the contract lines are signed (if you do take them on) hopefully you will be covered...It depends...do you really want or need this order? Good luck either way and let us know what happens!!
Jo

shaynajune Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 1:40am
post #12 of 21

Ok They basically cornered me at the shop and even though I explained to them that this is the only frosting that I have and I was concerend about their satisfaction with the cake, they adamant about wanting me to do their cake and immediately paid their deposit. I am a little uneasy about this one but, the contract is signed and I guess we will handle this one with kid gloves. I will see how everything turns out in a few months!

May be it was a ploy to get a cheaper price??

-K8memphis Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 2:18am
post #13 of 21

Document everything--proceed with caution --but I'm sure you'll be fine!!

howsweet Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 5:15am
post #14 of 21

Like Leah said, probably just a bargaining ploy. Obviously they really liked your icing since they booked with you. As long as they understand that they are indeed getting that same frosting, I wouldn't give it another thought.

nancyg Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 5:46am
post #15 of 21

sweetonyouzz,
It sounds like what you are doing works...But, I dont understand...You said youdont do a consult unless they are going with you. How do you know they are going with you IF you dont do a consult???

thanks for ths answer I might want to do this

costumeczar Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 1:11pm
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyg

sweetonyouzz,
It sounds like what you are doing works...But, I dont understand...You said youdont do a consult unless they are going with you. How do you know they are going with you IF you dont do a consult???

thanks for ths answer I might want to do this




I'm curious about this too, since there's a lot of competition for business around hare and brides shop around a lot before booking.

CakeDiva101 Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 4:58pm
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyg

sweetonyouzz,
It sounds like what you are doing works...But, I dont understand...You said youdont do a consult unless they are going with you. How do you know they are going with you IF you dont do a consult???

thanks for ths answer I might want to do this



I'm curious about this too, since there's a lot of competition for business around hare and brides shop around a lot before booking.




I'm curious myself icon_smile.gif

sweetonyouzz Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 5:08am
post #18 of 21

I will give an estimate and if they decide to use me then we proceed with the consult. If they are shopping around then I charge for the consult and it comes off the cake order. I have enough business to keep me almost too busy and until now I was renting space so I do not have time for brides that are shopping around. There are not very many professional decorators in my area...(a lot of illegal ones with not a very good product) so I have never had a problem with this way of running things. In all my years of doing this I have only had one couple not use me after the consult. Saves me so much time as I hardly had enough time to do my cakes as I run this by myself and most weekends I had up to 6 cakes, not counting b-day cakes that I did during the week. I am not saying that this would work in a really competitive area...I do this because it works for my situtation plus I get tons of referals from my past customers so half of my business is from people who know they want me to do their cake. Hope this explanation answers all your questions icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 9:17am
post #19 of 21

I was also on the list of those curious on how you got them to book with you without a consult. thanks for sharing your info!

Just to share how different brides can be ...... the brides I encountered were not shopping just for price. They want to do a taste comparison before they decide which to book with. So if I had just given them a quote, that wouldn't have been the booking/deciding factor.

I view the consult as a time when they determine if they like my style of baking/cooking. It is NOT a time when they get to run the gammit (sp?) of my flavor list to decide if they want white or chocolate or lemon. so if they booked with me already, I saw no need for a consult beause they've already determined my cakes are ok or they wouldn't have booked me.

One consult .... they decide yes or no .... we moved on from there. thumbs_up.gif

costumeczar Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 4:07pm
post #20 of 21

It's "gamut." icon_lol.gif

The brides here shop around and they shop hard. Since you can work from home in Virginia the bar for starting a business is really low, and there are lots of pricing undercutters who are very active around here. I've stopped giving out sketches because of that. Brides expect to have tastings, and they expect to go to multiple bakers before they book someone.

I also hear all kinds of horror stories from venues about how the undercutters deliver "less than excellent" products, but what can you do. If someone if shopping for price and is willing to believe that cheap price=great cake, then they get what they get.

sweetonyouzz Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 2:27am
post #21 of 21

I guess I use the consult a little differantly. That is when they decide the flavors, etc. LIke I was saying, I am not trying to tell others to do it this way, it just works for me. The consult is when I get to know what they want, etc. I do not think that I undercut at all but I do really great customer service and the word has gotten out. I have never had one hint of a complaint from any of my customers so I think that I am doing something right offering a quality product and good service. Around here if you have a bad product or you have let your bride down, word gets out really fast and can be the death of your company.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%