Following Up On Quotes

Business By LoveMeSomeCake615 Updated 12 Mar 2011 , 5:26am by LoveMeSomeCake615

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 5:17pm
post #1 of 12

Ok, so I'm used to getting email quote requests, sending the quote, and never hearing from them again. It's a lot less personal than talking to them on the phone, so I realize they feel less connected and obligated to respond.

But lately it has been happening with people that contact me initially by phone too. They call and tell me what they want, and then I email them the quote and say in the email for them to PLEASE let me know if it's outside their budget, because we can almost always adjust the design to something more affordable for them, but still be what they want. And then I never hear from them again, which I assume means it was too much. I just wish they would email me back and tell me that for sure.

I guess my question is, after the initial email quote, how much effort do you put into getting a response from them? Should I call to follow up, or just email, or both? I don't want to nag, and I don't want to seem desperate either. But it drives me crazy to just not hear anything from them, especially when I have talked to them on the phone initially. It just leaves me hanging, and I hate that.

11 replies
costumeczar Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 5:46pm
post #2 of 12

I put absolutely zero effort into it, quite frankly. If I'm out of people's budget range, I'm not going to negotiate, so if they have to go somewhere else that's fine. I don't have time to chase people down.

If I called someone and they were too expensive I probably wouldn't contact them again either. If they kept emailing me after that I'd just think they were a pest.

I usually send a quote and end the email saying "If this fits into your budget and you'd like to make a tasting appointment, just email back and we can set something up." If they don't respond then okay, one less thing to do for me.

BCo Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 5:56pm
post #3 of 12

I don't do anything either, I just let it go. I send the quote tell them they have until whatever date to respond in order to book the cake and that's it! I have had about 10 in the last 2 wks or so like this, yes, it's annoying!!! icon_smile.gif I guess I sometimes feel the same way b/c if it were me I would at least send an email after I received that quote that said thank you just so the sender knew I got the email....but I'm not most people and most people just ignore it if they don't like the price you quoted...or so my experience has been!!! icon_smile.gif

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 9:14pm
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCo

I don't do anything either, I just let it go. I send the quote tell them they have until whatever date to respond in order to book the cake and that's it! I have had about 10 in the last 2 wks or so like this, yes, it's annoying!!! icon_smile.gif I guess I sometimes feel the same way b/c if it were me I would at least send an email after I received that quote that said thank you just so the sender knew I got the email....but I'm not most people and most people just ignore it if they don't like the price you quoted...or so my experience has been!!! icon_smile.gif





Exactly! My thinking is that if you have taken someone's time to work up a quote for a custom design, the least you can do is email back and say that you decided to go in a different direction or whatever. That way I know you got the email, and I am not left hanging. That's what I would do!

But yeah, I have pretty much decided to not worry about it. I waste way too much time agonizing over whether to call or email them again, what to say, etc. And the bottom line is that I am not their momma, it's not my job to make sure they do what they need to do.

It's nice to hear I am not the only one who has this issue though! Thanks for the input! icon_smile.gif

Sorelle Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 9:29pm
post #5 of 12

My first question is always "What is your budget?" I learned this from working as a florist. When they tell you their budget you can design from there.

Kitagrl Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 9:30pm
post #6 of 12

I don't follow up....I figure if they don't write back, they didn't like the quote. No big deal, I have plenty of other stuff to do.

The only thing I hate is when they come back two months later like "Okay I'm ready to order my cake now." icon_confused.gif

Kitagrl Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 9:31pm
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorelle

My first question is always "What is your budget?" I learned this from working as a florist. When they tell you their budget you can design from there.




I have tried that, and it scares them.... they think I'm trying to upcharge based on their budget. So after trying that a few times, I usually just say "My prices start at $200 and go up from there. How many servings are you looking for and what type of design?" Usually if they are just looking for a little birthday cake, they know not to take up any more of my time.

cakeaholic_cakery Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 9:43pm
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorelle

My first question is always "What is your budget?" I learned this from working as a florist. When they tell you their budget you can design from there.




I do the same thing - and when I get a response like "I don't know, maybe $40?" I let them know right away where my basic cakes start price wise. I usually don't hear back from them at that point - and I really don't worry about it. I figure, it is not worth my energy to chase down or negotiate their business if they are that cheap anyway. I clearly state on my website the amount of work and time that goes into each design so they know prior to contacting me that they will not be getting chain store prices...

Good Luck icon_smile.gif

AnotherCaker Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 10:08pm
post #9 of 12

I generally follow up a week later with a general "is there anything further I can help you with regarding your request?" email. I generally get chirping crickets back, or "oh crap! I forgot call you!" More often though...it's those pesky crickets. icon_smile.gif

Corrie76 Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 10:09pm
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

I don't follow up....I figure if they don't write back, they didn't like the quote. No big deal, I have plenty of other stuff to do.

The only thing I hate is when they come back two months later like "Okay I'm ready to order my cake now." icon_confused.gif



That's happened to me twice today! I talked with both of these customers over a month ago and assumed they went with someone else as I never heard from them and today they both called wanting their orders placed. icon_rolleyes.gif One was lucky, the other wasn't...I had already gotten another order for the day she wanted. It's just plain old thoughtlessness, and it's annoying.

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 11 Mar 2011 , 10:23pm
post #11 of 12

For small cakes I do nothing but for wedding cakes I typically send 1 follow up email about a week after I sent a quote or other info. Its a standard form email where I just put thier name at the top. The email just has information on scheduling a tasting and consult if they are interrested. If I don't hear from them after that I let it go.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 5:26am
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorelle

My first question is always "What is your budget?" I learned this from working as a florist. When they tell you their budget you can design from there.




I do ask that question, but a lot of times people just say they don't know, Or they just kind of dance around the question or never answer directly. I think they are afraid that I will just max out their budget if they tell me, which is not why I am asking AT ALL. So then I have no idea where to design from. If someone can at least give me a ballpark number, I know what I have to work with, and I can usually design something that fits their budget without compromising our prices. If I can't, I just come as close as I can, and it's up to them whether they are willing to pay more than they originally planned.

Interestingly enough, one of the people I figured I wouldn't hear from again called me back today and said she had just had a crazy week, but she is still interested! She wants to go a different direction on design, but I asked her if the quote I sent her for the other design was ok, and she said it was. We'll see how it goes, but it's nice to have someone actually get back to me! icon_biggrin.gif

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