I'm really trying to be more positive in my everyday dealings...But this chick has ticked me off
I get a call about prices of different types of cakes. The conversation was all over the place. It started at a small present cake to feed 10 to a sonic cake for her son. When I asked how did she hear about me...she lied & said I've done a lot of cakes for workers at the IRS. Mind you I build a relationship with my customers & have no customers at the IRS. She goes on to say how Her job is looking for a baker for the employee's birthday parties. Then another red flag went off when she said she saw an adult theme cake I did a month ago Nope never did an adult theme cake for anyone & told her that wasn't me. So while the conversation is going on ... I'm not adding everything up because I had a lot of calls coming in. So she stated she wanted to place an order for the 23rd of august & would call & finalize everything Friday. She kept saying her family loves cake & she was going to be bringing me a lot of business. blah blah blah Now I knew a couple people with her name but didn't say anything because I didn't want to assume & be wrong...because she would have mentioned if she knew me right....
So Friday came & went. I started reflecting on the conversation & remembered a cake decorator that had a business partner but because she was so shady the partnership broke up. I also remember a time when asked how long I had been decorating a few years back on my personal FB account. So I made a phone call & everything I was thinking was correct.
This "baker" was simply trying to get information & she wasted my time & took up a space that I turned someone else down later that day because that would have been 5 orders for that weekend. What makes matters worse is that she bakes out of her home & put "Inc" behind her business name, but she has never been a licensed baker. And is not incorporated or even a sole prop. No business has ever been registered
I finally sent her a message to let her know I am aware of who she is & I don't have time to play games. If she needed advice all she had to do was ask. She messed up on FB and stated she cooks from home & is not legal. (she said this to someone else wanting a cake) I have a mind to turn her butt in. Normally I don't care but I am throughly pissed off Because of the order I turned away and the fact that I feel she disrespected me & wasted my time.
sorry so long...but I did shorten it up...but I had to just vent & release So I don't do or say anything I may later regret.
This "baker" was simply trying to get information & she wasted my time & took up a space that I turned someone else down later that day because that would have been 5 orders for that weekend.
My policy is that until I receive a deposit and a signed contract or order form (for simpler cakes) that date is considered open.
I don't "X" off a date for somebody who tells me she'll "call me later to finalize"....I explain to them that until I have deposit in hand that date is considered open.
I've lost count of how many people have seen me in a store or at a party, asked me about a cake for a certain date, told me they'd call me back and I've yet to hear from them.
I wonder if this person is a member here on CC.
I'm sorry that happened to you. Cakestyles had a great suggestion - don't consider any conversation an order until you get a deposit.There's lots of A-holes around who only want to waste your time and use your ideas. (The ones who only want prices are simply too stupid to cost out their own cakes.)
At my shop I had many of these types of calls. When people started off the conversation only asking about prices, my standard reply was, "If price is your main concern, you should call the supermarket bakery." If the conversation continued, I gave a price range and insisted they come to my store.
You know that's the way I normally do it as well. But that day I had so much going on & just took her at her word. I think because I've had mostly great customers & I slacked off. No more. I used to make a sketch and email it to the potential customer but I've since stopped that because I had a couple take it to another decorator.
From this point forward people are gonna have to meet me to do a consult. That way I can keep my sketches & know where I stand from the start of the conversation.
I think I'm more pissed about her out right blatant lies. And pissed off at myself for falling for them.
Hey don't beat yourself up...we all have moments of weakness from time to time. lol
I don't give my sketches out any longer either. They stay in the client's folder and when their "non refundable" deposit is cashed and cleared they can have a copy if they request it.
It's a shame that a few bad apples ruin it for everyone, but we need to protect ourselves.
I'm with Cakestyles with the deposit and the sketches. I've known decorators who let go of their sketch just to see the cake made by someone else cheaper. Not same quality, but cheaper. And I say...dundundunnn. TURN HER IN. Competition baby.
Golly...I never knew the cake business was so corporate espionage-y!
It would never occur to me to be so blatantly sneaky as that. How rude!
When I first started reading your post I thought it was more along the lines of 'oh poor soul...she has a mental illness' just from the way you describe the call.
Well...that lady sure isn't decorating for the love of it and I'm sure it shows in her work. She's not your competition. It really stinks that you lost a customer though