How Do I Drop This Lady Like A Bad Habit?

Business By JoanieB Updated 17 Aug 2011 , 2:08pm by CiNoRi

JoanieB Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 9:17pm
post #1 of 36

A very well to do individual that I'm an acquaintance of recommended me to a woman that works for the same company as him. She was interested in a cake for a woman at their company that was leaving after 10 years.

She wanted me to come out and take a look around to "get ideas" for this cake. So, being new to the game and not wanting to disappoint my acquaintance, I agreed to meet with the woman and do a free consultation since it's for the local arena in charge of holding big name concerts etc.

I thought this would be great exposure etc. I get there, she only wants a cake that serves my minimum of 25. Long story short the total of the cake with tax and delivery is only $125 (I have since adjusted my pricing since I recently purchased cakeboss LOL).

She has asked for invoices, sketches, called me to reiterate everything we'd already talked about...on and on and on....she has yet to pay her 50% deposit or sign a contract. This has gone on since the end of June!! My policy states I require a deposit within the first 48hrs of booking. I finally had enough back and forth and told her I need a deposit by Wed (yesterday) because I have yet to officially book her cake. She says yes they want the cake and I can come by at MY earliest available time to collect my money.

Um, no. I sent her another email and said, "You can come by and pay me today, here's my address". No response. It is now thursday, no word and I need a nice way of saying. "You have taken advantage of me and my generosity and are not respecting my boundaries, I do not want to do this cake anymore and will not book it". icon_mad.gif

35 replies
idgalpal Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 9:31pm
post #2 of 36

Maybe a final email to her stating you have booked your limit for such and such a date and regretably will not be able to accomodate her, then run like the wind in the opposite direction!
This sounds like a bad deal destined to get worse.

QTCakes1 Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 9:32pm
post #3 of 36

If she hasn't placed a deposit, she is NOT your customer. E-mail her one more time, (I wouldn't, but hay), tell her as you have not recieved her deposit, her date is not booked and it will be open to other bookings. Once deposit is recieved the date is hers, until then, you will still allow other clients to book it. If she waits until the last minute, like a week or two out, add a late fee to the total or tell her date is no longer available.

CakeRN Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 9:37pm
post #4 of 36

I would tell her since she did not bring the deposit by to book the date that you already have someone that has booked you for the day. Tell her you are sorry but that she needed to give you the deposit within the first 48 hours and you had given her some leeway but she waited to long and you can no longer do her cake. Politely give her some names of other that might do her cake for her and wish her luck.
You don't call up a dept store and say "oh bring that dress by and I will pay you when you bring it" You are a business and it runs as you say it will run. OR you could tell her that for you to come by for the deposit it will cost her the full amount PLUS another 25 dollars for the pickup fee. I would not take a 50% deposit from this woman or you may never see the other 50%

jenmat Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 9:53pm
post #5 of 36

"I really hate to have to do this to you, but since I did not receive your deposit, I went ahead and booked another client. I wish you the best for your celebration, and it was nice to meet you."

Simple. You need to be done with her, and this is the first step in growing a backbone. It WILL get easier to fire problem clients, but you need to take that first step. I know that there are people who would say it is lying to tell you her you are booked, but its not like you are going to change her by telling her the truth.

We ALL get those types of clients. The more experienced of us see them coming and know how to dodge them before they suck us dry. You'll get there. icon_smile.gif

JoanieB Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 10:17pm
post #6 of 36

I appreciate everyone's advice. I have such a hard time putting my foot down and I know that those type of clients exist and I have to learn how to deal...guess this is great practice LOL. I'm so non-confrontational which is hilarious that among my friends and family I'm considered a hard a$$ LOL. Truth be told I'm all bark no bite. You've definitely given me some good ideas. I have decided that I do not want to do this time/money suck cake she wants. I've already wasted enough time and resources on her and she has yet to reciprocate. I'm ready to cut my losses.

southerncross Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 10:47pm
post #7 of 36

I've said it before and I'll say it again....They bite the hand that feeds them aand lick the boot that kicks them. Mark my words, you stand firm with this "lady" and she'll change her tune. Impress her with the high demands on your cakes and you'll get more orders out to that executive world than you ever dreamed of.

cakestyles Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 11:31pm
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

If she hasn't placed a deposit, she is NOT your customer. E-mail her one more time, (I wouldn't, but hay), tell her as you have not recieved her deposit, her date is not booked and it will be open to other bookings. Once deposit is recieved the date is hers, until then, you will still allow other clients to book it. If she waits until the last minute, like a week or two out, add a late fee to the total or tell her date is no longer available.





^^^^^^^^^^^^^
this

cakesbycathy Posted 11 Aug 2011 , 11:46pm
post #9 of 36

Dear Madame,
I regret to inform you that since I did not receive your deposit in time I am unable to make your cake. I have accepted another order for your date and therefore wish you well in finding another baker to accomodate your needs. Feel free to contact me if I can be assistance to you in the future."

Seriously, you have already bent over backwards for this woman. Let it go and move on. thumbs_up.gif

scp1127 Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 3:20am
post #10 of 36

I would not send another email. She has your information. She can call if she is interested. If you are open, good, if not, let her know. Too many emails make you look too needy. Putting your foot down (for yourself) is to realize it is not a sale until the deposit is paid. Give the info and move on.

Lili5768 Posted 12 Aug 2011 , 3:32am
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by idgalpal

Maybe a final email to her stating you have booked your limit for such and such a date and regretably will not be able to accomodate her, then run like the wind in the opposite direction!
This sounds like a bad deal destined to get worse.




Yup! Exactly! thumbs_up.gif

DallasTexas Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 1:21am
post #12 of 36

Oh my goodness!

My first thought was did you actually GIVE her your sketches, invoices and details? If so, it wouldn't surprise me that she is "shopping around" to find a better deal with YOUR intellectual property!

Dallas

Eisskween Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 2:04am
post #13 of 36

You answered your own question, your policy states that a deposit must be made within 48 hours of the consultation. If this was back in June, she's over the time limit. Regardless of who recommended her, she's still a customer, and you have policies. If you change it for her, others may expect it and she will probably put you thorough this grief again.

You have to ask yourself, is this really going to be good exposure and worth your sanity?

Good luck.

Foxicakes Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 9:09am
post #14 of 36

I agree with the no more emails thinking..Then, when she contacts you again, just explain that you had emailed her with a final deadline of Wednesday and when that date came and went with no response from her, that you assumed that she had found another baker. If she starts raising Cain about it, just explain that you have a busy business and were you to be out of the bakery doing consultations and chasing down deposits you'd never get anything done, which is why you have policies for booking dates in the first place. If she brings it up that she emailed you and "told you to come pick up the deposit" just explain that you had come to her place once as a courtesy and it was never your intention to come there again unless it was to deliver the finished cake.
It's a shame that you felt it necessary to go to her in the first place. Unfortunately, we have a way of "training" our customers for what to expect and when we do something once out of the kindness of our hearts, they have a habit of taking advantage of it and come to expect that from us all the time.
If you happen to see the person that is your acquaintance any time soon, I would mention it to him that you think "So and so must have gotten another baker" since you have never heard back from her. I can almost guarantee you that you will hear back from the lady almost immediately if she still wants you to do the cake!! It will just be up to you at that point whether or not to tell her the date is already booked.

mtotowayesu Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 10:04am
post #15 of 36

Sounds to me like this lady is asking for the sketches so she can take it to another place she thinks she'll get charged for less. I agree another email seems desparate. Let her find you.

mtotowayesu Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 10:05am
post #16 of 36

Sounds to me like this lady is asking for the sketches so she can take it to another place she thinks she'll get charged for less. I agree another email seems desparate. Let her find you.

playingwithsugar Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 10:22am
post #17 of 36

Let's see, on the TV shows we see the customers go to the shop, bring the ribbons, invitations, or pics of the theme of the cake, then give their deposit. Why are you doing all this running for her and her little bitty cake? You're not going to get the exposure you think.

This woman expects you to jump through hoops for her, and now you're supposed to go get the deposit for a cake only worth $125 with delivery? Sorry, since her deposit was not received, you could not reserve her date, and now you're all booked up.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

JoanieB Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 12:55pm
post #18 of 36

You all are right. I was a little annoyed when she first contacted me that she was so presumptuous as to think I have nothing better to do then come see her at the arena. In all honesty, there wasn't anything there that was more helpful than an email. I still haven't heard from her but she's like an annoying pimple that pops up when you least expect it. I've already decided that I'm going to tell her I'm booked to the max for her weekend. I'll let her know that after her deadline came and went I assumed they went a different way...(with my sketches...grrr)...and that I filled that day.

According to her the invoice and sketches were for her bosses "approval"...such an annoying pimple LOL.

audrey0522 Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 6:02pm
post #19 of 36

Maybe a good rule is that they can not take any sketches etc. with them until you have is a deposit. If anyone else needs to see them they can meet with you, preferably at the first meeting.

indydebi Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 6:47pm
post #20 of 36

I'm not comfortable with the "I'm already booked, now" when I'm not really booked. I've sent emails that said, "My records do not show a deposit or signed contract on file. Since I haven't heard from you, I assme you've made other arrangements for your cake. This email is to confirm we have no order on file and will not be delivering a cake. Thanks for checking with us."

And in my years of working in corporate america, I cannot imagine ANY boss who has the time to "approve" a sketch of a 25-person sheet cake! I call "bullsh*t!"

jules5000 Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 7:03pm
post #21 of 36

telling someone that you are already booked now when you are not is lying and that is wrong. If she calls you back and you are not booked you can just tell her that since there was no contract or deposit that some things have changed. Then tell her that you do not know what gave her the idea that you had time to do all of her errands for her and her cake too for so little amount. Your time is valuable and if she still wants the cake then she had better come back for another consultation and be ready to put down the deposit because you are going to have x amount of time to do it properly. then you tell her that if there is any time in the future that she wants a cake done from you that sketches and so forth do not leave your building until there is a deposit down for the cake. If there is someone that needs to see the sketches than they will have to come to the consultation with her. and if there is anything else that you need to set her straight on then is the time to do it. Kindly, but firmly.

VentureSister Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 7:12pm
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I'm not comfortable with the "I'm already booked, now" when I'm not really booked. I've sent emails that said, "My records do not show a deposit or signed contract on file. Since I haven't heard from you, I assme you've made other arrangements for your cake. This email is to confirm we have no order on file and will not be delivering a cake. Thanks for checking with us."

And in my years of working in corporate america, I cannot imagine ANY boss who has the time to "approve" a sketch of a 25-person sheet cake! I call "bullsh*t!"






thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
Couldn't have said it better.

SweetcakesCT Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 7:25pm
post #23 of 36

I feel badly for you in this situation, but maybe I'm the only one who wonders how you can blame someone for taking advantage of you when you let them. I understand that when you're new in a business you try to please (been there, done that) but we really can't blame others for treating us in a negative way, IF we allow it to happen. I learned the hard way in my previous profession, to the point of even taking client calls from the hospital the day I gave birth to my son. After a couple of years, I realized I was, as someone previously said, training my clients to take advantage of me. It's a tough lesson to learn in business, but I'm sure you won't make this mistake again. icon_smile.gif
All that being said, I agree with those who have said to not send another email, and just chalk this up to experience.

JoanieB Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 4:09pm
post #24 of 36

Sweetcakes, when I originally did the consultation I didn't feel taken advantage of and maybe it is a personality flaw of mine that feels other individuals have common courtesy like myself. I guess I should just assume now that everyone is out to take advantage of me.

However, I just received a voicemail from this woman stating that she's been out of town for the weekend and the invoice is still there on her desk and wondered if I got my deposit?!?! Did she seriously not read the last email I sent her....1 week ago!?!? I'm not sure how she expected to sign a contract when she wasn't there?

Now here's my question, what do I do? Indydebi has already made me feel guilty if I were to lie about being booked LOL...and I'm a terrible liar to begin with....but I sooooo don't want to talk to her or deal with her or this cake: (

brenda549 Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 5:06pm
post #25 of 36

Just be honest.

Dear ****,

I have not received a deposit nor a signed contract. And after careful consideration, I believe I am not the right baker for your event. Here are the names and numbers of bakers that I believe are the right fit for your celebration.

(Insert names and numbers here or you could just list Walmart and Publix)

Good luck with your event planning,
***

Cakewishes Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 5:13pm
post #26 of 36

Just send her an e-mail back saying that you did not receive the deposit nor a signed contract and unfortunately you can no longer do her cake. You don't want to do the cake anyway, so you don't have to give her any explanation.

jules5000 Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 5:19pm
post #27 of 36

joanieb, I would just call her back and say I got your message that you had been out of town for the weekend, but I mailed you something and you should have had it before you ever went out of town. I need the contract signed by you as well as the deposit, and if you have the deposit then answer her question. If she sent the deposit then I guess that means that she very much wants that cake and I would ask her how fast she could get over to my place to sign the contract. If it is too late to begin work on the cake because you did not have her signature then you tell her that. maybe she is not an airhead for not seeing your email or notice or whatever you sent her but maybe something came up that was totally out of her control? That happened to me yesterday and I had no choice but to wait on other people and their timing. So maybe cut her a little slack and give her a chance. Unless she has been a previous customer and has done this sort of thing before. We do not know what happened in this situation or why she was out of town(unless she told you that in her call) and did not contact you.

There are a lot of people out there that do take advantage of us, but I for one, still believe that most people out there are still good people w/o that intent. So I guess I would suggest to not take that slant in your thinking. Especially if yhou have not had that experience yourself. you do what you feel peace about doing. YOu are the one that is living it.

carmijok Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 5:52pm
post #28 of 36

I would say:
"due to extenuating circumstances, I will no longer be able to do your cake.
Here are the names of a few bakeries in town who may be able to help you.
Thank you for your consideration!

PS. If you sent a deposit, I have not received it. If it comes in I will void the check and mail it back to you.

You would not be lying...you'd be saying that there were 'extenuating' circumstances, i.e. you no longer wish to deal with this person. You could also say 'due to a personal situation' (also true).

But if for some reason, you decide to give this person the benefit of the doubt and still do her cake, I would tell her that full payment needs to be made now as you have never received a deposit or a signed contract. No 'check is in the mail'...it needs to be brought in by 5 or she will have to make other arrangements.

Lili5768 Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 6:54pm
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

I would say:
"due to extenuating circumstances, I will no longer be able to do your cake.
Here are the names of a few bakeries in town who may be able to help you.
Thank you for your consideration!

PS. If you sent a deposit, I have not received it. If it comes in I will void the check and mail it back to you.




I would go this route also. You really don't want to deal with this person, and perhaps your gut feeling is correct. Good luck!

cakestyles Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 7:36pm
post #30 of 36

Go with your gut.

She sounds like a major pain.

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