Protocol Be Damned!

Decorating By Claire138 Updated 15 Sep 2011 , 2:03pm by cakesbycathy

Claire138 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 5:23am
post #1 of 43

I have a friend who I've made cakes for before and given her a better deal bc we are close. Last night we went out to celebrate her birthday together with some of her other friends & one of them mentioned my cakes & the conversation turned to cake making etc.
Anyway........ my friend then tells me that she has told all her friends that if they want a cake they should mention her name when calling me and I will give them a better price. What??????? I almost spit the tea I was drinking straight out!
I am seriously angry with her, so I want to know if anyone has come up against this before? She says it is protocol that I charge them less, I don't feel that I "owe" (for want of a better word) her friends - some of whom I've never met - anything. I was so startled and not wanting to disagree with her in front of her friends I didn't say anything.
I don't charge enough as it is.
Am I wrong for being so p....d?

42 replies
BlakesCakes Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 5:41am
post #2 of 43

You have every right to be p'od and quite frankly, you SHOULD have called her out right then and there.

She has no right to call the shots on your business practices.

I'd call her, text her, whatever, and tell her, as nicely as I could, that she can't tell people that anymore because IT'S NOT TRUE! Tell her that you don't want to have to tell someone that SHE'S "incorrect"......

I'd also tell her that I've updated my pricing structure to go along with the recent increases in dairy, flour, and sugar, and that whatever she paid for HER last cake is so last year...............

Oh, and tell her to stay the icon_evil.gif out of your BUSINESS icon_mad.gif
Rae

Claire138 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 6:19am
post #3 of 43

I know I should have called her on it but didn't want to contradict her esp in front of her friends. But I'm so angry with both her and myself! I'm such a wuss when it comes to dealing with situations like this.

She has no idea what goes into making these cakes and when I tried explaining it to her she was very dismissive, saying stuff like "well, it's not like you have to put any money into it bc you just have talent so you don't have to buy anything for it". Would be we should all make back what we invest (and more)!

Texting her nicely seems like a good idea, I think I might do that (once I've worked out how to word it nice and clearly).

Uggggh, the more I think about it the angrier I get.

Panel7124 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 7:08am
post #4 of 43

If any of her friend calls, just give him/her your standard price and that's all. If they ask, tell them it's your 'special' price for them, other clients are paying even more. Clarify politely with your friend but let her know clearly that pricing of YOUR products is YOUR business.

pixiefuncakes Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 7:25am
post #5 of 43

This really is the kind of thing that can ruin a friendship. Wait until you have calmed yourself a little and then just explain to her that whilst you appreciate the fact that she wants to send business your way, that she really has no place setting the pricing policy/protocol for you. Each cake is different and so effects the price.
Tell her how important she is to you and that's why she gets a super dooper special price but you just can't afford to do that for everyone.
All the best with it.

carmijok Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 7:26am
post #6 of 43

Texting is a cowards way out. You are the injured party here so you need to put her on the spot face to face. You have no reason to hide behind a phone.

Remind her that as your friend you thought you her important enough in your life to give her the gift of your talent. You don't owe that to anybody...especially to HER friends...and it hurt you to think she thought so little of what you do that she felt she could toss it off to her friends without your permission! And from now on, since she does think so little of your generosity, she will be given the same consideration as any of HER friends that may call and request a cake--no discounts.

The fact that she does not understand what you do or what goes into it is no excuse for taking your friendship for granted and using it as a means to ingratiate herself with those other people. Because that's why she did it. To impress her buddies. She was not thinking about how it would affect you.

Give her the opportunity to apologize and if she doesn't then you might want to think about what kind of friend she really is! icon_sad.gif

Claire138 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 7:54am
post #7 of 43

Thanks for all the replies. I know that texting is bad form but I am so nervous about this. She really hurt my feelings bc she knows that I have been trying to get this of the ground full time and yet she sort of dismisses it as a hobby. She even told me (in front of her friends) that she is sure she could do it except that she doesn't write Hebrew! (Alot of my cakes have hebrew writing (the kids name, or a passage, or congratulations - basically what ever people ask for) bc I am Jewish & alot of my friends are too so that's where the hebrew writing comes in).......... if only it were only about the writing hebrew letters!!!

Carmijok you are right, I could tell that she was trying to come of as all nice to her friends by saying they could have a discount and I could also see a light bulb coming in in some of their heads! In fact one of them even told me she will call me next week for a cake.

Pixiefuncakes you are right - I have to calm down. My nerves are shot!

I would love to tell her that I am sending my friends to her for a discount for her art work - she's a painter. Do you think I should? like just mention to her that I have passed on her exhibition details to my friends and told them to mention my name for a discount and see what she says?

Panel7124 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 8:36am
post #8 of 43

[quote="Claire138"]Thanks for all the replies. I know that texting is bad form but I am so nervous about this. She really hurt my feelings bc she knows that I have been trying to get this of the ground full time and yet she sort of dismisses it as a hobby. She even told me (in front of her friends) that she is sure she could do it except that she doesn't write Hebrew!

Let her do it for them then. You would not get any profit from such clients anyway.

mcaulir Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 9:01am
post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire138

She even told me (in front of her friends) that she is sure she could do it except that she doesn't write Hebrew! (Alot of my cakes have hebrew writing (the kids name, or a passage, or congratulations - basically what ever people ask for) bc I am Jewish & alot of my friends are too so that's where the hebrew writing comes in).......... if only it were only about the writing hebrew letters!!!




Ha! What a loon!

I suspect your feelings are hurt more by your friend's attitude than by her offering discounts to people.

I'd tell her that you have a very short list of people you're willing to offer discounts to, and you'd appreciate it if she didn't tell anyone else they would get a discount from you, because you just can't afford it. Then charge any of her friends who call you full price. Throw your friend under the bus as well. "Well, friend isn't a part of my business, and doesn't have the authority to offer you a discount."

Really, if she objects to that, I don't think you had a friend here to begin with - you had a leech.

It's awful when people turn out to not be the friend you thought you had.

QTCakes1 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 12:59pm
post #10 of 43

[quote="Claire138"]I know I should have called her on it but didn't want to contradict her esp in front of her friends. But I'm so angry with both her and myself! I'm such a wuss when it comes to dealing with situations like this.
quote]

I know how people may take this, but you need to seriously grow some if your in business. My BFF of EVER who has even gave me and my entire family a place to live when my husband lost his' job, wouldn NEVER even think about doing that. Heck, she won't even order a cake from, cause she can't afford my prices. AND even though she knows I won't even charge her, she will not take adavntage of that fact. I'm alway surprised to see how many people get take advantage of on here by people they call their "friends".

Mammadukes Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 2:03pm
post #11 of 43

Claire13 said
She even told me (in front of her friends) that she is sure she could do it except that she doesn't write Hebrew! (Alot of my cakes have hebrew writing (the kids name, or a passage, or congratulations - basically what ever people ask for) bc I am Jewish & alot of my friends are too so that's where the hebrew writing comes in).......... if only it were only about the writing hebrew letters!!!

I 'm so sorry your so called friend would do this to you and the nerve of some people I love when they say stuff like that or the old I could get it cheaper say here or there I usually tell them to go a head then get or do it then and good luck with that : ) you have every right to be angry and you need to confront her you'll feel better after trust me and good luck

CakeRN Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 2:31pm
post #12 of 43

For that fact the next time she calls for you to make a cake for her either tell her to come over and you will show her how to do it (so she knows just how much work goes into a cake) OR tell her she can make her own and if she wants Hebrew writing on it you will show her how to do that.

Her friends are not your friends and therefore do not rank a discount. If someone calls for a cake that is a friend of hers then give them your normal price and if they ask ..tell them " that is the discounted price" since I don't charge enough as it is. Take it or leave it. No skin off your back since they are not your friends.

TexasSugar Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 3:05pm
post #13 of 43

If someone calls and wants a cake, give them your regular price. If they comment on it, then treat them like you would anyone else. "I totally understand if that is more than what you budgeted for. We can make a smaller cake to serve this many at this price, but that is the best I can do."

I wouldn't like to them that you are giving them a discount. I would be straight forward and honest with them. "I'm sorry, she misspoke, I do not do discounts on referrals." Or "I'm sorry, but I've decided I am no longer doing discounts for anyone." (If it would be the truth.)

Your friend has no right to dictate your prices, which is what she did. If her friends are only ordering a cake from you because of the discount, then you don't need their orders anyway.

rlowry03 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 3:29pm
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire138

She says it is protocol that I charge them less




Seriously?! Who's protocol?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire138

She has no idea what goes into making these cakes and when I tried explaining it to her she was very dismissive, saying stuff like "well, it's not like you have to put any money into it bc you just have talent so you don't have to buy anything for it". Would be we should all make back what we invest (and more)!




And where exactly does she think everything in the cake comes from? Does she think you just buy ingredients and it magically turns into a work of art? People have no idea how expensive supplies can be, and often don't realize the value of your time!

I'm sorry this happened to you. I would tell her that you have been offering her special pricing because of your friendship, but cakes are very demanding and you value your time. Because of that you can't afford to charge lower prices and you would appreciate if she wouldn't tell anyone else that you will offer them a better deal.

Claire138 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 3:38pm
post #15 of 43

Thank you so much everyone for your advice, I've been thinking that I should just wait and see if any of her friends call and then explain nicely how the pricing works.
I'm so appreciative to everyone here for taking time to respond and for giving me advice and courage.

debbek152 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 3:42pm
post #16 of 43

I personally think she is jealous of you and your talent. I believe that is why she treated you this way. If that is the case, she is not a good friend to you. Please don't take offense, this is just my opinion. I hope this situation resolves in your favor. icon_smile.gif

MyDiwa Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 3:45pm
post #17 of 43

I'm inclined to be with carmijok. She clearly has no real appreciation for your work and apparently no respect for you. So she hasn't earned the discount you've been giving her. No discount for her and no discount for her friends. Obviously this all depends on how she responds when you speak to her about this.

Cakewishes Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 3:48pm
post #18 of 43

Claire - I understand you must be hurt and I am sorry for that; no one or their talent should be treated so dismissively - especially in a business like this where it is a great deal of work and time and I am you that you - as we all do - put all of our caring into our cakes, especially for family and friends.

All of that said, and I say this with kindness and respect for your situation, your friend is treating you like this because you are allowing her to behave this way with you. If you feel more comfortable addressing her in an e-mail, then do it that way, but note sometimes the intent of an e-mail can be misconstrued by the person receiving it and it could make matters worse.

I also would not wait until one of her friends call you and question your price to say something about it, because then that is not fair to you to be put in that position to have to correct the situation with the customer and it's not fair to the customer who really had nothing to do with your friend's pompous attitude.

I agree - step back for a bit, think about what you want to say and then say it however you wish. But discuss it with your friend is something you must do before it gets out of hand.

MyDiwa Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 3:49pm
post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire138

I've been thinking that I should just wait and see if any of her friends call and then explain nicely how the pricing works.




I really think you should still address the issue with your friend. Her attitude and its effect on you needs to be resolved.

Claire138 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 3:56pm
post #20 of 43

I know that I ought to discuss this with her but am not confrontational at all (which no doubt is how this situation has gotten to the stage it has). I think next time I see her I will bring it up. That is if she doesn't spring her friends on me & suddenly dinner for 2 becomes dinner for 4 or 6.

Seriously though, you have all given me food for thought and I now have a fair idea of how to say this to her nicely hopefully without loosing a friendship that goes back to kindergarten.

brandy7909 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 4:15pm
post #21 of 43

Sticky situation, however I look from the view point of the friend as well. She was probably just trying to entice her friends to use your services and therefore help get you going. Im sure she probably didnt think it through but if she does end up throwing some clients your way why not offer a 5% discount (on a full price cake, not what you would charge a close friend) and this way you make some money but also helps get the word out. I would offer it as a one time deal on the fist cake they order (and then if they love it which Im sure they will, returning customer!)

I most def would not attack her but just talk it out, maybe ask if she had mentioned the prices she has paid (hopefully she didnt go that far!) I really just think she was trying to get her friends excited and to call you so that you would have some new clients. And if you are trying to get going full time, most starter business have to take a hit in order to build clientele anyways, so offering just a small discount on your full price might not hurt. Again I would just make sure she hasnt mentioned the prices she has paid.

costumeczar Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 5:24pm
post #22 of 43

[quote="QTCakes1"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire138

I know I should have called her on it but didn't want to contradict her esp in front of her friends. But I'm so angry with both her and myself! I'm such a wuss when it comes to dealing with situations like this.
quote]

I know how people may take this, but you need to seriously grow some if your in business. My BFF of EVER who has even gave me and my entire family a place to live when my husband lost his' job, wouldn NEVER even think about doing that. Heck, she won't even order a cake from, cause she can't afford my prices. AND even though she knows I won't even charge her, she will not take adavntage of that fact. I'm alway surprised to see how many people get take advantage of on here by people they call their "friends".




I was thinking the same thing. This person isn't a real friend, she's vampire friend who will suck you dry and insult you to your face then accuse you of being too sensitive. I'll bet that if you bring it up to her she'll act like she's being insulted and you're in the wrong.

I suggest adding a surcharge for aggravation the next time she calls you for a "discount" cake, and tell her that protocol dictates that people who get on your nerves get charged more.

costumeczar Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 5:33pm
post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire138

I know that I ought to discuss this with her but am not confrontational at all (which no doubt is how this situation has gotten to the stage it has). I think next time I see her I will bring it up. That is if she doesn't spring her friends on me & suddenly dinner for 2 becomes dinner for 4 or 6.

Seriously though, you have all given me food for thought and I now have a fair idea of how to say this to her nicely hopefully without loosing a friendship that goes back to kindergarten.




This sounds like you just want to hold onto the friendship because of how long you've known her, but she doesn't seem to be very considerate of you based on what you've said. Give some serious thought about whether this person is a real friend or not. Like I said before, some people aren't.

I had a roommate once who had a vampire friend who was only happy when my roommate was doing badly. She would come over and "comfort" her, spend time telling her how miserable her life was etc. My roommate got her life together and had really started doing well for herself, and this vampire friend was over with a bunch of people talking about it. The vampire suddenly burst into tears, and we all asked her what was wrong. She said "She's just so HAPPY!" And, no, they weren't tears of joy, she was really upset that my roommate ws doing well.

I'm not saying that your friend is that extreme, but it sounds like she's taking advantage of you in a few different ways. Maybe you should think about what she adds to your life and not focus on trying to maintain the friendship just because you've know her for so long. If you really think that she adds more than she takes, then that's fine, but if it's really unbalanced against you, it might be beter to cut her loose, or just say no when she wants to bring her ninety friends over for free cake.

enchantedcreations Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 5:54pm
post #24 of 43

I'm confused; how can this situation be confrontational if you've not discussed it with her at length yet? Is she aware of how much it's upset you? And even so, it'll only be confrontational if you allow it. If you approach it with sound reasoning it really shouldn't be a problem. I understand I don't know either of you. But, you're both adults and I would think if you presented it in such a way.......

"I appreciate the sales drive you were giving me the other night when we were out, but I need you to understand where I'm coming from. I price my cakes at just about mimimum as it is. I give you a discount because we've had such a great friendship for so many years, blah, blah, blah..... as much as I would like to I really can't afford to give discounts on future cakes, other than you of course. I know you meant well."

if you're positive with your rebuttal to her, she shouldn't get defensive, unless she's got issues. Then you really are on your own! Good Luck......

enchantedcreations Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 5:55pm
post #25 of 43

I'm confused; how can this situation be confrontational if you've not discussed it with her at length yet? Is she aware of how much it's upset you? And even so, it'll only be confrontational if you allow it. If you approach it with sound reasoning it really shouldn't be a problem. I understand I don't know either of you. But, you're both adults and I would think if you presented it in such a way.......

"I appreciate the sales drive you were giving me the other night when we were out, but I need you to understand where I'm coming from. I price my cakes at just about mimimum as it is. I give you a discount because we've had such a great friendship for so many years, blah, blah, blah..... as much as I would like to I really can't afford to give discounts on future cakes, other than you of course. I know you meant well."

if you're positive with your rebuttal to her, she shouldn't get defensive, unless she's got issues. Then you really are on your own! Good Luck......

enchantedcreations Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 5:57pm
post #26 of 43

I'm confused; how can this situation be confrontational if you've not discussed it with her at length yet? Is she aware of how much it's upset you? And even so, it'll only be confrontational if you allow it. If you approach it with sound reasoning it really shouldn't be a problem. I understand I don't know either of you. But, you're both adults and I would think if you presented it in such a way.......

"I appreciate the sales drive you were giving me the other night when we were out, but I need you to understand where I'm coming from. I price my cakes at just about mimimum as it is. I give you a discount because we've had such a great friendship for so many years, blah, blah, blah..... as much as I would like to I really can't afford to give discounts on future cakes, other than you of course. I know you meant well."

if you're positive with your rebuttal to her, she shouldn't get defensive, unless she's got issues. Then you really are on your own! Good Luck......

QTCakes1 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 6:57pm
post #27 of 43

[quote="costumeczar"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire138

The vampire suddenly burst into tears, and we all asked her what was wrong. She said "She's just so HAPPY!" And, no, they weren't tears of joy, she was really upset that my roommate ws doing well.




icon_surprised.gif OMG!!!! I just had to bust out laughing in disbelief at this one. That's not even a vampire friend, but a devil! You have to be some kind of evil soul to cry sorrow when your friend is doing good. tapedshut.gif

Claire138 Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 7:15pm
post #28 of 43

The reason I know this will be a problem is bc I got an email from a woman inquiring about a cake (about 2 months ago), she wanted to know prices and I emailed her back a response with my price set up. I then got an email from my friend saying that this woman who had enquired was a friend of hers & that she had told her my prices but could I give her a better price. After much deliberation (with myself!) I emailed my friend stating nicely but clearly that the prices she & I had given were the correct ones. I then got an email back from the woman who had sent the original email saying that she couldn't order bc it was to close to the birthday - this was without even telling me when the birthday would be so how could she know? I realized that she just didn't want to spend the money & our mutual friend had told her that I would give her a good price if she spoke to me and when that didn't pan out she dropped it. I believe that's why my friend said it was protocol bc she was basically telling me that that was the reason her friend hadn't ordered - she as much as said so by bringing up that story before nicely telling me that it would be protocol for me to give her friends a better price.

I realize that I can't be excessive with pricing esp when first starting up but I am seriously not charging much and in some cases I'm undercharging so much I would make money on refusing the order!

If I give all her friends money off then it will turn in to me making cakes for their friends for better prices and this will be round and round the roundabout with no way off.

TexasSugar Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 7:23pm
post #29 of 43

If this is the second time she has interfered with your prices, then you really need to sit down and talk to her. It doesn't have to be confrontational, it doesn't have to be ugly, you just need to be honest with her.

If you don't feel you will be able to get it all out with out her interrupting you, then send her an email.

Just tell her that you appreciate her suggesting your cakes to others, but that your prices are your prices for a reason and they are set in stone.

enchantedcreations Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 7:37pm
post #30 of 43

If you're going to sell cakes, sell cakes, but you have to learn to draw the line between friendship and business. If she truely is a friend, she won't take advantage; as it has already been pointed out by someone else on this thread. If she uses it against you, then she does not have your best interest's at heart.

as a side note; I use to sell real estate. The church I belonged to had a residence they wanted to sell. I did the whole sales pitch regarding market value, etc. When it was time to get that signature on the line for the listing, the secretary handling everything (after the ink dried) stated and this is a quote "you only got this listing because I told the board you were going to drop the entire commision and do it for free." Well, I was floored to say the least because I was NOT the broker, I could NOT make that decision and NOT once had anyone on the board asked me if this was acceptable or could it be arranged prior to the listing. I very politely, but firmly explained to her what the listing fee consisted of, again, and why I had no control over it. As I stated I was a member of that church, I had been my entire life and she just assumed I would work for free. However, I was under a commissioned contract with a broker, not my company or call to make that desicion. To this day, I have no idea what her explanation was to the board. I'm sure I was thrown under the bus.

My point is, you need to stand up for yourself. I can look myself in the mirror. Can you?

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