Need A Nice, Polite Way Of Turning Down Budget Clients.

Business By Dreme Updated 3 Oct 2011 , 6:48am by LoverOfSweets

Dreme Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 3:38pm
post #1 of 17

I need better way of handling inquiries for wedding orders where the budget really doesn't work with my pricing. How do you politely word a response basically saying I can't help you for that price?

I normally don't price anything before a meeting with the bride. I would think most clients in general would find out if you pricing works with their budget. I feel like some brides didn't research me well and read my pricing online first, and just went "Oooo pretty picture in the gallery, lets set up a tasting". When this happens I feel like I have to break down the math for them and let them decide, but I'm not sure how to word it properly without sounding snooty and offending them.

16 replies
bobwonderbuns Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 3:52pm
post #2 of 17

I started a "package pricing" thing where they tell me what their budget is and I tell them what they can get for that. It seems to be working! icon_biggrin.gif

QTCakes1 Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 3:56pm
post #3 of 17

He!! NO! Just kidding! icon_wink.gif

I always ask how many people and what is their budget. So for example, I've had people say they needed a cake for 150 with a budget of $200. I do the quick math of my base price and let them know a cake for that many would START at $560. I then suggest they discuss my starting price (stressing that, so they know the price could go up) with each other a little further, and then if they are okay with it, to call me for an tasting appointment. They usually don't call back, but it does save me the cost of a tasting, seeing as how they know they can't afford the cake anyway.

Dreme Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 4:20pm
post #4 of 17

I did think about offering package pricing with simple designs for brides once, but that got put on hold due to other business demands. I may implement it in the future.

QTCakes that is the exact situation i'm dealing with right now. I have three brides whose information I have, but doesn't work with my pricing. I do have some base price options and designs, but its harder if they cant even meet those specs. Iv'e started some draft emails, but i'm trying to word it politely.

btrsktch Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 9:15pm
post #5 of 17

How about:

Thank you for your inquiry! My base pricing starts at xxx. Unfortunately, your budget does not allow for flexibililty in my designs and still work within your maximum price. I can, however, refer you to another who's work may be more in line with your pricing.


When I go to bridal shows, I *always* meet and taste other vendors products and review their books. That way, I know right off the bat if I can feel comfortable referring them based on the clients price.

I had one customer come to me who wanted a 3 tier, topsy turvy style Alice in Wonderland Cake, all fondant and colorful, with the teapot leaning on top. For $150. icon_eek.gif

I quickly established my email reply and phone inquiry responses and policies after that!

jason_kraft Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 9:51pm
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

I always ask how many people and what is their budget. So for example, I've had people say they needed a cake for 150 with a budget of $200. I do the quick math of my base price and let them know a cake for that many would START at $560.



Same here, one of the first questions we ask is how many servings and how much do they want to spend. If they have a budget of less than $5/serving I steer them toward a sheet cake instead of a multi-tier cake, and if they are below $2.50/serving (our bare minimum sheet cake price) I just reiterate our price and let them decide whether they want to proceed or not.

CWR41 Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 10:04pm
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrsktch

How about:

Thank you for your inquiry! My base pricing starts at xxx. Unfortunately, your budget does not allow for flexibililty in my designs and still work within your maximum price. I can, however, refer you to another who's work may be more in line with your pricing.




This sounds good, and if the OP likes it, the word "whose" should be used instead of the contraction for "who is".

Pebbles1727 Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 10:29pm
post #8 of 17

I usually don't address the low budget, I just tell them the starting price for a cake for the size they are looking for. I also noticed that people don't really have a concept of a cake price even when math is simple, so if you tell them you charge X per serving, they still may not realize that your cake is out of their budget. So I normally state 'at x per serving, to accomodate your guest list, the starting price for your cake will be xx.' That way if it's outside their budget, it is very obvious and you don't have to point it out.
Hope this helps, P

diane Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 10:38pm
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

I started a "package pricing" thing where they tell me what their budget is and I tell them what they can get for that. It seems to be working! icon_biggrin.gif





What a great idea!...perfect! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

cakestyles Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 11:04pm
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pebbles1727

I usually don't address the low budget, I just tell them the starting price for a cake for the size they are looking for. I also noticed that people don't really have a concept of a cake price even when math is simple, so if you tell them you charge X per serving, they still may not realize that your cake is out of their budget. So I normally state 'at x per serving, to accomodate your guest list, the starting price for your cake will be xx.' That way if it's outside their budget, it is very obvious and you don't have to point it out.
Hope this helps, P




Exactly! I think it's a little rude to tell someone that their budget isn't large enough to afford our cakes.

Wording is so important...you don't want to insult a potential client.

Tell them what your serving price is and how much a cake for that many servings starts at and let them decide if they can or can't afford you.

Stephy42088 Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 11:07pm
post #11 of 17

For the basic everyday birthday cake, I offer 4-5 simple designs that they can choose from and anything above and beyond that is more....a lot more. It helps me to put more time into profitable items and less time slaving over super detailed cakes. For weddings I have a 3 tier pricing structure that offers an idea of what it will cost for each size cake.

mariacakestoo Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 11:18pm
post #12 of 17

Yes, giving them a complete starting price is much nicer than telling them their budget sucks.

shanter Posted 28 Sep 2011 , 11:53pm
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrsktch

How about:

Thank you for your inquiry! My base pricing starts at xxx. Unfortunately, your budget does not allow for flexibililty in my designs and still work within your maximum price. I can, however, refer you to another who's work may be more in line with your pricing.


When I go to bridal shows, I *always* meet and taste other vendors products and review their books. That way, I know right off the bat if I can feel comfortable referring them based on the clients price.

I had one customer come to me who wanted a 3 tier, topsy turvy style Alice in Wonderland Cake, all fondant and colorful, with the teapot leaning on top. For $150. icon_eek.gif

I quickly established my email reply and phone inquiry responses and policies after that!



In referring to the bride's money, I would say "your budget" or the "client's budget" rather than "pricing." The pricing is on the caker's side of the transaction.

Just my 2 cents.

scp1127 Posted 29 Sep 2011 , 4:27am
post #14 of 17

I address number of servings and the average price in the first part of the conversation. If they have 100 people at $4.00, that will be the price. I would never insinuate that someone can't afford me. I give them the opportunity to get back to me... a graceful way out.

LoverOfSweets Posted 29 Sep 2011 , 4:38am
post #15 of 17

Great ideas. I am going to incorporate these suggestions. Another example of two heads being better than one! icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 29 Sep 2011 , 2:21pm
post #16 of 17

I always did the math for them as many just can't "do the math" these days! dunce.gif "$3.00 a serving so a cake for 100 would be $300."

Plus many people just don't plan events for 100+ people very often so they don't have a concept of how much money it takes to feed 100+ people, from cake to postage stamps, as I point out with multiple (true) examples in this blog entry: http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/Do%20The%20Math They understand $3.00 a serving .... they don't understand $300 for a cake.

In simple terms: A $4 cup of coffee isn't a lot of money ..... unless you're paying for 100 of them. icon_wink.gif

(I actually had a bride who wanted a plated dinner with linen tablecloths and appetizers for 200 people. She was excited because daddy had given her (GASP!) FIVE HUNDRED WHOLE DOLLARS!!! to spend on this dinner. $2.50/person .... for dinner. served. with appetizers. on white linen. riiiiiiiiight.)

LoverOfSweets Posted 3 Oct 2011 , 6:48am
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

(I actually had a bride who wanted a plated dinner with linen tablecloths and appetizers for 200 people. She was excited because daddy had given her (GASP!) FIVE HUNDRED WHOLE DOLLARS!!! to spend on this dinner. $2.50/person .... for dinner. served. with appetizers. on white linen. riiiiiiiiight.)




Now that made me laugh out loud! icon_lol.gif

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