I have a meeting on Saturday with a local caterer to discuss becoming his cake lady. Is it customary to take a sample cake to such a meeting? He has seen my portfolio and know (in theory) what type of work I can produce, I'm just not sure if I should take soemthing with me that he can actualy see/touch/taste.
If you're strictly concerned about having him taste your cakes, why don't you take an assortment of mini cupcakes of different flavors?
I would love to know what others do in this situation as well!
We used to bring 6 regular size cupcakes (6 different flavors of our best). Mini cupcakes would work, but we felt you can't really get a good ratio of flavor, cake to frosting. We did many combined flavors like Bailey's Mocha. Really need a full size cupcake or slice of cake to appreciate the layers of flavor in our cakes (back when we did cakes and cupcakes lol)
If your flavors are not complex, minis may work.
If it were me, I would at least bring something. . but doubt I would bring a whole cake. Cupcakes do the job just as good. They are less work for you to do too, and when you are giving something away . . . be mindful of cost (including labor) that you are losing and what you are getting in return.
I have wholesale accounts and I don't bring anything to a first meeting. I use that first meeting to decide if the fit is right. I don't try to win them over. I know my product. I really am deciding if I want their business.
After we agree on price, production schedules, etc., I provide a sample of something that is specifically of interest to the client.
thank you all for taking the time to respond.
I am so torn. I understand where you're coming from scp1127, this is a business meeting, not a tasting. On the other hand I wand to show this guy that not only do my cakes look good, they taste good too.
scp1127 sounds as if they have been doing this a while and have something in place that works. On the other hand, you sound as if you are just starting out. scp1127 is in a position where they are deciding if they want to work with the merchant. You, on the other hand are probably hoping and praying the merchant takes your product.
Two very different scenarios.
In your event, I would lean towards bringing some samples for the merchant and his/her staff. It's a nice thing to do. It does allow them to taste your product, if you are an unknown. More importantly I like my resellers to be familiar enough with my product that they can answer questions customers may ask. Remember, you will not be there to promote your product or speak on it's behalf.
Like scp1127, I am VERY confident in my product. I know I do good things haha. I really do. We use high end ingredients (Only Eggland's Best Eggs, Ghirardelli chocolate and cocoa powder, hand ground spices, Land O Lakes Butter . . ) We do high end flavors like too.. . not your run of the mill. I know that once a customer tastes my products, he/she will be blown away.
The key is getting a customer to try your product. That is why I always bring samples for merchants. IF the merchant loves your product . . he/she will be an asset in promoting sales to customers for you. Believe me!! I hear my merchants/resellers telling customers "Omg . . I had this and it was amazing"
I have seen my resellers post great comments about us on their business and personal Facebook page
My opinion - it helps your business. I may know my product is outstanding. But those that have never tried it before? Those people are my target audience. I need to reach them. And the merchant/reseller is the one who will speak of your product when you are not there.
I agree with KuyaRomeo. This way the vendor feels more comfortable refering you to his clients. He can truly said that I taste her cake and it is awesome
Many, many years ago when I was starting out this is what I would do. If I was the one who made the contact and was trying to get on board as their cake person, I would bring a 2 layer 6 inch cake for them to try and as thanks for their time.
If I'm being contacting by another vendor or venue that has tasted my cakes then no I usually wouldn't bring anything, except business cards and brochures.
I no longer work with vendors who take the cake orders and send them to me. I meet with the client. I also do not work on the "vendor or venue gets a cut" basis. If someone wants me to be a "preferred" vendor that's cool but they won't be taking a cut of my money to do it. Been there done that. Just some words of advice.
Just re-read the original post - - if the caterer contacted you and has seen your porfolio, wouldn't it be logical to think he's already tasted your cakes? I mean, he should have a reasonable idea that you bake wonderfully before approaching you in the first place, shouldn't he? In this case, I don't think I'd take samples unless asked to do so.
If they have only "seen" your cakes and haven't tasted them then yes you need to take some sort of sample.
I would take a small box of cupcakes as a gift. I take them to my accountant.
I would take at least a sample.
I'm a salesperson at heart. It's what I have always done best.
Kuya, I'm coming from the perspective that I'm not desperate or trying too hard. I approach it strictly from a business standpoint. That meeting, whether initiated by me or by the client is still a meeting for business. I fact find, listen to what they need, and ask questions about their business. Then I lay out a plan that works for both parties. If it looks like we have a possible relationship and the money is right, I make an appointment to bring a specific dessert that is of interest.
I am not going to waste my time and money if the party involved cannot afford my product, we can't agree on a schedule, the terms are not agreeable, or the product is not a good fit.