So a potential client contacted me with a rough cake description and asked how much it would be. She wanted a small cake (8servings) with lots of details including 2 movie characters. I politely explained that1 - due to the amount of detail required, the design would be time consuming, hence more expensive and 2 - that it may not be entirely possible to fit that much detail onto such a small cake.
Im relatively new to the business and learning all the time....but i get the impression some clients think the smaller the cake, the less the cost...even if they had the Eiffel tower on top!
She then proceeded to tell me that she didn't want to pay a fortune.
I was at a bit of a loss.....i haven't heard from her since.
Im thinking i shouldn't waste my time trying to cram a price and risk losing out to please absolutely EVERYONE.
Is this bad business practice or...? Surely if you contact a decorator to make a bespoke cake to your specific requirements, you expect to pay above and beyond that of supermarket prices?
Any views would be welcome....thanks!
When you market to everyone, or no one and just see what shows up, this is going to happen.
When you don't make your prices clear on your website, you will get this type of call. The client isn't expected to know the price when the industry does its best to hide the prices.
If you market to the target demographic that will buy your cakes, you will get inquiries that are more suited to your product.
The website is your first impression. It tells the client about your talent, your attention to detail, and if you are a serious businessperson. It also should be full of information to help the client choose your product. She will look at about five websites in the category before making the first call.
The other thing you can do is bring up price in the first two minutes. Ask for a rough idea and give an approximate price or range. This will keep you from wasting your time and the client's time.
This gets easy once you do it a few times.
1st off I would inform customer that *SMALLEST!* cake will serve 12-15. NO if, ands, or buts. That is the smallest we can make the cake.
Then ask what their budget is. Let them know if/what you can do w/in that budget.
Your price is your price. They do not set your prices.
Thank you for your replies!
As im quite new to the business im finding it difficult to storm in there any lay down a price...i know in myself at this point im under pricing my designs not wanting to scare potential clients away...when i only end up losing out myself - although after extensive research i know my cake designs are of a higher quality than many of those around.
Im sure ill get there once my confidence builds....though i don't want to be known as the lady who makes lovely 'cheap' cakes.
Some aspects more difficult than anticipated!
I was in sales right after college. It isn't for everyone. The problem comes in when nice, quiet people decide to bake and decorate. With that comes sales.
This may sound crazy, but I have helped more than a few with these skills. First, consider taking a public speaking class at a community college. They aren't time-consuming and it will definitely help.
The number one thing that will help in any speaking sales issue is to know your product. For people who are shy, a price list will help. You can pull it out in print form and discuss from there. The other big help is to practice. Know your product and practice in the mirror different scenarios, especially the ones that cause you stress. All speakers, and sales reps, practice. The bigger the job, the more practice. Even attorneys must practice before court.
The more confident you are about your pricing by being sure that you are priced correctly in the market, the more confidence you will have.
Finally, no matter how much you may need the sale, stick to your prices. You want clients with the right income level to refer to you. If you compromise, you may find that all of your referrals are also not in your target market.
Good Luck. Susan