MJbakes Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 10:37pm
post #1 of

Hey all my lovely cakers! Just wondering, when someone asks you for a quote of a cake through email or facebook, and don't reply when you give them the price, do you follow up or just leave it?

31 replies
bunnykins Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 10:57pm
post #2 of

I would probably send a reply just giving them one last chance to respond and saying that you hope they have had chance to look at the quote you sent and if they are happy to go ahead with the order then you need confirmation in the next xx days otherwise you cannot guarantee you will be available for the date they wish, or something along those lines, basically just let them know your slots are booking up and they need to respond, then if you havent heard anything back by the deadline you have given them then you know they aren't interested and can forget all about them!

AZCouture Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 11:26pm
post #3 of

It depends. It just really depends. I usually do follow up with a very simple "can I be of any further assistance regarding your inquiry?" type of email, and then the entire conversation goes into a separate folder so it's not in front of me and I can concentrate on work I *do* have. If they do happen to get back to me, I can pull all of our correspondence to date back up and continue on.

By the way, I have every single email ever sent to me and that I have sent regarding every single order I have ever done, saved in a file in one of my email accounts. I save everything.

MJbakes Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 11:58pm
post #4 of

That's what I was thinking of doing, but i wasn't sure if they would think they were being pressured. And i save everything to do with cakes as well, it's business and you gotta keep a record of it all right? icon_smile.gif .

AZCouture Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 12:38am
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJbakes

That's what I was thinking of doing, but i wasn't sure if they would think they were being pressured. And i save everything to do with cakes as well, it's business and you gotta keep a record of it all right? icon_smile.gif .


In a perfect world, everyone would always reply back; whether it was a no thanks, or tell me more, or hell no! I'd take a hell no any day over crickets chirping if I spent any real amount of time corresponding or figuring out a quote. And then there is a portion of the population who I am convinced send emails and forget they ever did it. Anyways, so I send my follow up a week later if I haven't heard anything back. Gotta treat them all the same no matter what.

I get into that file of old correspondence often! And I meant it when I said I keep everything. Every request, every order, everything. Doesn't take up any space on *my* computer. Thank you Yahoo.

Annabakescakes Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 12:52am
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJbakes

That's what I was thinking of doing, but i wasn't sure if they would think they were being pressured. And i save everything to do with cakes as well, it's business and you gotta keep a record of it all right? icon_smile.gif .

In a perfect world, everyone would always reply back; whether it was a no thanks, or tell me more, or hell no! I'd take a hell no any day over crickets chirping if I spent any real amount of time corresponding or figuring out a quote. And then there is a portion of the population who I am convinced send emails and forget they ever did it. Anyways, so I send my follow up a week later if I haven't heard anything back. Gotta treat them all the same no matter what.

I get into that file of old correspondence often! And I meant it when I said I keep everything. Every request, every order, everything. Doesn't take up any space on *my* computer. Thank you Yahoo.




I totally agree! A few weeks ago I had a lady very excited about a cake. We talked design, and I gave here a rough estimate. I shot her an email with some specifics, and she sent one back with the exact 2 designs she liked, that I was to combine. I sent the quote back, also asking what flavors she wants...crickets! For 8 days, then, 2 days before she wanted it, she emails back to see if we were all set, and if I need any more info, lol! And it was a reply to my previous email, where I asked flavors, so she had to see it icon_rolleyes.gif

AZCouture Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 12:54am
post #7 of

Good grief.

Annabakescakes Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 1:08am
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Good grief.




Yeah, and I forgot to add, once I asked her AGAIN for flavor and filling, she replies back, "raspberry." icon_confused.gif Raspberry what? icon_cry.gif I was already doing a yellow with raspberry and a chocolate with cookies and cream, so I suggested them, and thank God she took my advice, so I could get the damn thing baked!!

costumeczar Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 2:34am
post #9 of

I don't write back, I have other things to do than chase people down. I have one person who had been writing me for a couple of weeks about a birthday cake for next monday. She went silent for a couple of weeks, then wrote again saying woot woot, I can't wait for the cake. So I emailed and gave her the payment info...nothing. I came across the email on Sunday, so since she had been so hot on buying I did write her one more time saying that I needs the payment by this past Tuesday or I'd just assume that she didnt want the cake anymore. No response, so that's that. If she emails again the day before saying that she'll be picking up the cake on Monday she's out of luck. I wrote her back more than I usually did, and I can't waste time chasing someone down...

AZCouture Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 2:49am

It takes two minutes for me to ask "can I help you any further, yada yada?" So if it jolts one person out of 10 into remembering they wanted a cake, I'll spend those couple of minutes doing it. Can't say it usually works, but hey. I tried.

vgcea Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 5:31am

For a customer who has ordered from you before (knows your prices e.t.c)and contacted you about placing another order but never really gave specifics, just vague information, do you contact him or her asking if they still want to go ahead with placing the order?

I had someone speak with me weeks ago about a date that's now less than 2 weeks away but then went AWOL. I don't want to appear pushy but I'd like to know if this is a real order or not. The last order was rush-rush because this customer did something similar, talked to me and then silence until a couple of days before the event.

I don't like the idea of tacking on rush fees but these folks make me want to consider it.

Cherylc418 Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 9:11am

Even though all the pertinent info is on my website, when someone asks for a quote by email I reiterate that the quote does not book their date and remind them of the deadline to place an order. I do this mainly to cover those who do not read my policies, and so I do not have to follow up. Occasionally I will follow up if I have had some good dialogue with a client, and the potential booking date is far enough away. If I have not heard back from a client in 24 hours I move the email to a separate inquiries folder where I can retrieve it later if I need to.

costumeczar Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 12:11pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

For a customer who has ordered from you before (knows your prices e.t.c)and contacted you about placing another order but never really gave specifics, just vague information, do you contact him or her asking if they still want to go ahead with placing the order?

.




If it's someone who has hired you before , or like the woman I was dealing with who fell off the face of the earth, I'd send the one reminder email, then forget it. If they call you in a panic the day before and you feel like still taking the order, then it's time for a rush fee.

MJbakes Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 12:55pm

Wow you guys are all awesome! So I had two non replyers sitting in my email so I sent them both of a polite reminder type email. One of the girls gave a very nice response, I went to high school with her and I knew she really couldn't afford the cake she wanted, even if i simplified the design, but she replyed with "I wish I was one of your kids so I could be a taste tester, but unfortunately we can't afford it this year" which is fine, I understand that, most people can't afford a custom cake. The other one was kinda rude, (there's always one in the bunch right?) she said "I'll contact when you have made a decision, until then, please stop messaging me" Really? lol i've sent her 2 messages, 1 with the rough estimate, one with a friendly reminder...oh well, C'est la vie!

vgcea Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 1:14pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJbakes

Wow you guys are all awesome! So I had two non replyers sitting in my email so I sent them both of a polite reminder type email. One of the girls gave a very nice response, I went to high school with her and I knew she really couldn't afford the cake she wanted, even if i simplified the design, but she replyed with "I wish I was one of your kids so I could be a taste tester, but unfortunately we can't afford it this year" which is fine, I understand that, most people can't afford a custom cake. The other one was kinda rude, (there's always one in the bunch right?) she said "I'll contact when you have made a decision, until then, please stop messaging me" Really? lol i've sent her 2 messages, 1 with the rough estimate, one with a friendly reminder...oh well, C'est la vie!




Thanks for the responses icon_smile.gif
The bolded is what I hope to avoid because anyone who emailed me with something like that would be black-listed icon_lol.gif

costumeczar Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 1:15pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJbakes

Wow you guys are all awesome! So I had two non replyers sitting in my email so I sent them both of a polite reminder type email. One of the girls gave a very nice response, I went to high school with her and I knew she really couldn't afford the cake she wanted, even if i simplified the design, but she replyed with "I wish I was one of your kids so I could be a taste tester, but unfortunately we can't afford it this year" which is fine, I understand that, most people can't afford a custom cake. The other one was kinda rude, (there's always one in the bunch right?) she said "I'll contact when you have made a decision, until then, please stop messaging me" Really? lol i've sent her 2 messages, 1 with the rough estimate, one with a friendly reminder...oh well, C'est la vie!




That's what you run the risk of doing...for myself, if someone emails me more than once it's irritating. But i'm cranky like that.

rosech Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 1:21pm

I once had someone emailing me asking me for a quote. Then quiet. Next thing I see her advertising in an advertising mailing list that I subscribe to, asking for same quote from subscribing cakers. So when someone is quiet, I assume they are shopping around and the will get back to me if the want me to provide service. A person who has hired me before is different. I do follow up if I think they got too busy or something.

vgcea Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 2:11pm

I think one reminder is enough if the person is someone you've worked with before. For potential clients, I think I'll just stick with answering any questions they may have, and leave it at that.

AZCouture Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 2:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

I think one reminder is enough if the person is someone you've worked with before. For potential clients, I think I'll just stick with answering any questions they may have, and leave it at that.


Part of me is like "Ummm, biyotch, you contacted me and I answered you, you gonna acknowledge that I did what you asked???" icon_lol.gif Of course, that's completely bad thinking, but some days I think a lot of bad things that never leave my brain when it comes to customers. icon_twisted.gif

Always smiling....

carmijok Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 3:45pm

When sending a quote always put a deadline on it.

'This quote is valid for one week (or whatever time you need) from the date of issue. No date will be reserved or cake produced unless (name of bakery) is notified within that time frame.
Any design changes or additional servings will affect the initial estimate and should be discussed as soon as possible.

I look forward to serving you and hope to hear from you by (date[/u]).

Then mid-way through the estimation period, I'd drop a reminder and say,
"Because the quote I sent you was time sensitive, I wanted to make sure you received the estimate on your cake. If you have, then ignore this email--if not, let me know and I will send again. Thank you!"

Then leave it alone. If they get back to you within the fine, if not go your merry way. They shouldn't be upset if you send a reminder note that doesn't require they respond. After all, sometimes things sent through email don't get seen for whatever reason, and this would give them the opportunity to tell you. By telling them they don't have to respond shouldn't make anyone feel pressured.
And I wouldn't feel bad reissuing a new estimate with a higher price if someone contacts you after the deadline...or saying no depending on your schedule.
You snooze, you lose!

mommachris Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 5:10pm

Honestly, to the lady that sent the "stop sending me messages" I'd have have to send her just ....one....more.
"I am no longer available to make your cake,as my schedule for that weekend is now full. Here is a list of other bakeries that may be able to take your order. Thank you for your consideration."

If she's indecisive and rude about it, then she needs to go somewhere else.

JMO
mommachris.

vgcea Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 6:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

I think one reminder is enough if the person is someone you've worked with before. For potential clients, I think I'll just stick with answering any questions they may have, and leave it at that.

Part of me is like "Ummm, biyotch, you contacted me and I answered you, you gonna acknowledge that I did what you asked???" icon_lol.gif Of course, that's completely bad thinking, but some days I think a lot of bad things that never leave my brain when it comes to customers. icon_twisted.gif

Always smiling....




LOL!!!! Can't breathe! I was NOT expecting that. You just made my afternoon.

AZCouture Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 6:28pm

I get some doozies. I've learned to mellow out and not get hyper about it anymore. But it has to be shared with those that can commisserate! (in private) icon_wink.gif

vgcea Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 6:39pm

I agree.

MJbakes Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 7:34pm

Oh you guys are tooo much! lol icon_biggrin.gif Thanks for all the tips!

indydebi Posted 28 Jul 2012 , 9:24pm

While my data is a couple of years old, I'm reading that people are right now planning 2013 weddings and looking for quotes, so brides are STILL shopping long in advance.

I tracked everything when I had my shop and it was not unusual for people to come back in 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months or even longer. One bride booked the day of her sampling, but she had the sampling 113 days after I sent her pricing info. Another booked her sampling 2 months after I sent her pricing info and then booked the wedding 2 months after the sampling.

Understand that brides are smart shopping and making numerous appointments with multiple vendors to compare services. Unless they are doing all 5 cake samplings on the same day, they will be taking some time to sample 5 vendors and THEN step back, regroup and start the decision making process.

If I was bored, I MIGHT send ONE fol-up "....to confirm you rec'd the information I sent 12 days ago. Please contact me when you are ready for the decision making process." (this wording let them know I was not pushing them to commit now, and that I recognized they needed time to digest all of the info.)

Different things work for different people, as the above example re: the two brides' responses indicate.

MJbakes Posted 29 Jul 2012 , 1:03pm

I guess I should have mentioned this, I don't do wedding cakes, I stay toward the party cake area of the cake business. I haven't been doing this for that long. I basically ask a month notice is pretty much guarantee for your date, 2-3 weeks notice is a maybe, and 1 week is a rush order (if i feel like doing it icon_biggrin.gif).

Annabakescakes Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 5:46am
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommachris 

Honestly, to the lady that sent the "stop sending me messages" I'd have have to send her just ....one....more.
"I am no longer available to make your cake,as my schedule for that weekend is now full. Here is a list of other bakeries that may be able to take your order. Thank you for your consideration."

If she's indecisive and rude about it, then she needs to go somewhere else.

JMO
mommachris.

I agree! I would give her 24 hours after that offensive little reply, then tell her I am now booked.

BakingIrene Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 1:34pm

If somebody says "stop sending me messages" then you do NOT send any more messages...in Canada it could be trouble.

 

In addition, she could then go and blab to all her friends about the "cake stalker" and you never know where that would take you.

 

You could mark her email address as "spam" if you need to. I would certainly not bother with this person for future orders.

Dani1081 Posted 28 Nov 2012 , 2:42pm

I totally agree with BakingIrene.  Don't send her another message - she told you not to.  But DO put her on your "NO CAKES FOR YOU" list.  A person that rude will  probably be trouble through the whole process.  I'd be booked solid forever for this person. 

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