Stitches Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 8:59pm
post #1 of

"If you are not educating the client as a way of building value (and along with it trust) you are facilitating conditions where customers will make decisions solely on price.  Finally, the O.P. should have discussed her brand"

 

Can we make this a continuation of the thread: Oh no, I didn't...or...Was that out loud? Or...is there an unsend button somewhere? *sigh*

 

I do the best I can to self educate, as I think most of us do. I can't afford to hire professional people to do all the various aspects of my business. If I hired an advertising company, PR firm, web developer and all the countless other professionals I need, I'd be bankrupt before I could open my door.

 

Can we make an educational thread on the topic of building brand with clients from the first moment they contact us (so we get the sale instead of loosing it to the cheapest baker)? I'm willing to embarrass myself in order to learn. I'm going to post a recent email exchange with a potential client and can we see how I should have done this better?

 

(These are the actual emails, but I've deleted the clients info.)

 My name is Carissa M. and I can be reached at 888-888-8888. I am looking for a tiered fondant Princess cake for my daughters 3rd birthday. I did not see anything like this on your website, but would love to see pricing and ideas that you have. The date of her party is October 5th.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Hello Carissa,
 
Thank-you for contacting me! Fondant covered cakes begin at $4.00 per serving. Butter cream frosted cakes start at $3.00 per serving. Pricing greatly depends upon how complex or simple the cakes design is.
 
I can decorate just about any design you'd like. It would take me hours and hours to show you all the possibilities you have with such a cute theme. The best way to find something YOU really like is for you to look at cake photos online for ideas. Here are 3 great websites to find a princess cake design you'll like:
 
 
When you see something you like, copy and paste the photo into an email to me and I can give you a price for that design. In addition, I'll need to know how many servings of cake you want and what flavors you'd like. You can view my menu here: https://wendy-debord.squarespace.com/menus/
 
Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.
 
all my best,
Wendy
____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Wendy, thank you so much for the information and the websites. What about something like the one attached? I am looking for around 35-40 people. Thank you again!
cleardot.gif

 

 
 
 
Princess+Castle+Cake+4+protected.jpg Princess+Castle+Cake+4+protected.jpg
247K   View   Share   Download  
__________________________________________________________________________________
The cake in your photograph will serve 60 to 80 people. To make the cake smaller isn't less expensive, it's actually more difficult to make all those details smaller. That particular cake design (done well) would be aprox. $225.00 from me.

thanks,

____________________________________________________________________________________

Wendy,
 
Thank you so much for your help! Your price was right where I thought! Thank you!

___________________________________________________________________________________

24 replies
Stitches Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 9:09pm
post #2 of

Sorry about the neatness of my last post....the screen wasn't working as well as usual with my editing.

 

So how would you all whom know how to market your brand, have handled that conversation? Basically, I see that I now need to compose a letter and paste that info. into every business email I receive so I convey the value of my brand. What should that look like, what do you say in your email (I've already conveyed my brand on my website so it's redundant in email, no?)?

jason_kraft Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 10:05pm
post #3 of

AIMO most of the education should be done proactively, before the customer contacts you in the first place. That's why it's so important to have all your customer-facing material professionally produced (web site, ad campaigns, marketing materials, etc.).

You're not really educating customers about your brand, you are presenting your products and highlighting your competitive advantages. Based on what you offer (and how well you include a coherent and consistent brand in your marketing, communications, and packaging) your customers will make their own inferences as to what your brand stands for. If you do a good job, your brand alone will eventually be enough to make the sale.

As for your email exchange, I would probably have mentioned the amount of labor for each quote. Unless a cake is very basic I never send out a quote without a labor estimate. Other than that it looked fine.

Stitches Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 10:28pm
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

IMO most of the education should be done proactively, before the customer contacts you in the first place. That's why it's so important to have all your customer-facing material professionally produced (web site, ad campaigns, marketing materials, etc.).

You did your own website. How many of those services did you hire out for your business? That's just not always possible for the small business owner. Also, sometimes/often you don't know where or how a person got your info.. I don't know if the lady above found me threw my website or if someone I know gave her my name. My closest girl friends and husband always recommend me to people they know, but try as I might, they don't memorize my business details correctly enough to pass the info. on correctly.

 

 I don't personally find your website esthetically pleasing. What's your advertising campaigns look like? What you perceive to be "professional grade materials" I might find to be poorly done. Hiring someone doesn't guarantee quality work. How many bad commercials do you see every night? Most of them............ I don't like all pink websites and literature but you do. It's all just subjective!....so that's not an answer.

jason_kraft Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 2:23am
post #5 of

A

Original message sent by Stitches

You did your own website. How many of those services did you hire out for your business? That's just not always possible for the small business owner.

Aside from a quick initial consult with an accountant to make sure my QuickBooks setup made sense, I did not hire out any business services. This was because I already had a business background and was finishing up my MBA. I understand that many new business owners may not have that background, that's why your business plan should budget for hiring out when necessary.

Also, sometimes/often you don't know where or how a person got your info.. I don't know if the lady above found me threw my website or if someone I know gave her my name.

That's why you should ask potential customers how they heard of you. I included several business cards with every invoice so chances are a referral would have my business card as well.

I don't personally find your website esthetically pleasing. What's your advertising campaigns look like? What you perceive to be "professional grade materials" I might find to be poorly done. Hiring someone doesn't guarantee quality work. How many bad commercials do you see every night? Most of them............ I don't like all pink websites and literature but you do. It's all just subjective!....so that's not an answer.

I'm not sure what the aesthetics of my web site have to do with this thread, but I am always interested in feedback so if you wanted to send me specifics of what you don't like I would appreciate it. I don't like all pink web sites either, which is why I chose a palette of pink, black, and white.

While your own personal taste might be subjective, the effectiveness of an advertisement can absolutely be measured quantitatively. My initial advertising strategy was to reach out in person to my target market by attending support group meetings and events catered to that market (with a simple one page letter size information sheet). This was coupled with a Google AdWords blitz for a couple months when we launched the business. No additional advertising was necessary after the AdWords blitz since we were already reaching capacity regularly, but the next step would have been partnering with niche blogs, magazines, and specialty grocers.

You are absolutely right that hiring someone does not guarantee quality work, that's why you need to interview people and get samples of their work, just as you would before purchasing any custom product or service. The fact that a lot of poorly executed advertisements exist only serves to underscore how important the vetting process is.

Stitches Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 4:28am
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 



I'm not sure what the aesthetics of my web site have to do with this thread, but I am always interested in feedback so if you wanted to send me specifics of what you don't like I would appreciate it. I don't like all pink web sites either, which is why I chose a palette of pink, black, and white.

 

No Jason, that wasn't directed at you specifically (I don't recall what your site looks like and I wouldn't be that rude), it was a general comment. The point being that everyone has different taste and it's almost impossible to design something that appeals to everyone.

 

Another point, peoples skills are only as good as their current work. You can interview people until you turn green.........their past work isn't a guarantee of their current work being as good (or that their portfolio is their own work).....or meshing with your business vision. Yes, I totally agree, hire what you can and hire out the skills you don't have. But it's definitely not as simple as you describe!

jason_kraft Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 5:27am
post #7 of

A

Original message sent by Stitches

No Jason, that wasn't directed at you specifically (I don't recall what your site looks like and I wouldn't be that rude), it was a general comment.

I'm a little confused...when you quoted me and said "I don't personally find your website esthetically pleasing" that was meant as a general comment that wasn't directed at me?

mcaulir Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 6:51am
post #8 of

I don't have a business, so fee free to ignore all business-related advice. icon_wink.gif

 

IN your first email, I'd probably have put the price towards the end, rather than first thing. I know she asked for pricing first, but she's shopping for a princess cake for a 5-year-old and wants your ideas. She wanted you to get excited, like she is. Of course, you're not particularly excited, but I suspect that part of selling your service in this case is making your customer feel like you're both in this amazing creative process together: build rapport over the excitement of the party she's planning - then hit her with the price afterwards.  

 

My advice would be to 'sell' your skill and product first up - list some of the amazing sounding princess design things you could do, ask what her precious child is interested in, make some wise sounding suggestions about what flavours of cake little girls love.

 

This particular client sounded like she wasn't really worried about the price - just wanted something pretty, so focus on that first up.

Stitches Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 2:38pm
post #9 of

"I'm a little confused...when you quoted me and said "I don't personally find your website esthetically pleasing" that was meant as a general comment that wasn't directed at me?"                 Yes, it was in my second paragraph down, away from your quote (I had no idea your website had any pink in it) I was trying to say everyone's taste is subjective. I was a professional artist for about 10 years and one of my biggest take always from that experience is how everyone's taste differs. I'd see paintings where the paint was just thrown at a canvas win 'best in show' over paintings what showed great feeling and skill. You like pink, I like grey. Even when you buy professional services you choose the professional whom you think will do the best work for you. But your judgments are prejudiced by your own taste.

 

One of the wonderful things about participating in a forum like this is learning from others. That's why I'm here. I can hire out professionals for almost everything in my business (if I had the money) but it's more important for me to educate myself so I become better. As I learn more I become a better business owner.

 

I'm trying to learn in this thread how to respond better to pricing inquires. How can I educate my client as a way of building value and prevent "facilitating conditions where customers will make decisions solely on price". How do I discuss my brand in a general pricing inquiry,  "Finally, the O.P. should have discussed her brand"?

 

So I put up a general correspondence with a client as an example of how can I/we all do this better? I'm serious, I really would like to do things better! I'd like to see other peoples emails/interactions with clients (good and bad) so I can learn how to guide the conversation better/more professionally and HOPEFULLY gain more sales through better business practices.

Stitches Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 3:02pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir 
This particular client sounded like she wasn't really worried about the price - just wanted something pretty, so focus on that first up.

At first she asks for ideas. But I didn't get into details yet based on past experience, I didn't want to waste my time coming up with a custom design for someone with a Wal-mart budget. I really wanted to find out her budget and if she was worth me taking the time to give her my ideas. I thought her follow up email to me would have shown me a couple cakes she liked and she would have asked pricing on those so than I could talk to her about my pricing and value. But I didn't get that chance. The client responded to me with-in hours with her photograph. She didn't seem like she was looking for a cute cake that worked in her budget. She seemed to be a person who was shopping out 1 specific design.

 

"My advice would be to 'sell' your skill and product first up - list some of the amazing sounding princess design things you could do, ask what her precious child is interested in, make some wise sounding suggestions about what flavours of cake little girls love." 

 

So that's what I'm trying to learn from this email (and I was hoping other people here would do the same online so I/we could learn from their experiences too). What should I do differently for the next email like this? I'm starting to learn some of these skills and get the customers to practice on.

 

This was my opening paragraph to the client: Thank-you for contacting me! Fondant covered cakes begin at $4.00 per serving. Butter cream frosted cakes start at $3.00 per serving. Pricing greatly depends upon how complex or simple the cakes design is.

 

If I could do it over I should have done this?:

Thank-you for contacting me. How were you referred to me? I'm a scratch baker with 25* years of experience baking custom cakes and pastries. (hell, I don't know how to "sell your skill and product first up". If I did I wouldn't be posting this.)

 

urg......

newbe86 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 3:31pm

AHere is my two cents, first, do you always do consultations with clients by e-mail? I'm a got to meet the person cooking for me kind of girl. That being said, if I were the customer I would have liked to have seen some of your similar work to what I was requesting. Then give me websites to look at for ideas. And pricing following your suggestions. I haven't looked at your website (I will, I'm quite intrigued) but is your pricing listed?  Other than that, I would have been just fine with the message as a customer. 

newbe86 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 3:35pm

AThank you for starting this thread, as I hope to eventually have a small business myself, this helps me while I'm learning the ropes of a business and baking (for more than just family).

newbe86 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 3:35pm

AThank you for starting this thread, as I hope to eventually have a small business myself, this helps me while I'm learning the ropes of a business and baking (for more than just family).

AZCouture Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 4:37pm

Here's a word for word example I can share from this morning. I'm waiting to hear back, but here's how it has gone so far. 

 

"Good morning, I was given your name by XXXXX the other day for wedding cakes. I've looked online and think I want something like this, maybe with a monogram worked in somewhere or a saying? Can you give me a quote?"

 

Me-"Thank you for contacting me, and I'm happy to hear that xxxx suggested my services to you, she's an excellent florist, and we do a lot of work together. That's a beautiful cake, and I can think of several ideas just from that photo and your desire for some wording or a monogram. I'd be happy to help with an estimate of cost, but I'll need some basic information to proceed. What is the date of your event, and how many people will you need cake for? I look forward to hearing back from you."

 

Her- "Right now we have about 65 people confirmed, but it will probably end up being about 80. Wedding is on 11-16-2013. I looked some more at the pictures on your page and there is one with the word LOVE on it, don't kow if it's painted or what, but something like that in three tiers with the ruffles?"

 

Me'"Great! I happen to have room for one more event that weekend as of now. What I can do is arrange a consultation where you can sample a few flavors, and look over some sketches that I'll prepare based on the ideas you've given me. For that serving amount, I'd suggest a four tier, possibly even a 5 tier. There are also options of using mixed shapes and half tall and double tall tiers in the mix as well. The cake with the word LOVE hand painted on it, is a good example of that. 

 

Cake to serve approximately 80 will allow for two to three different cake flavors, with a different filling for each tier if you would like. Some people go basic for the whole setup, some choose a different combination for each one, it's completely up to you, and I can make suggestions regarding that when we get together. A good estimate of cost based on what you've described to me would be in the range of $480 to $520 to start with, and could be more depending on what you'd like to see. If you have a dollar amount you need to stick with, that would be helpful for me to know before we meet, so I can make sure my sketches stay within your budget.

 

I am available next week on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday......yada yada yada....."

 

 

brenda549 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 5:08pm

Since her first email is too vague to give an accurate quote and design, this would have been my first response to her email.  

 

Hello Customer!

 

Thank you for considering a custom cake from Brenda Bakes for your daughter's birthday celebration!  I currently have your event date available and would love to give you a quote on a custom design.  My minimum cake order is $$$ and tiered cakes start at $4 per serving.  However, in order to give you a custom design idea and accurate quote, I will need additional information from you, specifically the number of servings that are required for your event and your budget.  It would also help if you could give me some elements that you would like to see on the cake (colors, tiara, diamonds, flowers, etc.) or a scanned photo of the invitation.  With these in mind, I can give you some great custom cake options with which to celebrate your daughter's birthday!

 

I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Brenda Bakes

 

 

I know what you were trying to convey to the customer, but your email just gave a sense that you do not have the up front time to spend on her cake.  From her response, she did not take it that way at all.  That was just my overall feeling.

 

Also, I market myself as custom design.  Since I try to steer my clients into custom cake design (as you can see by my email response), I would never send them off to someone else's website before winning them over with one of my ideas, even though most of my customers come with pictures in hand.  Once I received her serving and budget information, I would give her detailed descriptions of cake ideas (never drawings, just lots of descriptive words in my email).  If she were a visual person, I would personally look online for a cake similar (if one were available).  

 

Just my 2 cents.  

denetteb Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 6:59pm

AZ, sorry that this is off topic, but how do you do 80 servings with 4-5 tiers?  I would have thought that 3 tiers would be fine with 80 servings.

AZCouture Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 7:11pm

5-6-7-8-9 would be 83, 5-7-9-11 would be 98, there's a few other ways with mixed shapes, half tall tiers, etc. I try to think out of the box with everything. 5-6-9-10 would an option, and would have a big gap good for a cluster of giant flowers or something.

Stitches Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 8:29pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by brenda549 

I know what you were trying to convey to the customer, but your email just gave a sense that you do not have the up front time to spend on her cake.  From her response, she did not take it that way at all.  That was just my overall feeling.

 

Ah, that's good to know, I didn't even realize that....thank-you I'll be more aware in the future.

 

Unlike you and many/most others here I'm not into custom work....mainly because I never like the way it makes me feel afterward. I'm never sure enough (even though the person says they "love it") that the person is completely happy with a custom project. Where as when I recreate a design they've chosen, I know myself that I'd nailed the design and gave the person exactly what they asked for. It goes back to being a painter/artist and I hated commission work (my personal phobia). Custom people can get very needy and spend more time talking about the possibilities, then it takes to do the whole project.

 

I'm always careful not to send prospective clients to someone actual site. I only send them to massive photo sites where the chances of them finding the decorator living near them is very unlikely.

 

Also maybe it's just in my head, but it seems that the people who approach me don't want to get into long conversations choosing a cake (only a few of them do). Most of my phone conversations seem to over-whelm the client when I ask them questions, because they are usually unprepared on the first call. I get the feeling they are happier to talk via email and I like it because my hearing isn't perfect. In fact, I'd rather never sit down with the client if I could (that's why I like wholesale work so much. Just tell me what you want and I'll do it.).

 

Can I ask: How would you have responded to your example client AZCouture if they didn't present you with a photo or a direction? What would you have said to them?

 

Again, I guess I'm asking how do you sell yourself and product in the beginning of the conversation? (I'm thinking based on Brendas' example maybe setting a minimum order amount would be a good qualifier to know how much time I should give to their project? But than can't some people interpret that as being snobbish or maybe you're just stating a fact and I should worry what they think?)

mcaulir Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 9:15pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches 

At first she asks for ideas. But I didn't get into details yet based on past experience, I didn't want to waste my time coming up with a custom design for someone with a Wal-mart budget. I really wanted to find out her budget and if she was worth me taking the time to give her my ideas. I thought her follow up email to me would have shown me a couple cakes she liked and she would have asked pricing on those so than I could talk to her about my pricing and value. But I didn't get that chance. The client responded to me with-in hours with her photograph. She didn't seem like she was looking for a cute cake that worked in her budget. She seemed to be a person who was shopping out 1 specific design.

 

"My advice would be to 'sell' your skill and product first up - list some of the amazing sounding princess design things you could do, ask what her precious child is interested in, make some wise sounding suggestions about what flavours of cake little girls love." 

 

So that's what I'm trying to learn from this email (and I was hoping other people here would do the same online so I/we could learn from their experiences too). What should I do differently for the next email like this? I'm starting to learn some of these skills and get the customers to practice on.

 

This was my opening paragraph to the client: Thank-you for contacting me! Fondant covered cakes begin at $4.00 per serving. Butter cream frosted cakes start at $3.00 per serving. Pricing greatly depends upon how complex or simple the cakes design is.

 

If I could do it over I should have done this?:

Thank-you for contacting me. How were you referred to me? I'm a scratch baker with 25* years of experience baking custom cakes and pastries. (hell, I don't know how to "sell your skill and product first up". If I did I wouldn't be posting this.)

 

urg......

 

I was thinking something more like:

 

Thankyou for contacting me,blah blah blah.

 

No, I haven't done a princess cake, but they can be so beautiful - I've been looking forward to the opportunity to make one! Depending on what you like, I could do a beautiful 3D tiara, or the cake might look like a princess dress, or I could create a lovely background scene for a Disney princess figurine, or carve a coach from cake!If your little one has a favourite toy, or movie, or favourite colour, we could incorporate that into the design as well.

 

I'm imagining a fluffy vanilla cake with layers of pink raspberry filling - so the inside is as pretty as the outside! Of course, any flavour will work well - my menu can be found here: www.website

 

Other information, blah blah blah.

 

 

 

All of which makes you sound excited.

denetteb Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 9:42pm

AThanks AZ, interesting size combinations.

AZCouture Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 9:43pm

They don't work for every design, but I typically avoid "typical" or simple.

brenda549 Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 10:31pm

My example was to show how I up-sell custom cakes.  You would need to up-sell whatever it is you market.  I just checked out your website.  You do wonderful specialty work!  However, your website only sells you with the pictures.  Maybe you need to find a way in words to describe yourself, your cakes, and what you do for your clients.  Once you do that, then let it carry over into your emails.  It doesn't have to carry over in words, but in a feeling the client will get when they first read your email.  You want them to know you are just as excited to do their cake as they are at having a celebration.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches 

Can I ask: How would you have responded to your example client AZCouture if they didn't present you with a photo or a direction? What would you have said to them?

 

 

I know you were asking AZ this questions, but if it were me, I would find a few pictures (one or two) of cakes that I know I could do professionally, and send that to her.  If the client did not like them, then I would send the client out to other places to find one they liked.  

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stitches 

Also maybe it's just in my head, but it seems that the people who approach me don't want to get into long conversations choosing a cake (only a few of them do). Most of my phone conversations seem to over-whelm the client when I ask them questions, because they are usually unprepared on the first call. I get the feeling they are happier to talk via email and I like it because my hearing isn't perfect. In fact, I'd rather never sit down with the client if I could (that's why I like wholesale work so much. Just tell me what you want and I'll do it.).

 

 

I used Jotform to create a contact form that I imbedded into my website.  It requests most of the information I need to give potential clients a running start at a quote, including a place for them to upload pictures.  You can customize these so that you ask specific questions.  You can also mark questions that must be answered in order to submit their request.  You could always send all of your calls to voicemail and in your message give them the option to leave a message or visit your site to complete the contact form.  If someone sends me a generic "how much will this cake cost" email with very little information to begin with, I promptly and professionally direct them to my site to fill out a contact form.  If they fill it out, I know they are semi-serious about a cake.  If I never hear back, then they were never my customer to begin with.  Most of my contact (probably 90%) with clients are through email.   Most will either submit the form or email back with the additional information I need.  

 

You really were not questioning this but it was a random thought I had (I have many of those lately).  Another thing I do, when a client sends a picture, I always give them a quote on the picture exactly as it is, letting them know the servings it would yield, the sizes of the cake or cake tiers, and the total price.  That way they know what to expect going up or down.  

 

And yes!  Come up with a minimum!  I will not turn on my oven for less than my minimum and paid in full.  Stating it in your email is giving them factual information.  You cannot control how the client perceives that information.    

jason_kraft Posted 1 Jul 2013 , 10:39pm

A

Original message sent by brenda549

I used Jotform to create a contact form that I imbedded into my website.  It requests most of the information I need to give potential clients a running start at a quote, including a place for them to upload pictures.  You can customize these so that you ask specific questions.  You can also mark questions that must be answered in order to submit their request.  You could always send all of your calls to voicemail and in your message give them the option to leave a message or visit your site to complete the contact form.  If someone sends me a generic "how much will this cake cost" email with very little information to begin with, I promptly and professionally direct them to my site to fill out a contact form.  If they fill it out, I know they are semi-serious about a cake.  If I never hear back, then they were never my customer to begin with.  Most of my contact (probably 90%) with clients are through email.   Most will either submit the form or email back with the additional information I need.

This is exactly what we starting doing a few months after we launched the business. We had an order form on our web site with required fields (with explanations next to fields people typically had questions about), and our Google Voice number went directly to voice mail with a message recommending the use of the web site order form.

We don't list our email address on our web site at all, and inquiries received via FB or Twitter are also directed to the web site order form.

Everything the client needs to know about your business should be right there on the order form so you don't have to keep spelling it out in emails.

Stitches Posted 2 Jul 2013 , 2:56am
Quote:
Originally Posted by brenda549 

I used Jotform to create a contact form that I imbedded into my website.  It requests most of the information I need to give potential clients a running start at a quote, including a place for them to upload pictures.  You can customize these so that you ask specific questions.  You can also mark questions that must be answered in order to submit their request.  You could always send all of your calls to voicemail and in your message give them the option to leave a message or visit your site to complete the contact form.  If someone sends me a generic "how much will this cake cost" email with very little information to begin with, I promptly and professionally direct them to my site to fill out a contact form.  If they fill it out, I know they are semi-serious about a cake.  If I never hear back, then they were never my customer to begin with.  Most of my contact (probably 90%) with clients are through email.   Most will either submit the form or email back with the additional information I need.  

 

You really were not questioning this but it was a random thought I had (I have many of those lately).  Another thing I do, when a client sends a picture, I always give them a quote on the picture exactly as it is, letting them know the servings it would yield, the sizes of the cake or cake tiers, and the total price.  That way they know what to expect going up or down.  

 

And yes!  Come up with a minimum!  I will not turn on my oven for less than my minimum and paid in full.  Stating it in your email is giving them factual information.  You cannot control how the client perceives that information.    

Thank-you for your help Brenda!! I can understand how to some people this all seems like common sense because you've been doing this for a while. But having contact with retail customers is totally new to me and this kind of information is REALLY HELPFUL (insert hugs). My website is brand new (and not totally completed yet) so I haven't yet learned how to harness it's usefulness. I will definitely take your advice and make some changes!!

 

Maybe you need to find a way in words to describe yourself, your cakes, and what you do for your clients.  Once you do that, then let it carry over into your emails.                                     Absolutely! I'm trying to find my voice and who I am in this business. So far I haven't had much success with what I write, so I deliberately haven't published words on my website.

 

I still need to think more deeply about other things mentioned...........it's late in the night for me now. Thanks again, everyone!

newbe86 Posted 2 Jul 2013 , 3:57am

AI was looking at websites today, to see what kind of information they had about the business since this post started, it got me thinking, what would make me choose one baker over another without having prior knowledge of their work. I googled "bakeries, st.Louis, mo" and found a lot of interesting stuff. What I found most helpful on one site was their pricing page, it laid out prices for specialty cakes, wedding cakes, cupcakes, etc. $100 minimum for specialty and wedding cakes then gave the breakdown $3.50/$4.50 per serving... Yadda yadda, you get my point. What I found MOST helpful was the site that had within the contact section the information the baker needed. When, how many, what kind of design (graduation, wedding, birthday) and then a statement that the client would be contacted within 24 hours of the submission. I think that may help prospective clients from being over-whelmed when placing an order. The same site also stated that the baker had been in business for 10 years and all cakes, fillings, and icings were freshly made from scratch. She really sold herself, in my opinion anyway.

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