Moniquea Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 3:26pm
post #1 of

My best customer's family has begun buying cake from me - a big step :)  But while I try to set limits with them I feel like they are walking all over me.  Disrespecting my time.  I am patient and understanding to the point of making excuses for them!

 

But I'm losing patience - Payment was supposed to be made Thursday or Friday the latest... It's Sunday and a few excuses later I offered paying by credit card online with PayPal...  over 12 hours later and nothing.icon_sad.gif

 

My policy is 2wks minimum notice with non-refundable deposit of 50%.  She was good for the last order (and tips!) but this time is driving me up a wall... madhatter.gif If I didn't know her so well and she wasn't a future potential source of more orders (event planner) - I'd let her know I'd like to make plans with my family for that date but thanks for considering me!

 

Ugh!! Needed to get that off of my chest! -Thx

24 replies
Godot Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 3:33pm
post #2 of

Nip it in the bud now.

 

Say that you need payment at xxxx time or you'll have to cancel the order. Teach these people how to treat you.

 

All the tips in the world and however many future orders aren't worth the self-disgust when we let others treat us like ****e.

Godot Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 3:33pm
post #3 of

Nip it in the bud now.

 

Say that you need payment at xxxx time or you'll have to cancel the order. Teach these people how to treat you.

 

All the tips in the world and however many future orders aren't worth the self-loathing when we let others treat us like s.h.i.t.e.

BakerBee7468 Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 4:18pm
post #4 of

I agree, no matter how many orders a customer has or will make you can not let them treat you any kind of way because of it. you have to have ground rules regardless of who they are, and you can't be afraid to loose their business. Customers can easily take their business elsewhere no matter what you've done for them in the past. Be straight with them and if you lose the customer so be it. if you let them do this now, they'll only continue to think they can pay whenever they feel like it and have no respect for you time and effort.

kikiandkyle Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 5:03pm
post #5 of

AIf they want your cake badly enough they'll come back even if you say you can't do this next cake. If they're only using you for their cakes because they can mess you around then you have to decide whether its worth the stress, or if you could be freeing up time for other customers.

maybenot Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 5:55pm
post #6 of

Why work hard to shackle yourself to someone who doesn't seem to respect your policies?  If she gets away with it once, what's to stop her from doing this again? 

 

Maybe this cake is for an "event" that she's planning and she hasn't gotten payment from HER customer so she's making you wait.  Do you always want to be at the bottom of the food chain?

 

Start of business Monday, call her & e-mail her simultaneously and let her know that it's a cash deposit only payable by 5pm--AND, if it's less than 2 weeks before the actual event it will actually be a 100% CASH payment.  No exceptions & the order expires at 5:00:01pm.

 

Paypal can be a great tool, but those payments can be disputed within a certain time frame (?60 days) and they are often settled in favor of the buyer.

Elcee Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 6:05pm
post #7 of

If you do decide not to take the order, don't tell her you made plans with your family...just tell her that without the deposit you could not hold her date any longer and it's no longer available. That is, if you are 100% sure you won't cave. If you tell her you're not available and then take the order anyway, you may as well toss your policies out the window.

 

Another option would be to tell her you've had another inquiry for her date but want to give her first dibs by "allowing" her to pay the deposit before you call them back to tell them yes or no.

jason_kraft Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 6:17pm
post #8 of

AHow are you contacting her? If you are sending her FB messages, texts, or emails you really need to talk to her in real-time on the phone.

Moniquea Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 6:22pm
post #9 of

Wow!

 

Thank you all!  Such grounded actionable advice icon_smile.gif  Because Monday is a Holiday I will call and e-mail Tuesday.  I will be getting my commercial permit then and will explain I have rent and insurance to pay.

 

I want to tell her because I didn't have the answer and deposit last month I lost the kitchen space for the week of her cake (I'll have to do from home now) and I could've been getting things done for her cake this whole time but will keep it to myself - easier to vent here ;)

 

I will keep you updated - 
Thanks again!!!

jason_kraft Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 6:41pm

A

Original message sent by Moniquea

Because Monday is a Holiday I will call and e-mail Tuesday.  I will be getting my commercial permit then and will explain I have rent and insurance to pay.

There's no reason to wait to contact the customer or explain anything about rent and insurance...I would call her ASAP and tell her that if you don't receive the deposit (or preferably the full payment since she was late) by the end of the day on Tuesday her order will be cancelled.

Moniquea Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 8:05pm

AYikes, while I,m sure you are right - I just don't have the chops to do that to an acquaintance. I will give her a call n the deadline but with a little bit of finesse.:-)

kikiandkyle Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 8:07pm

AIf only she showed the same courtesy for your relationship...

Smckinney07 Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 8:21pm

AYou can be firm without being rude. Unfortunately it's easy for some people to get caught up in their own world, simply remind her you have a schedule too. I think long excuses sound unprofessional (personal opinion). Simply explain you need her deposit (or payment in full) by xxxx so you can confirm and prepare her order, be honest and direct and speak with her directly, as Jason stated, on the phone.

cakesbycathy Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 9:23pm

But here's the problem...you already gave her a deadline and she missed it.  By allowing her to pay you basically whenever she feels like it you are letting your customers run your business.  Not the other way around.

If you don't nip it in the bud now it's going to continue to happen.  You need to train your customers to respect your policies.

 

If it were me I would email or call and let her know that since the deadline has passed for getting you the deposit you will be unable to make the cake.  NO OTHER EXPLANATION needed.  She doesn't need to hear about your bills and you getting kitchen rental time or whatever.  It's not professional.  You tell her you are no longer able to make the cake and you hope next time she is able to get the deposit into you sooner.

Moniquea Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 11:04pm

You are all right and I'm sooo glad I have you to motivate me icon_biggrin.gif  mostly bc I am a major doormat.  I didn't think I was but found out recently I am - not to fear, I want to change.  So I am summoning the courage to call.

 

Just to clear something up 'she' set the deadline but to be fair I'm the schmuck who let her extend it.  *Gasp! - Holding breath* here I go...

Moniquea Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 11:16pm

OK, I left a message.  I stuttered over my nervous words a bit but said, "I'm going to be busy for the rest of the week so I need the money tonight or first thing in the morning so I can shop for your cake tomorrow."

 

I didn't exactly give her an ultimatum so I failed on that note but will put it in a text to her - OMG!  I'm so scared about how she will react to a text like that...

it is my only September order at the moment and do need the money and exposure, sigh.  If I was stronger, this wouldn't have happened - I make things too complicated.icon_redface.gif

Moniquea Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 11:36pm

I was just writing the text when the phone ran.  She will be here in 30 min!  Thank you all!  It's a big step for me that I will need to remember in the future.

 

Now I can get to work! Yeaa!  I love what I do icon_biggrin.gif *squeal*

jgifford Posted 1 Sep 2013 , 11:55pm

I used to be the biggest doormat ever, but I learned better.  If you want to continue in business, you need to get a backbone, pronto!  You can't allow any customer to do this to you.  Whether she's a "friend" or not, her first consideration is not going to be your business's success or failure.

 

You must be of the mindset that your business comes first and if you don't take care of it, you won't have one to take care of.  Put on your professional baker's hat and keep it on.  You don't have to explain your policies, just enforce them.  Courage has nothing to do with it - just tell it like it is:  "These are my policies, take it or leave it."  Of course, you'll put it a little more nicely, but basically this needs to be your attitude and the world won't come to an end if they walk out the door.  You can't allow customers to scare or intimidate you into setting aside the policies you have in place.  Just think how someone in another business would respond to you if you acted the same way.

BatterUpCake Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 12:13am

Any reasonable person will respect you for being firm. If they don't respect me I would rather not have them as a client. As a wedding planner she knows better. You did a good thing! Don't be wishy washy or you will get more of these types of customers that try to walk on you.

Moniquea Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 12:29am

AThanks, seems like I can be direct with everything but the money part so that's the good and the bad. Once I conquer this, then - THE WORLD!!! Bwah-ha-ha..

BatterUpCake Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 12:40am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moniquea 

Thanks, seems like I can be direct with everything but the money part so that's the good and the bad. Once I conquer this, then - THE WORLD!!! Bwah-ha-ha..

Yes Pinky...THE WORLD!!!

cheeseball Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 3:10am

howsweet Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 5:48am

You always have to stand up for yourself in this situation. Some people push on purpose and don't respect you if you don't push back.

 

I do have a good faith relationship with a handful of customers where I don't especially worry about deposits or deadlines. But these are customers who have given me so much business that even if I had collected payment, and they had to cancel at the last minute, I'd give them a refund. But these are situations of mutual respect and appreciation.

 

Some people just aren't happy unless they are exerting their power over you. Others are just extreme procrastinators. I recommend creating urgency in the sense that you only have so many spots and it's first come first served. It helps both types. You're just worried they aren't going to get their order in before someone gets their spot. You'd hate for that to happen.

Moniquea Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 4:07pm

I'd like to believe people don't push to 'test' you but its a cold reality.  I must be sure to remember this going forward especially at work - Thank you all!!!

kikiandkyle Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 4:32pm

AThere are people who just walk over others, and in this day and age where we avoid all confrontation it's easier to just let them. People get used to always being given a pass and then expect it from everyone.

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