The first 3 years of my cake business I had people in my home doing consults & tastings (one party at a time) People tasted, planned their cake & picked my brain for 2 hours a lot of the time. Then near the end when I asked if they would like to book, I'd hear, we have 2 or 3 more tastings to do before we decide, or some other reason. This happened about half of the time. Even though I knew that was always a possibility, as the years wore on it got harder to conceal my disappointment, frustration & all those other emotions. It was especially bad during wedding season, when I have my full time job, doing 2 or 3 wedding cakes per weekend AND entertaining all these possibly future clients...or not!
This year, I thought I'd try a different approach. When people call or email wanting to get together to talk & taste I give them these options. You can set up a day/time to come by and pick up 2 tasting plates to take home. Then if you want we can set up a consultation & booking appointment where we will plan your cake & you will sign a contract. OR, if you are already SURE you want to book (convinced by my web site reviews & pictures, had my cake at a reception, tasted at a bridal show or referred by someone who has had my cake) we can set up a tasting, consultation, booking appointment.
It is working out GREAT! Probably close to half are choosing to do the booking, tasting appointment. So far, almost all that pick up plates end up booking. It is SO nice knowing that when people come they WILL be booking, and I'm not wasting my time anymore. I can relax & enjoy the whole booking appointment.