I'm sure you know the type, the contact you, they have all these grand ideas and you spend so much time researching design inspiration, emailing back and forth etc. etc. When you send the quote, they agree and decide on a time to pay their deposit but then something always "just comes up" and they cancel on you.
I have one such customer and she is driving me to drink. I made her daughter's 1st birthday cake when I was just starting out and, while she was a bit of a pain in the ass to deal with, she did pay and pick up her order and even sent me another email afterward to say just how much they loved the cake. In the 3 years since then, I have been contacted by her for not 3, not 4, but 5 different cake orders, none of which she has gone through with.
The latest one was a wedding cake for this August. I spent HOURS emailing back and forth with her, suggesting things, offering design ideas, answering questions, etc. etc. etc. and now she's backed out on me yet again. In a matter of 2 minutes, she sent one email to say that she "is going another way" for her wedding cake, and sent another email to ask me to make her daughter's 4th birthday cake! I'm done with her SO FREAKING DONE.
What do you do with "customers" like these? Put me on a first class train to cake-making-hell, but I told her I was booked for the date she inquired about and put the kybosh on it right away. I don't want to spend another second on her. Should I have done that? I was polite, but it was completely a lie.
What do you do with the tire-kickers who never actually book?