How Do You Politely Tell Someone They Can't Afford You?

Business By Dreme Updated 3 Mar 2010 , 7:20am by CeeTee

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JuneHawk Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 12:17am
post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreme

Or that what they want is not the level of work you do? I dont want to be uppity but somethings are not what I want representing myself or my business. Whats a polite way of turning down these situations? Is there a way to minimize those who aren't your target audience and increase ones that are? TIA




My first instinct is that you cannot, and should not, tell anyone they can't afford you. if someone comes to you for a cake (or anything else), simply tell them what your prices are. Let THEM decide whether they can afford you. It is rude and pretentious to make such assumptions. It is up to the consumer to decide what they can and cannot afford, not up to you.

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costumeczar Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 12:49am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuneHawk

My first instinct is that you cannot, and should not, tell anyone they can't afford you. if someone comes to you for a cake (or anything else), simply tell them what your prices are. Let THEM decide whether they can afford you. It is rude and pretentious to make such assumptions. It is up to the consumer to decide what they can and cannot afford, not up to you.




I don't think anyone would say "You can't afford me" so bluntly, but I do tell people that I can't do things for whatever it is they're trying to get it for if it's too low. Not rude or pretentious, just a factual statement. If you told someone they can't afford you before you asked about their budget that would be rude, but I don't think that's what we're talking about exactly.

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CAKELADYFL Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 1:26am
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In my experience: I give my customers as many options as I am able to, taken that we only work in fondant. Most times they ask me if buttercream or whip cream are less expensive. The truth is that they are but we unfortunately do not work with those. I always give them the option of cupcakes (which we do tons of). But we always let the customer decide.

We do have our pricing posted in our website which helps a lot.

If they ask for a referral or an icing we do not work with, we give them numbers and ask them to consider us for future opportunities.

We have had celebrities in our shop as well as customers who really cannot afford some of our cakes. We treat each one of our customers the same, and there is nothing wrong in granting discounts or giving freebies. The truth is we do it quite often. GOOD KARMA always comes back is our philosophy!

If as a baker you are able to give back to your community, that is great! as it is because of our community that we are all in business.

PS- I have to admit that there are some cakes that I cannot afford for myself nor my kids and that I am just lucky to be a baker, but if I wasn't one I would be in the same position as many of my customers. That is why we try to help as much as we are able to, leaving the decision to our customers. Happy Baking Everyone!

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catlharper Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 1:49am
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I can totally understand where you are coming from in the cakes you wish to do. I consider myself more of a "Cake Artist" than a baker. My real talent is in how the cake looks. Do they taste good, yes, but the real beauty is in how they look....so a regular 8 inch two layer round with shells and a buttercream rose on the edge is not the type of cake I "want" to do.

However I have been on the side of the coin where just because we don't wear $300 jeans a shop assistant paid no attention that we had money to spend in their shop. We were very offended. Then one day while on vacation in NYC we walked into Tiffanys. It was an eye opener. Here is one of the most impressive jewelry stores in the world and they greeted us and treated us like we were millionaires!

It was sheer pleasure doing business with them. Now did we spend much..nope, about $200...but I would go back - in a second. Have I recommended them highly and praise them - whenever I can. That's publicity you can't buy.

So treat everyone like they can afford you, price your cakes at whatever level you'd like and feel free to tell the client that you don't do a certain type of cake (I don't do nudes or body parts or baby cakes or belly cakes for instance). I state my price for a project or beginning prices and let them decide if they can afford my work or not....but, as I learned from Tiffanys, I treat each and every one of them like they are millionaires and can afford whatever they like.

Cat

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LaBellaFlor Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 5:50pm
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Good point. True story. Back when Louis Vuitton first opened here this 13 year old girl came in the store and asked to see purses. The manager was very friendly to the little girl, showed her like 30 things. The little girl left, came back with her mom and her mom bought every last thing the girl had looked at.

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adree313 Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 4:04am
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Good point. True story. Back when Louis Vuitton first opened here this 13 year old girl came in the store and asked to see purses. The manager was very friendly to the little girl, showed her like 30 things. The little girl left, came back with her mom and her mom bought every last thing the girl had looked at.





icon_eek.gif I wish they'd adopt me!

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tracycakes Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 7:43pm
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I prefer doing the fun and funky cakes but I'm building a business - I take every cake order I get right now. I look at the simple buttercream round and sheet cakes as potential orders for the futures. Even when I do a sheet cake, I try to make it special.

Short story - Every Saturday, hubby and I go to a local place for breakfast and have gotten to know many of workers there. The happened to ask me "there's no way I could get a little round cake today for my mom, could I?" It was around 10:00 and I only had 1 cake to finish decorating. I said sure, to come by around 5:00. I fell back to the buttercream roses and quilt imprint on the side with swiss dots in the intersection, ruffle and shell border on the bottom. I don't remember the last time I made buttercream roses and put them directly on the cake - 15 years ago maybe? Anyway, it was an easy cake to do, money in my pocket and I know they had a good cake. This lady lets me keep brochures at her restaurant and if people ask, she can tell them she's ordered from me herself.

What I have chosen is that I will make most any cake, sheet or buttercream roses but I don't advertise it. I advertise the fun, different cakes that are more of what I want to do. If there is a cake design I want to try, I'll make a dummy cake and photograph it for my portfolio.

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CeeTee Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 7:20am
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It doesn't sound like you want to turn down cheap cakes, but you want to turn down simple ones. "Simple" and "Cheap" are -Not- the same thing. There are lots of folks who have over-the-top budgets who do not like over-the-top cakes.

If you want the challenge, I'd say stick with decorating dummies and rotate them in your display to show off your creative side, and suck up doing the simple cakes if that's what's the clientele want. The thing about cake decorating as a business is that once you commit to making it your job, you don't get to do what you want creatively anymore. You do what the customer wants and hope for the occasional customer who will let you have carte blanche design. Unless you have the luxury of making enough money off your cakes that you can pick and choose clients, you gotta deal with the mundane designs.

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