Originally Posted by antonia74
I'll share mine here if you'd like...
-I book off one Sunday (or two if I'm not booked for weddings!) per month to hold the consultations throughout the day
-I make a timetable from 10am to 7pm and fill it in with appointments each hour
-one week before the appointment dates, I email the client to re-confirm their scheduled time/give them driving directions and tell them what to bring to the appointment (i.e. fabric swatches, invites, photos from magazines, photos off my website they liked)
-the night before/morning of the consultations, I bake all my samples fresh and ice them only that day. I want the client to taste exactly how fresh their wedding cake will be, so I NEVER freeze samples!
-I greet each couple personally and sit across from them in my studio
-I introduce myself and tell them a bit about my experience, my style and how long I've been doing this (always a question because I look about 25, but I'm 32!)
-I then ask them to tell me about their wedding/theme/feel of the day/colours/flowers/guest count and I write EVERTHING down
-I ask if they want their cake to feed everyone a main dessert slice, or is it to be on a buffet table later in the evening after the meal? (great for guessing sizes/numbers they'll need)
-they show me the materials they have brought and for each item I ask what it is that they like/dislike about it (this is the BEST question, you learn so much quickly!)
-I then show examples from my portfolio of cakes that seem similar to what they are asking for and see what sketch we can come up with on the spot. I personalize their cake to exactly what colours/design/feel they are going for.
-when that is roughly decided, I bring out the freshly-baked cupcake samples with big swirls of matching buttercream on top (which are the 5 main cake flavours that I offer) though I tell them everything is personalized, so if they can think it up...I can probably make it! I do leave the room at this point so they can honestly and privately say which ones they like/don't like to each other.
(I go to my kitchen where I pack a little box of samples and wait for 5 minutes for them to eat privately.)
-after about 5 minutes, I return and they have usually chosen a flavour or flavours.
-I give them a little box of extra cupcake samples to take home to let other friends/family try it out. THEY OOOOH AND AHHHH at this every time! It costs about $2 to give them 5 extra samples packaged in a gorgeous little box, tied with a ribbon with my business card on top...and it really makes the sale!
-I always walk them to my door and shake their hands again, letting them know it was nice to have finally met them face to face and that I will email them their information package within the next 2 weeks (IF YOU SAY 2 WEEKS...THEN MAKE SURE YOU ONLY TAKE 2 WEEKS!!! THIS IS YOUR FIRST PROMISE AND YOU ARE JUDGED ON WHETHER OR NOT YOU MEET YOUR DEADLINE!!!!)
-within 10 days/2 weeks, I type up their cake quote with a great colour sketch and email it to them. They either send their deposit cheque to confirm their booking, or pass. I'd say my ratio of booking to not booking is about 12:1 and I credit it to the little things like private consultations, fresh big samples, beautiful boxes of yummy cupcakes to take home and a fun sketch of their potential wedding cake.