Originally Posted by costumeczar
I turn down business all. The. Time. If they have the words "princess" or "diva" anywhere in their email address, that's a red flag. If they sound strange on the phone, that's another red flag. If they come to a tasting and give me the fish eye the whole time while interrogating me about my qualifications, that's another one. There are plenty of ways to tell if someone is going to give you a hard time. You have to trust your inner psycho radar, and if it goes off, you should just say no to that client.
I have a blog post going up soon about booking bakers for your wedding, because I recently had a couple of people come to tastings and give me the "We'll be making our final decision soon" speech at the end of the appointment even though I warned them that their date was almost totally booked. They kept emailing me for the next week with additional questions, but guess what? The week after their appointments someone emailed and said that they wanted to hire me without doing the tasting, and where could they send the deposit? Guess who got the date? She also said "I can't believe those people waited, they're stupid."
They also both wrote me back saying that they had decided to hire me, and I had to tell them that their date was taken because they had waited too long
The attitude of "I have all the time in the world, these people are here to serve me" doesn't fly with me.
I have 6 more tastings (unbooked brides) for the year. I'm not booking any more unbooked tastings, not booking any more weddings. For the entire year. I don't deal with people who act like "they'll let me know" either. Now, I'm not nearly as big, talented, business savvy or lauded as Costumeczar, but I have a little niche in my area and it works for me.
How do I interview? Begins with the email. No, you can't tell everything from the email, but you can tell some things. Asking for 6 price quotes before even asking if I have their date available: seriously shopping, seriously on a budget, and seriously overestimating my need for their business.
In person some other red flags: badmouthing other vendors or bakers
(they WILL find something to complain about with you too!). They have no questions and sit there in silence
(they already have their baker and they just feel they must have another quote or they aren't "doing it right".) They take phone calls or texts
(they aren't taking it seriously). They have a budget but then continually ask for things outside the budget.
(they have visions of grandeur and need to get their ideas in line with their budget.) Show up late/way early
(lack of respect for deadlines and appts- this usually means there will be late payments in the future....)
There are so many red flags, and some of them don't really mean an end to the business relationship, but they do mean that I as a business owner need to take responsibility for the result if I DO accept their business. If I know in advance that a couple will be trouble, and I take their business anyway, and then it ends badly, whose fault is it? It is mine all the way!
Motta- it isn't necessarily about being popular. I am not
considered "popular." But as your business grows, you realize that hand holding and babysitting aren't as possible as when you first began and you just have to understand you can't do every cake that comes your way. Why not choose those that really will help grow your business versus those that you can recognize have more risk attached to them?