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Have you seen this little gem from The Knot today? - Page 2

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Be indifferent
You need the vendor to believe that if he or she won't meet your offer you will walk away. Consider collaborating with your fiance to employ the old good-cop-bad-cop routine


That part.


I'm still not seeing what the big deal is. If a customer threatens to walk away if I don't lower the price (without reducing size or complexity) they are certainly free to do so.

Business owners can turn this around and use this advice to their own advantage by being "indifferent" as to whether or not they get a customer's order, e.g. not undervaluing their products and services just to get an order on the books. In my view this is nothing more than capitalism at work, if a business owner keeps cutting prices in response to customer pressure they will eventually fail due to financial losses and/or burnout.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMeSomeCake615

Yeah, I think my favorite part was when they tell the bride to "practice at a flea market" for negotiating with her wedding vendors. Really?!? icon_rolleyes.gif


Yes, really. Learning how to effectively negotiate is a very useful skill as both a consumer and a business owner.



Well, I don't know about you all, but I don't negotiate my prices. Ever. They are what they are for a reason. I'm not a flea market vendor or a car dealership. I don't have "wiggle room". I do, however, have overhead. Lots and lots of overhead. icon_wink.gif

I will absolutely do my best to work within the bride's budget, but that doesn't mean changing my prices, it means coming up with a design that fits in their budget. If their budget doesn't allow for even my most basic design, then we both need to walk away, and they need to find someone else.

My whole problem with The Knot and every article I have read of theirs that has to do with wedding vendors is that they always have an overall tone of "wedding vendors are out to bleed you dry, don't trust them, and you have to play mind games to get a decent deal out of them."

And yet wedding vendors are the ones who pay advertising to help support The Knot. Nice.
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post #18 of 28
Yeah, the reactions in the comments are very emotional. icon_biggrin.gif I thnk I'm just a little shocked that people would do that. I just haven't ever encountered people who tried that with me, and I'm not sure I'd handle it well. icon_biggrin.gif
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMeSomeCake615

I will absolutely do my best to work within the bride's budget, but that doesn't mean changing my prices, it means coming up with a design that fits in their budget. If their budget doesn't allow for even my most basic design, then we both need to walk away, and they need to find someone else.


What you just described are examples of negotiation. Negotiating does not mean one party will lower their prices for no reason (unless said party is a poor negotiator), there is always a give and take involved. And if it is clear that one side can't get what they want, then as both you and the article said they need to be willing to walk away.

Quote:
Quote:

My whole problem with The Knot and every article I have read of theirs that has to do with wedding vendors is that they always have an overall tone of "wedding vendors are out to bleed you dry, don't trust them, and you have to play mind games to get a decent deal out of them."


I disagree with your characterization of basic negotiating tactics as "mind games", but I see what you're getting at. The Knot is in the business of delivering as many eyeballs as possible to wedding vendors, and one of the best ways to do that is suggestions on how brides can cut their costs. This is not a conflict of interest at all for vendors who advertise...if you can't handle knowledgeable customers and don't want to negotiate (in terms of realistically meeting a customer's needs within their budget) then you probably shouldn't be running a business.
post #20 of 28
While I am a huge supporter of capitalism (Go Walmart!), I am not sure I agree with this being a beneficial article for my brides.
I guess the emotional knee-jerk reactions come from this business being an artform, not just a manufactured product. (yes, I'm sure you can argue semantics here).
When someone sees their business as being a personal expression of their art and vision, it is difficult to read an article about how to undercut that product. We are going to take it more personally because it is as if The Knot (or whomever) is saying "they aren't worth as much as they are telling you."

Most wouldn't be offended at an article on how to negotiate at a flea market or a car dealership. But when I am approached by a wedding couple who basically insults me by pulling a good-cop/bad-cop routine where it relates to my artistic product, I'm not going to accept their work, and that is my choice.
If there is another vendor who is willing to negotiate with them, then they are welcome to it. Capitalism at its best!
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post #21 of 28
Couldn't have said it better myself.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Jason, as usual you are splitting hairs about what "negotiation" means, but in this context, to me it means that they are encouraging brides to try to get vendors to go lower than their already established prices, something I will not do. I have already said that I will realistically meet a customer's needs within their budget, but what I will not do is let someone talk me into undervaluing myself.

Is "playing good cop/bad cop with your fiance" not a mind game?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmat


When someone sees their business as being a personal expression of their art and vision, it is difficult to read an article about how to undercut that product. We are going to take it more personally because it is as if The Knot (or whomever) is saying "they aren't worth as much as they are telling you."



Yes, This. Exactly. Thank you Jenmat!
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post #23 of 28
ditto ^. I do not negotiate. If you can't afford my prices, fine, no problemo. But I am not a flea market, used car salesperson, etc. I do not negotiate with, my hairdresser, or the local department store.

There's a time and place for everything.
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post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMeSomeCake615

Jason, as usual you are splitting hairs about what "negotiation" means, but in this context, to me it means that they are encouraging brides to try to get vendors to go lower than their already established prices, something I will not do. I have already said that I will realistically meet a customer's needs within their budget, but what I will not do is let someone talk me into undervaluing myself.


Then you should have nothing to worry about when customers try to get you to undervalue yourself. Customers will try to do this, it is a part of being in business.

Quote:
Quote:

Is "playing good cop/bad cop with your fiance" not a mind game?


To me it is just a negotiating tactic (and an amusing one at that), but you are free to define it as a "mind game" if you wish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmat


When someone sees their business as being a personal expression of their art and vision, it is difficult to read an article about how to undercut that product. We are going to take it more personally because it is as if The Knot (or whomever) is saying "they aren't worth as much as they are telling you."


I see where you're coming from, but at the same time you really can't take things like this personally if you are running a business, it's just not worth the aggravation. The Knot is not saying "they aren't worth as much as they are telling you" (at least not in this article), they are saying that you probably won't get significant discounts but it can't hurt to ask for a few extras, and here are some ways to do that.

I used to deal with customers negotiating all the time (partially due to the demographics of the market I was in), and it's really not difficult to deal with. In fact I utilized many of the points in this article: knowing your market, sticking to your limit (lower limit in this case), being friendly but firm, indifference toward whether or not you land the order, and practicing negotiating in other arenas.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmat


When someone sees their business as being a personal expression of their art and vision, it is difficult to read an article about how to undercut that product. We are going to take it more personally because it is as if The Knot (or whomever) is saying "they aren't worth as much as they are telling you."


Quote:
Quote:

I see where you're coming from, but at the same time you really can't take things like this personally if you are running a business, it's just not worth the aggravation. The Knot is not saying "they aren't worth as much as they are telling you" (at least not in this article), they are saying that you probably won't get significant discounts but it can't hurt to ask for a few extras, and here are some ways to do that.



I definitely agree that taking it personal just exacerbates the situation, but I was referring to why the reaction in the forum. Maintaining professionalism throughout the entire process is paramount to running a business, negotiation or not, but on the forum we are free to express our exasperation.
I do think the tone was a little disingenuous for most of us. I for one can say that I run a lean business so that I can stay competitive in my market. That may not be true for every business in every location, and for some types of wedding vendors there may be some wiggle room (I remember Debi throwing in chips once in a while in her catering business). But on a cake forum, talking about our point of view, there is not often a lot of room for negotiation. I realize that this article was not directed at cake vendors, but it did not make exceptions either.
I am simply saying that a customer's initial approach to a vendor is the first step in that relationship. The article, while not encouraging rudeness, could imply certain stereotypes about wedding vendors that would damage that relationship before it even got started. If it were the first of its kind, then it would probably be overlooked, but I think we are all just tired of hearing the same line in a different way.
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post #26 of 28
As much as it makes sense to say "don't take business personal," it's hard not to be emotionally attached to an entity in which I have invested a large amount of physical, mental, emotional, and financial resources. So much of an entrepreneur goes into the business that "don't take it personal" just doesn't click. For an employee? Maybe. But for the business owner? It's personal. I'm not looking to build a soul-less organization that's only about the bottom line. I care, and I want my clients to care too-- or at least try to.

That said, I can see how the article can be good or bad depending on how we view it. As long as vendors know that some clients will come with this attitude, and prepare accordingly to deal with the issues and manipulations, there should be no problem.
post #27 of 28
.........Be indifferent
You need the vendor to believe that if he or she won't meet your offer you will walk away. Consider collaborating with your fiance to employ the old good-cop-bad-cop routine.......

THIS is the one that got me! I've had a few pull this act icon_sad.gif
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

.........Be indifferent
You need the vendor to believe that if he or she won't meet your offer you will walk away. Consider collaborating with your fiance to employ the old good-cop-bad-cop routine.......

THIS is the one that got me! I've had a few pull this act icon_sad.gif



But who cares? If they walk away someone else will come along right after them and take their date.
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