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Letter to send to potential customers

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We have all been through it.  A potential customer sends us a photo of a cake they want, we take the time to price it, send them the estimate and they return saying "I can't pay that much."  I want to create an introduction letter to send to anyone who inquires about a cake to somewhat educate them on the time, money, materials, ingredients, etc that goes into making their custom cake.  Sort of a custom cake vs. store bought comparison.  I want them to know before I take the time to price their cake that it will cost more than what they can purchase at Kroger, Meijer, Wal-Mart, etc.

 

My problem is that right now I am quite bitter, and I don't know how to go about writing such a letter in a tactful manner.  Does anyone use something similar with their customers, or, can you all help me brainstorm important points that I might outline in the letter? 

post #2 of 7
I hate to be the downer. I have toyed with this idea a million times.

The trouble is most people won't read it. Most of the ones who do read it either won't get it thinking it doesn't apply to them or will be offended for some stupid reason.

I have a small blurb that states "the price of cakes depends on the size, flavor & filling, and skill required to achieve the design." While that is a primer of sorts, it doesn't spell it out.

I feel your frustration! I want to educate the masses. I just don't know a good & effective way. I know first hand they don't read most of the stuff we send them.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

You're probably right.  I'm thinking I might present it more as a form to fill out.  Ask them their theme, number of servings, their budget, etc.  Then I'll weave all of the "educating" information weaved into it.  I may test it out and just see what happens, won't hurt.  May be a flop.  

 

Luckily I asked the mom who wanted a 3D Lightning McQueen cake to serve 20 what her budget was before I bothered pricing it out.  Sorry mom, I can't do that for less than $30.

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts View Post

The trouble is most people won't read it. Most of the ones who do read it either won't get it thinking it doesn't apply to them or will be offended for some stupid reason.
Agreed, anything longer than a few sentences or 4-5 bullet points will usually be barely skimmed or skipped entirely.

The best way to deal with this is by targeting customers who don't need to be educated that quality products are worth the extra cost. Researching demographics in your area will help you narrow down where you should be advertising.

It would also help to include examples on your web site of different cakes you've done and how they were priced.
post #5 of 7

I would say just be prepared to turn down orders. It's custom work.  We shouldn't have to explain much more.  I find people are a bit shocked at my prices, but they're reasonable!  Don't be bitter.  We all do the price comparison thing in life, from buying cars to clothes to remodeling projects in the home.  People are looking for "bids," and cakes come in high.  Oh well.  Like Jason said, target your demographic.  

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heatherly30 View Post

We have all been through it.  A potential customer sends us a photo of a cake they want, we take the time to price it, send them the estimate and they return saying "I can't pay that much."  I want to create an introduction letter to send to anyone who inquires about a cake to somewhat educate them on the time, money, materials, ingredients, etc that goes into making their custom cake.  Sort of a custom cake vs. store bought comparison.  I want them to know before I take the time to price their cake that it will cost more than what they can purchase at Kroger, Meijer, Wal-Mart, etc.

 

My problem is that right now I am quite bitter, and I don't know how to go about writing such a letter in a tactful manner.  Does anyone use something similar with their customers, or, can you all help me brainstorm important points that I might outline in the letter? 

Look at custom cake websites.  There are many examples of professional and diplomatic language for you to learn from.

 

And how much time does it take to price a cake?  You spend 5 minutes asking date, number of servings, name-address-phone, THEIR BUDGET, and then you give them a base price (per serving and total) that you know from previous orders.

 

There is no need for you to spend your precious time on people until they are sitting there with the deposit.  Right?  So don't feel bitter. 

 

Get smart.  Get a commercial cake ingredients sticker from any one of your named stores, and show that alongside your own recipes.  No need to make a fuss.

post #7 of 7

I wouldn't even bother to explain. It would come off as defensive no matter how you put it. Not everyone can afford custom cakes, just like not everyone can afford custom furniture or a custom car. I do understand about feeling bitter, though, everyone will hit that point sometime!

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