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Bakers in business. Do you get upset when a potential customer undervalues the cost of your cakes? Does it make you want to fling frosting across the kitchen?
Hold up! Here are 10 antidotes for customers who challenge the cost of your cakes. They have everything to do with how you mentally approach the conversation.
1. Don’t Lose Hope
Fact #1: This potential customer wants to buy your product.
Fact #2: They would not have requested a cake quote of they didn’t.
Fact #3: Even as they question the cost, they are still interested in buying a cake, or else they would not still be talking to you.
Don’t lose hope. This is just a little hurdle that is part of the business of sales.
2. Respect Wins
Holding your customers in contempt for being naïve is bad business. Your annoyance will transmit. So if your gut reaction is contempt, you will receive contempt back in return. Conversely, if you put respect out there, you will receive respect back in return. Every once in awhile, you may get someone who’s just a jerk no matter what you say or do. In that case, move on.
3. Maintain Perspective
What are the chances someone buying a wedding or sculpted cake has ever bought a cake that big before? Go easy on the customer if they didn’t know how much it costs. They have the right to be surprised.
4. Business is NOT Personal
A customer who acts surprised about your cake prices is not making a negative statement about you or your work. Their response probably has everything to do with their own financial constraints.
5. Don’t Hate. Negotiate!
Be open to negotiation. Usually, if you look hard enough, there are plenty of ways to cut cost without squeezing your profit margin. You can suggest a smaller wedding cake paired with side cakes to reduce the labor time. You may offer free delivery in exchange for the customer waiving the cake tasting.
6. Don’t Wince. Convince!
Since the customer wants a cake, now you just need to convince them to pay your price. If you show weakness here, or worse, if you get angry, you will hurt your chances of clinching the sale.
When the customer questions the cost of a product, they are asking for you to justify it to them. Help them understand the value of your product: why it’s worth it. Explain how much better it will be than a supermarket cake.
7. Know the Answer
Do you know the real answer to the question, “Why does this cake cost that much?” I’m not talking generally but specifically. Do you know how to calculate your cost of goods? If your answer is yes, then this type of price question is easy to address.
If you don’t actually know the answer, deep down you’re probably a little more irritated with yourself because it’s not wise to do business without knowing your operating costs. If you want to learn how to cost and price your products, I have the solution for you here: 125 Building Blocks for Your Bakery Business
8. Be Clear
If you’re getting the same kinds of price questions over and over again, consider offering more information upfront. Create a document or add a page to your website that explains your pricing system. That way, henceforth, every time a customer asks, you can direct them to the page or send them a copy of the document to review. That will save you time and effort in answering the same frustrating questions over and over again.
9. Snarky Memes Don’t Sell
When a customer challenges you on price, the itch to gripe about it on social media is like poison ivy. Don’t scratch!
Snarky memes don’t sell.
Quality and confidence in your own product are what sells.
10. Maybe Next Time
Simply put, not everyone who wants a custom cake can actually afford a custom cake. But are they allowed to call and ask how much one is? Sure! Do you sometimes browse in stores without buying anything? Sure ya do! In most cases, every time you browse, you come a little closer to possibly one day buying that coveted item, whatever it is. The same goes for cakes. Maybe someday that customer who couldn’t afford it the first time around will come back with the money saved for one of your incredible cakes.
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