“I wish I had a full cake order book. I hate waiting for the next order to come along.”
An empty Cake Order Book. This is one of the most common challenges I hear from our Cake Decorating community.
Today I want to tell you about a scenario that happened with a man I was coaching. He was struggling to fill his order book and when he did some work – he hated asking for the money that was due to him.
This man was actually a handy man. (You see in the course of my Business Coaching career – I have coached people other than cake decorators.) But the principals are the same.
This handy man (let’s call him Jim) got so nervous. We unpicked his current actions together and we realised that he had no process.
Jim had no system in his business. He had no paper to give to the potential customer having visited or to put in the post to confirm a quote. He took ages to email after the visit, by which time the customer had lost interest.
He could have mustered the courage to make a phone call after the visit to site – it could have helped.
But he didn’t… and hence the nearly empty order book.
We worked on his confidence together. And then discussed ways for him to professionally write down his quote and present it. Now it was incredibly easy for the customer to see an overview of the price. They knew exactly what they were ordering and how much deposit would be due and when.
It was strange what a difference a professionally written piece of paper made to Jim. Before he was telling people the price verbally.
And this new written paperwork made it easy for Jim to collect the deposit and the balance.
His customer was aware of the final price and because he was using a book with a duplicate copy – he had a record of the quote price as well as the intended start date. Customers happily paid the deposit. Jim looked professional and I encouraged him to raise his prices and quote properly. He was surprised to find he was booked ten weeks in advance.
So my question to you today is ‘Are you nervous of asking for money?’
Have you got a professional system in place so customers know the deal, the price and the delivery date?
Or do you leave this as a verbal quote (or even just an email)? (Which then gets lost in the host of other emails in your ‘Sent’ outbox).
I know a lot of cake decorators who become disgruntled having emailed a quote out. ‘I never heard back’, they grumble.
‘Have you tried picking up the phone?’ is always my question.
I asked a group of people out of interest, if they were booking a cake for a celebration, would they
a. like a quote via email
b. have a telephone conversation with a human being, followed up by paperwork to confirm the price.
And guess what – the answer was B. People like the human connection.
Perhaps your competitors do pick up the phone. Possibly they follow it up with a professional order form and maybe that is why they win the order.
Just something to think about.
Check out our E Order Form – an Order Form Template for any busy cake decorating business designed for taking orders and presenting quotes. Designed to be reused over and over again. Buy once – no ongoing charges.
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