Before meeting with your client, you need to be prepared to assist with the decision-making process of the wedding planner or the bride and groom to be. A potential customer may have a general idea of what flavors and designs are liked or disliked, but it is up to you help her decide on a specific cake, filling and decoration that fits the theme of the wedding. Ensure the success of your consultation by bringing everything to the table to make the meeting productive.
Being prepared is the name of the game when it comes to a wedding cake consultation. Prior to the meeting, have several different types of cake flavors and filling combinations ready for your client to taste. Make sure there are enough samples for the wedding planner, bride, groom or anyone else who is planning to attend.
Put together a portfolio. Gather the photographs of past work you have done on wedding cakes. Place them in a binder for easy viewing. Organize the binder with basic offerings to more elaborate, custom designs.
Make a list. Write a list of things your bakery can do to make the cake more special. Fresh flowers, gum paste creations or specialty memorabilia to add to a cake's decor can help seal the deal for a client.
Prepare refreshments and clear a meeting space. Once your client has made an appointment, make sure you have a quiet area to conduct your meeting, away from other customers and out of the kitchen. Make coffee or tea and have water available for the client to sip between tastings. Place a notepad with several pens on a table nearby for your client to make notes with.
Conducting the Meeting
Introduce yourself. When the client and entourage first walk in the door, don't assume they know who you are. Say your name, ask for theirs and show them where to sit. Offer them a beverage.
Give a brief history. Talk a bit about your bakery and how long you have been creating wedding cakes. A few minutes covering the basics of your establishment helps your guest get an idea of who you are and what you can do.
Ask about the date and time of the wedding. Make sure you have ample time and equipment to prepare and deliver the cake.
Take notes. Set out the tastings, and let the clients try everything. Make notes about what was enjoyed and what was not appealing.
Show them your portfolio. While you show them your portfolio, ask questions about the type of cake they are interested in. Discuss the differences between fondant, buttercream and ganache. If you have a specialty, tell them about it.
Discuss and advise. If the client wants something you know will not look or taste good, tactfully advise her about what you believe might work best within the parameters of the her wedding decor.
Talk about a backup plan. In the event that someone trips and falls into the cake or some other misfortune happens, find out what the client expects from you to fix it and what they plan to pay. A backup plan can save the wedding day and make your bakery look professional.
Quote a price. If the clients like what you offer and have a solid design in mind, talk about prices. Find out how large you need to make the cake and discuss the time and effort that it will take to customize their design. Give clients a sheet of general prices for various sizes of cakes, or quote them a hard number they can plan around before they walk out of the door.
- Super Weddings: What is a Wedding Consultant, and Do I Need One?: Linda Kevich
- "The Everything Wedding Book"; Katie Martin; 2010
- "Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia"; Buddy Valastro; 2010
- WPA Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images