“I want a basket with a pound each of pistachios, walnuts, cashews, and almonds, and I also want some fruit, cookies, and chocolates in there, and I want it to cost $30.”

Can you fulfill this gift basket order and earn a profit?

The answer is no. In no way will $30 cover the cost for this large design.

Why would you agree to such a sale? Here are the unfortunate reasons. You:

  • want an order, any order
  • don’t know how to negotiate
  • don’t know how to say no
  • are afraid to offend
  • are intimated

Don’t duplicate my experience

I know these reasons all too well, because the above is an example of an order I received by phone. The woman on the other end was aggressive. She knew what she wanted and I’m sure also knew she wouldn’t get all of that from a retail store.

Where she found my phone number is a mystery because I didn’t ask her. I simply let her rattle on, took the order, made the gift basket, delivered it to the receiver, and then waited 30 days for a check to arrive by mail as payment.

Thank goodness those days are over for me, but what about you? How would you handle such an order?

  • Be aggressive right back in tone and temperament
  • Get sassy and ask her if she’s out of her mind
  • Decline graciously and recommend a competitor
  • Inform her of the true price and try getting the sale
  • Put her on hold, take a breath, take her off hold and say…

A statistic you can attain

Books - Gift Basket Business

My book, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, provides a statistic that puts this situation in perspective.

It states that if you’re able to get three percent of 100 orders, and those orders are calculated with a formula that makes you money, you’re a successful designer and brilliant negotiator.

Three percent of 100 is 97 orders. That’s a great statistic, don’t you think?

Understand that you will not be able to satisfy everyone, and you’re not alone. How many stores have you exited without buying anything? My percentage is high in that category. I go into lots of stores and come out with nothing more than my purse.

  • Every person who calls won’t buy
  • Each negotiation won’t get the account
  • People who promise to order will fail to order

That’s life with gift baskets and any other endeavor you choose, and that’s fine because you don’t want the person who called me to call you. See the experience not as a lost sale but as less stress, fatigue, and dissatisfaction.

It’s okay not to please everyone. The owners of wildly-profitable businesses know this, and now that you know, go and focus on the 97 percent of people who make you money.

Shirley George Frazier
In the gift basket world, all roads lead to Shirley George Frazier, the industry's reigning expert and international authority. Shirley is chief basketologist at Sweet Survival LLC and author of the industry's best-selling books, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, The Gift Basket Design Book, and Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business. Shirley works with retailers of all size and home-based entrepreneurs to successfully sell gift baskets to their chosen clients. Shirley is also a frequent speaker at events and instructor of the popular online course, Start Your Own Gift Basket Business. Contact Shirley to speak at your event or call 800-640-8521 to schedule a consultation.

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