Some gift basket buyers are your true customers, while others are not. Here’s why you cannot please everyone and make money, too.

What she said

“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 do what I did

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 also sure she 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, and delivered it to the receiver. Then, I 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 percentage you can handle

The book, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, includes 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, less fatigue, and less dissatisfaction.

You need money to start making and selling gift baskets, which you’ll read all about in this article. It’s the same money you want to grow, not lose through mishandling or unreasonable requests.

It’s okay not to please everyone. The owners of wildly-profitable businesses know this. Now that you know, go and focus on the three percent who value your expertise.