Skip navigation
Special Events Blog

Why You Might Be Missing Out on Customers (and How to Solve It)

The next time you hear “no thanks,” take some time to reflect and treat it like a learning opportunity.

Rejection is inevitable in business, but that knowledge doesn’t make it easier to swallow. While every entrepreneur has seen prospective clients book with a competitor, the seasoned pros know it’s a sign to turn inward. Auditing your outreach and intake strategies can reveal gaps in your sales funnel that are easier to address than you think.

But first, you must evaluate the “why” behind a downturn in sales. People buy for any number of reasons, so you need to ensure your business measures up across the board. If your numbers fall short of expectations, consider what’s missing in your approach.

To start, here are several reasons your leads are looking elsewhere.

Your brand doesn’t stand out.

If potential customers can’t tell the difference between you and your competitors, they’ll resort to comparing pricing. When this happens, your company becomes nothing more than a commodity. It stops being about your background, client experience, portfolio, and everything else that adds value to your brand. Instead, prospects will just see a price tag.

Solution: Set your business apart from others by highlighting your unique selling propositions (USPs) in your marketing. Craft messaging around the benefits of working with you rather than simply stating the features of your offerings.

You didn’t respond in time (or at all).

Consider that 82 percent of consumers expect to hear back from a company within ten minutes of their inquiry. Are you measuring up to industry standards? If not, you might be losing business to competitors who are quicker to respond. And if you aren’t responding at all, you probably know why there’s a leak in your sales funnel.

Solution: The easy fix is to respond sooner! However, that’s not to say you must be glued to your inbox during business hours. Most customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing platforms offer auto-responders to “touch” each lead as it comes in.

You forgot to follow up.

Auto-responders can increase your close rate, but they do not replace human connection. In an industry built on relationships, you must establish a personal relationship through communication. So, while you can let technology handle the initial touchpoint, don’t underestimate the power of a personalized follow-up email.

Solution: Schedule a block of time daily to review leads and send personal emails to each one. Templates can speed up this process, but make sure to customize it to their inquiry! Then, set a reminder to follow up if you haven’t heard back within a week.

Your prospects don’t understand the process.

Getting a response from a prospect is half the battle. Once you do, the challenge becomes keeping them engaged in your sales pipeline. After the initial contact, confusion is one of the most common reasons for a lost sale. Do your marketing and subsequent communications clarify what happens after the ink has dried? If not, potential buyers may feel wary about booking without a clear vision of what lies ahead.

Solution: Don’t leave anything to guesswork. Be transparent about your process in your messaging so leads enter your pipeline with confidence. Then, in consultations, clearly explain each stage of the timeline and how it applies to their event’s specific details.

You’re targeting the wrong people.

If you’ve checked the boxes above but still don’t see your close rate improve, you may be marketing to the wrong crowd. You could have grade-A messaging and a gorgeous portfolio, but you won't see much return if you’re talking about corporate events to engaged couples. Likewise, if you’re targeting the luxury market and posting about DIY ideas, you’ll attract budget-conscious folks instead.

Solution: Revisit your ideal client avatar (ICA) and consider whether it aligns with your existing brand strategy. If it does, you may need to conduct market research to adjust your messaging accordingly. If it doesn’t, it’s time to freshen up your marketing approach to match your ICA.

It’s natural to feel disappointment when a prospect doesn’t book, but every lost sale is a chance to analyze and optimize your process. So the next time you hear “no thanks,” take some time to reflect and treat it like a learning opportunity.

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Kevin is the founder of the Tri-Valley Wedding Professionals and the Incoming President of the NACE Foundation. He is also the host of two podcasts, Now That I’m Engaged, How Do I Get Married? and Mind Your Wedding Business.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.