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10 reasons people aren’t booking or buying with you – and which ones you have control over

I’m tackling a big question for business owners: Why aren’t people booking or buying from you, and what can you do about it?

In 2023, many of us service-based businesses saw a drop in referrals, pushing us to rethink how we market ourselves. From my own ups and downs, I’ve put together a list of 10 reasons why people might not be booking with you, along with some simple fixes for each.

10 reasons people aren’t booking or buying

1. They don’t know your offer exists

People are really busy. They’re not paying attention to your offers as much as you’d like to think they are. Make sure you’re talking about all your offers, all the time, on all your platforms, and not just when they’re on sale.

For example, let’s say you’re a family photographer who struggles to book senior sessions and corporate headshots. People may not even know your other offers exist. Never assume that people just know what you do.

2. They don’t “get” your offer

Explain industry jargon and break down how your offers actually work.

For example, I used to have a lot of confusion about the difference between DIY to Deluxe: Branding Course and Create with Confidence, a content creation course. I had to go back to my messaging to make sure it was clear that DIY to Deluxe was the first step for a solid brand foundation, and then Create with Confidence came next.

3. They don’t see what makes your offers different

Oftentimes, I see people who have offers that have similar names. That can cause confusion about how one offer is different from another, whether it’s a course or done-for-you, etc.

If people continuously confuse your offers, or if they’re similar prices and one is having trouble booking, this might be an opportunity to eliminate or merge offers.

The bottom line: Make sure your messaging is crystal clear. You can even specifically put on the sales page how this offer is different from others.

4. They don’t get why they need it

Show them how your offer solves a real problem for them. Make sure you’re not just talking about the features of your offer, but you’re also talking about the benefits and long-term transformation of your offer.

This was a lesson I learned early on in business, and this is something the students in our Well-Oiled Website course learn how to do with their own offers!

5. They don’t see a trustworthy presence

In the online world, we’ve learned to distrust something that looks a bit off. Let’s say you shop on Amazon and you search for a product. When you go to checkout, you notice that the colors look a bit weird and the alignment is a little off. That’s going to send up immediate red flags for you. You’re probably going to exit out and not purchase that product.

That’s exactly what happens subconsciously with people’s websites whenever things are pieced together with website and Canva templates. Keep your branding and messaging consistent to build trust. Not sure if you’re using the right branding to convey your brand personality? Take my free quiz to find your perfect fonts and colors!

6. They don’t feel the urgency

If people see your service as always available and always the same price, they have no reason to book with you today. They could do it next month, or three months from now.

Create a sense of FOMO by showing them what they’ll miss out on if they don’t act now. Talk about what they’re missing out on by not having this right now and what it’s costing them in their business.

You occasionally can say the price is going up or you have limited spots available, but just make sure these aren’t the only ways you’re creating urgency.

7. They’re not sure you’re the right choice

People choose to work with you because of who you are. If they go to your website and you’re nowhere to be found, how will they know how great you are? If they don’t see your name or picture, how will they know you’re the right person to do the job for them?

Be present on your website with your picture, name, and your unique experiences. Share your expertise and what makes you the best pick.

8. They doubt it can be done

If it’s a DIY offer, you need to convey they will have the resources, support, and expertise to get this thing done. If it’s a done-for-you offer, they might not believe you can get it done in the amount of time you say it will get done.

Use testimonials and stories to prove you can deliver, but be strategic. Ask specific questions to past clients so your testimonials speak directly to your client’s concerns of delivering on-time and quality work.

9. The timing isn’t right

Things like maternity leave and big projects in business are common reasons that timing can keep a person from buying or booking from you.

Sometimes you can’t control this, but if this is a recurrent reason people are saying they aren’t buying from you, adjust your format accordingly. Maybe you can have an on-demand version, or maybe you can plan ahead to align with major holidays or school breaks for people who have kids.

10. Money’s tight

Offer payment plans and highlight the value they’ll get from working with you. Do market research to make sure you’re offering something people actually want and will pay for. I have an entire lesson in my course, Well-Oiled Offer Suite, about how to conduct market research.

In a nutshell, you’ve got a lot of control over these reasons people aren’t buying through smart messaging and branding. Focus on showing the value of your offers, addressing their concerns, and building trust. This way, you’ll increase your chances of turning leads into clients and growing your business.

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