Here are five possible reasons why you didn't get the cake order, and you have no control over any of them.
1. They just didn't like you. Yep, it can happen. Sometimes you just don't gel with the customer. It goes both ways, too. I had a few people come for appointments that I didn't like, and I didn't want to work with them.
I once read something about dating and pineapples. The author wrote that she didn't like pineapple, but she knew that there were plenty of people who thought pineapple was delicious. So when she ran into a guy who wasn't interested in dating her she would just chalk it up to her being pineapple to him. So there was nothing wrong with her, per se, but maybe he didn't like pineapple..
So maybe you were pineapple, and the customer likes mangoes better. No big deal.
2. They're just there for the experience. There are plenty of people who set up multiple appointments for everything related to their wedding because they just want to have the "full wedding experience." They have no intention of hiring you, they just want to be treated like Queen For A Day. Charging for tasting appointments will cut down on this kind of time-waster.
3. They didn't like your meeting space. Some people will decide whether to hire you on the basis of your meeting space. I had one couple tell me that they were glad to see that I didn't work from home since I was meeting with them at my office (which is not at all set up to bake anything in, by the way.) They told me that they had gone to another appointment and when they pulled up in front of a house and realized that the baker worked from home, they just drove away. But they were happy to hire me, duh.
4. Part of the couple isn't happy with the other. You might be the victim of a bickering couple's crossfire. If they walk in and are in the middle of a fight they'll try to behave, but I guarantee that you'll be the one who suffers. No matter what you do they're not going to remember the appointment with happiness, so no matter what you do your chance of getting that job is greatly reduced. Which leads to the last possibility of why you didn't get the job...
5. They did something embarrassing. All I'll say on this is that if the customer embarrasses herself in front of you, she's unlikely to want to revisit that experience by hiring you. I had one customer who came in saying that she hadn't been feeling well. She ended up running out of my office and throwing up in the bushes outside. I didn't hear from her again.
So maybe you did nothing to lose the sale, but factors outside your control were at play. If you know that the couple was arguing, or that they were giving your meeting space the stink eye the whole time they were there, that could be the reason. People have their reasons, but not all of them are reasonable, so spend your energy on finding new clients, not on worrying about the ones that got away. NEXT!!!
Get my guide to tasting appointments here, it has some good stories of crazy customers and how to handle them in it: https://www.etsy.com/listing/253915284/
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com