In the world of B2B sales, time is money. Which is why it’s incredibly frustrating for a sales representative to spend time and resources preparing for and traveling to an appointment only to be stood-up by the lead. While some no-shows are unavoidable since prospects are busy people and unexpected things can pop up that prevent their attendance at a meeting, it’s important for an organization to do all that they can to avoid no-shows by taking the following steps:
The more closely a prospect’s needs align with the organization, the better the chances are that they will make the effort to show up to a scheduled appointment. Not every lead is going to be qualified or sales-ready and it’s the job of the sales team to initially spend time qualifying leads and determining whether they are a good fit or have an active need before moving on to the appointment-setting phase of the sales process.
Determine who the decision makers are
To make the most of the sales team’s time, appointments should only be made with decision makers. Scheduling appointments with assistants or other employees who are less invested in the decision will increase the chances of a no-show occurring.
Initiate contact before the meeting
Once a meeting has been set up, the sales representative should make an effort to connect with the prospect beforehand. A brief introduction can be made that will establish a personal connection before the actual meeting happens. The sales rep can also connect with them on LinkedIn or any other relevant social networking site. In doing so, the sales rep becomes familiar to the prospect and they’ll be less likely to cancel or no-show on them.
Friendly (non-pushy) reminders can be helpful leading up to the meeting. When the meeting is set, send an initial calendar invite and another reminder as the meeting gets closer. This reminder might prompt the prospect to reschedule (instead of simply not showing up) if they realize they no longer can commit to the meeting.
Don’t send too much information prior to the meeting
It does help the process when the prospect has a general understanding of what you do and how you can assist them with a challenge they have, but they don’t need every whitepaper, case study, brochure, etc. that was ever created prior to the meeting. Sending too much information can not only be overwhelming but access to the information means that the prospect can self-select out before the meeting even happens. An appointment gives the sales representative the opportunity to create a customized message that will resonate much better than general marketing collateral.
B2B appointment no-shows are not only frustrating, they are also a drain on resources. Following these steps increases the likelihood that a lead will show up to a scheduled appointment, moving them further through the funnel towards conversion.