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How to reduce sales appointment no-shows

Keep your calendar booked and your sales funnel full with these proven techniques

Chris Temperante
Chris Temperante
CEO / Partner

There’s no doubt that it is more difficult right now to have productive sales conversations. With Covid-19 being top of mind, companies must be sensitive in their approach. Pushing your product too hard, rather than being authentic and helpful, can do lasting damage to your brand.

However, that doesn’t mean you should cancel all calls—especially if your B2B or medtech prospects are receptive. If you’re successful at booking a sales appointment, make sure you do everything you can to reduce no-shows.

With more people working from home, caring for school-age children and dealing with disruptive conditions, taking the lead and being proactive about sales appointments is more important than ever.

Here are 6 tips for reducing medtech and B2B appointment no-shows:

Only schedule appointments with qualified leads

Have you ever said “yes,” when you really meant “no”? An overly pushy call tactic can result in unqualified appointments—prospects who agree to a next meeting, just to end the conversation. During your initial communications, make sure your inside sales team or outbound call center takes a softer, conversational approach. Listen, and ask questions about the prospect’s needs and challenges. Those answers will determine the quality of the lead quickly and accurately. Then, only set appointments with medtech or B2B prospects who have a current, active need and a genuine interest in learning more. It is a waste of resources to have endless meetings with poor quality accounts.

Schedule appointments directly with a decision-maker

When the decision-maker schedules the appointment on their own, there is a greater likelihood that they will commit to keeping it. It may seem faster or easier to work through an assistant or other employee, but these techniques typically result in greater cancellations. That’s why it’s critical to speak directly with the decision-maker. This also ensures your appointment will be more productive, because the decision-maker is already aware of your intent and has a chance to contribute their ideas to the meeting agenda.

Send digital invitations

As soon as you both agree to the meeting time, date and format, send a digital calendar invite to hold the appointment on your prospect’s calendar. For video calls and virtual meetings, include all the relevant links, phone numbers, passwords and helpful settings your prospect will need for smooth participation; just because you’re a Zoom pro, don’t assume your audience is as familiar with your platform.

This is the time (if needed) to loop in an assistant or other employee who helps manage your decision-maker’s schedule. A digital calendar appointment not only blocks the time on both your busy schedules, it makes it easy to reach out to you directly if a reschedule becomes necessary.

Remind meeting attendees

As the call time approaches, you can also send a reminder email, typically a day or two before the meeting. Include the information from your original calendar appointment, as well as any agenda you’ve agreed upon. Avoid asking your decision-maker to “recommit” or confirm availability. Be courteous if decision-makers request a time change or reschedule.

Don’t send too much information prior to the call

While it’s important for prospects to understand your product or service, you don’t want to overload your audience with too much information prior to your appointment. Instead, use the appointment itself to position your sales rep as a trusted advisor and industry expert. Let them follow up after the call with whitepapers, case studies, brochures or website links that are tailored to your decision-maker’s unique needs and challenges. This shows you’ve listened, understood and started to build rapport.

Stay connected and top of mind

In addition to calendar invites and email reminders, there are other effective ways to stay top of mind with decision-makers before a sales appointment. For example, sales representatives can send a LinkedIn connection request prior to the meeting. This is an opportunity to build credibility and establish a more personal relationship. Prospects can identify with common connections in your professional network, work experience or affiliations. People buy from people and this creates an additional element of interest and commitment.

If you’re already connected, review your audience’s recent posts or company page and “like” or make insightful comments. This activity usually results in a return comment or profile view for your sales rep or company.

Sales appointment no-shows with medtech and B2B prospects can be frustrating, but they can also be avoided. The more your marketing and inside sales teams follow these best practices, the faster you’ll fill your sales pipeline.

Need high-volume appointment setting services or meetings with B2B and medtech buyers? Learn how Volkart May can help book sales appointments with decision-makers.

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