More than 40% of sales people say that prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process, so you can imagine the disappointment when a qualified lead doesn’t show up to your scheduled sales call. While a declined invite or a ghosted call may feel like a lost opportunity, this prospect is still on the line and it’s your job to reel them back in.
At Sapper, we use our proven process to schedule 30 meetings a day for our sales team and another 130 meetings for our clients. We’re experts at sales prospecting but, like you, we’re not immune to no shows. Our team launched a new initiative, “No Show No More” in an effort to increase our successful sales meetings and get prospects on the phone. Our tactics cut our no show rate in half. Here’s how:
Daily Meeting Tracking
A huge focus of our marketing team is to de-hassle our sales team and streamline our sales funnel. Rather than expecting reps to confirm every single meeting on their schedule ahead of time, our team built a simple spreadsheet to track each day’s scheduled meetings across all reps.
A member from our team confirms which prospects have accepted calendar invites, and which have declined or haven’t replied. This simple system helps our team keep a pulse on where no shows are most likely to occur so we can intervene.
After identifying prospects who have not responded or have declined your calendar invite, reach back out.
You might be thinking to yourself that ‘no response is a response’ and that you should call it quits. In reality, it’s likely not that personal. Your prospects are busy people. Whether an unexpected meeting came up or a full schedule distracted them from their inbox, there’s nothing wrong with circling back to better understand the situation.
Whether that means giving them a quick call or email, offer a simple “Hey, does 11am CST tomorrow still work for you?” and give your prospects the opportunity to respond. Propose a new meeting time if necessary.
Again, your prospects are busy people and no matter how impactful your product can be, a sales call is likely low on their priority list. Sending reminders is crucial to keep your meeting top of mind.
Create a templated message reminder that can be sent out either manually or automatically before a scheduled meeting. While we choose to send reminders 24 hours in advance, you can also send a reminder the day of, even an hour before the call.
Pre-meeting reminders should include:
- “We are excited to meet with you” tone
- The date and time of the scheduled meeting
- A brief agenda of what will be covered during the call
- In some circumstances, include helpful content, such as case studies and/or testimonials
Nurture No Shows
Despite your best efforts, you will still experience some no shows. But just because a prospect didn’t show for your initial call, doesn’t make them closed/lost.
Create a follow up message that can be manually or automatically sent out once a prospect misses your meeting. Notify the prospect that a member of our team tried reaching out to them but wasn’t able to connect. Include a link for them to easily reschedule at a different time themselves. The easier this process is for the prospect, the better!
Don’t be afraid to get creative when reaching back out to your prospects. For instance, you may want to implement a “Sorry we missed you!” personalized video from your sales rep. This strategy shows initiative, commitment, and helps to put a face with a name. At the very least, you’re likely to get a reply – sales teams that use video get a 26% increase in replies.
Finally, if a no show has completely ghosted, hand that prospect back to marketing for further nurturing. If the prospect was interested enough to schedule a call, they likely see your value and have a need. Maybe the timing is just off. With some value-driven content and regular touch points, you’ll be top of mind when your prospect is ready.
Scheduling Best Practices
The best way to avoid no shows is to create a streamlined scheduling process that sets your prospect and sales team up for success. Meeting requests should take as much burden off of your prospects as possible; suggest specific times and dates to make it easy for them, add scheduling links in your email signature, continuously follow up, etc.
Your prospect is likely on sales calls with other vendors and is definitely getting dozens of prospecting emails. Make sure that your prospect can keep their ducks in a row by including a meeting agenda and a Zoom link in the calendar invite. Again, the goal here is to simplify the process for the prospect so they feel informed and comfortable.