7 Tips For Reducing Sales Meeting NO-SHOWS
Have you ever felt the frustration of waiting on a prospective lead but eventually, you didn't get to have any conversation? Perhaps, you have even had to send an email or schedule a call or sales meeting with such a lead, but when it was time for the scheduled meeting, it got ignored. Well, that can be very disheartening and discouraging as you had your hopes high on closing sales from that prospective lead but eventually got ignored. Sometimes, you may have assumed on their behalf, thinking, "Perhaps they forgot or got busy along the line." But, notwithstanding, either they lost interest or blatantly forgot, it doesn't change how the situation made you feel - frustrated.
You or your sales team have a monthly quota to meet but countless no-shows and the month is still ongoing.
You may think that no-shows are part of the sales process and things will improve over time. While that may be true, if it happens frequently, there is a problem. It simply means there is something you need to do better.
How frustrating can it get knowing that you have invested so much time and effort in a prospect only to have them ghost on you?
As a salesperson, perhaps you have felt the pain of having no-shows on different occasions, but here is some good news for you reading this article.
So, in this article, I examine the possible causes of no-shows, and then I also share seven tips for reducing no-shows from potential leads and tips to get them to show up.
Hop in as we take a ride!
**Firstly, at what point do you consider no-shows a problem?
As mentioned earlier, no-shows can sometimes be part of the sales process that must run its course before you get a positive result but what is not okay is when it happens more frequently than usual. So, the first thing you want to know is to ascertain if you have a no-show problem.
**How do you confirm that you have a no-show problem?
To confirm if you truly have a no-show problem, then you need to consider your no-show rate. And here is how you can calculate it: divide the total number of no-shows you've had by the total number of your scheduled meetings. So, if you scheduled 30 meetings in the previous month and had 15 no-shows, then your no-shows rate will be 15/30, or 50%.
When do you consider no-shows unusual?
When no-shows may be considered unusual depends on where your no-shows occur in the sales process. There are two stages of the sales funnel in no-shows; top-of-funnel no-shows and bottom-of-funnel no-shows;
In this stage, no-shows are with prospects you just met. No-shows are inevitable if you do a lot of cold prospecting, and it is nearly difficult to eradicate them. But typically, these no-show rates should be at most 20%.
The no-shows at the bottom of the funnel are potential clients that you have already expended a great deal of time and effort. You've done everything possible to set up a meeting with them, including pitching them, handling their challenges, learning about their needs, and more.
At this point in the sales process, if you are getting withdrawals and no-shows, that indicates a problem. Your bottom-of-funnel no-show percentages should generally be at most 10%.
After ascertaining that you have a no-show issue, you want to know what causes them. After examining its causes, I will give seven tips on reducing no-shows.
What causes prospect no-shows
Sometimes identifying the root cause of a problem can be the first step to finding a solution. So, below are the two leading causes of no-shows;
No-shows usually occur due to a prospect scheduling another appointment ahead of yours. Sometimes this is done on purpose; other times it happens by accident.
This could mean that the prospect forgot about your appointment or intentionally chose to attend another one. However, you have much control over how important a prospect is to you.
Emergencies are inevitable, and they happen unexpectedly (after all, that's why they are called emergencies). This is one major reason why you may experience no-show from a prospect. It may be a family emergency or an impromptu board meeting but whatever the case, when emergencies happen, they make prospects forget about the meeting, and it leaves you at the mercy of rescheduling the meeting or sending another calendar invite.
7 tips to get your prospect to show and automatically reduce no-show or reschedule
Have you ever been tempted to blame your prospects after a no-shows? Perhaps, you roll your fists into a punch and hit an object to let out those hurtful feelings welled up on the inside. However, the fault is usually from the salesperson. You risk cancellations and no-shows if you are not strategic about your scheduling procedure.
So, as a salesperson, consider the scheduling procedure as a sales pitch. First, handle their issues; many online resources can help you do this. Then, present a compelling value proposition that piques your prospects' interest in your meeting and offers. You will find the seven tips below very helpful.
**Personal accountability for schedules
The duty of a salesperson is to close sales. The prospect's responsibility is not to make a purchase throughout the sales process.
Many sales reps are aware of this but end up handing the prospect the responsibility for scheduling. It follows a pattern of composing a persuasive sales email and concluding it by asking for a time to connect.
Truth be told: you won't likely hear from them again if your emails follow such patterns because your prospect will want to feel free of pressure into making a choice and will put it off until they no longer remember it.
By making a clear call to action, you would take complete ownership of scheduling rather than assigning responsibility to others.
You are accountable for managing the entire sales process as a salesperson. You will never regain control if you start handing it off now.
Some days are so off for sending your client a schedule to pitch your sales---for example, Monday mornings, Friday afternoons or days before holidays and vacations. So, you want to ensure that you steer off those days else, you risk getting your schedules cancelled or no-shows. Albeit, every prospect will have specific schedule preferences. Learning about your prospect's preferences early enough will help you get noticed and avoid dealing with no-show situations.
**Set a time limit
Only schedule something up to seven days in advance whenever you can. If you think that's not feasible, consider the next 14 days. If none seems possible, don't bother setting up a meeting.
A rule of thumb in sales and marketing states that if you can't schedule a meeting within the next 14 days with a prospect, then you should reach an agreement to have a calendar overview in two weeks.
**Pitch sales by optimizing calendar invites
If you are yet to optimize your calendar, you are missing out on many opportunities. For instance, do you know that your calendar invites can serve as sales emails? You can do this using your subject line. Recall that the subject line is the gatekeeper to your email, and a boring subject line will never get an email opened. So, master the art of crafting a catchy and jaw-dropping subject line. Never use vague or complex subject lines. However, something simple like "2 minutes to decide your next CRM" is perfect.
However, you can take things up a bit by using the notes section to your advantage. Notes sections are significant to use as mini-pitch for event invites. If you are unsure about things to include in your notes section, the following three themes can help;
Sender's contact information: this is where you include your name, company name, website, and communication medium (you may need to attach your phone number depending on which communication means you choose).
Agenda: this is where you state the aim of the meeting you are scheduling
Value: here, you mention what value your agenda will generate for the prospect. Explain what's in it for them.
Your scheduled event ought to be a brief sales pitch. In this approach, when your prospect reviews their schedule, you still pitch them on your meeting and offer, even if you aren't actively speaking with them.
While calendar invites are a great way to serve as a reminder, more persuasion is needed for your clients. However, with follow-ups, you are on your way to successfully gaining your prospect's attention.
Reach out a few days before the meeting using the most efficient method. You can do this via social media, texts, emails, or even phone calls. Be unique in your follow-up procedure. Instead of sending another boring text or email, stand out among other salespeople by using personalized videos - they are a unique way of cutting down on no-shows. While using this method, it is important that you remind your prospect why they were first interested in your offer, tell them what they will benefit and keep it brief. You can send a video of you with a caption so your prospect feels that human effort they are interacting with a real human and not with another email bot.
However, keep in mind that you are not simply there to remind them of the meeting. You are there to remind them of the benefits they will receive from the meeting. So sell the meeting instead of the product, but you must be strategic about it.
If there is a no-show after your follow-ups, don't be quick to blame your prospects. If you've been following through with reading this article, you can take a cue from the section "what causes no-shows" by assuming they had an emergency to resolve or an impromptu meeting. Then, keep reaching out till you get a response. However, after sending about five to seven follow-up emails without a reply, break the silence by sending a goodbye mail with an attention-grabbing subject line - undoubtedly, this last mail will likely get opened and read, and perhaps a few responses.
**Engage a virtual assistant
As mentioned earlier, your main job as a salesperson is to close sales. But in the process, you may need to schedule meetings, send calendar invites, monitor potential leads and follow up on them. Doing all these tasks can be quite daunting for just you alone. So, consider engaging a virtual assistant. Over the past few years, they have become more accessible, and in many cases, if you can delegate tasks and use your freed-up time to close more sales deals, it is a win-win.
Although leveraging a virtual assistant is not suitable for every salesperson, this arrangement is no doubt a wise investment with a significant and quick return on investment (ROI) - another win-win situation for your team or company. On the flip side, if you are not interested in using a virtual assistant, you can use many online scheduling tools to your advantage.
**Be committed and show up
Sometimes, all you need to close that sales deal is to show up - and there is absolutely nothing as motivating and rewarding as doing so. You may have had lots of no-shows from prospects in the past, but if only you remain committed and keep showing up, you are inching a step closer to getting your clients to show up. Perhaps, the only thing permitted to obstruct your commitment are emergencies - ones you have no control over. In case of an emergency, ensure you inform your prospect as soon as you get a chance to do so. Then, try to schedule another meeting to make up for it.
Final Notes: Sales Meeting No-Shows
For emphasis, a few no-shows are part of the sales process. So, you don't have to sulk up or remain in that phase. You can always change that by judiciously following the seven tips in this article - After all, that's the main purpose of the article.