Nothing is more frustrating than encountering a "no-show" during a prospective sales meeting.
When your day-to-day work is challenging enough, putting out fires with client emergencies, managing your team, making your deadlines, and generating new sales leads, it can be very aggravating to make every effort to schedule the appointment and be on time only to find out the prospect has canceled or didn't show up.
But don't despair. The missed meeting is a great reason to contact your prospect again. Rather than a cold call, you already know this person is interested. After all, they did set up a meeting with you. Just because they didn't show up isn't a reason to feel your lead generation process is broken or that you've lost this prospective client.
Let's go back to the beginning: Lead generation
Leads are critical for any business model. Generating leads is one of the most important things you'll ever do and at the heart of your business.
Without leads, you have no clients; without clients, you have no one to offer your product to. You can see how quickly things can crumble without leads.
So, let's look at leads for a moment. It's important to understand that generating leads is not a singular project but an ongoing process. It's not something you can check off your list and move on from, but something that takes continual maintenance to keep your business functioning properly.
So ensure you're spending time generating leads and equipping your team with the proper tools to prep those leads. If you're not generating enough leads, take a moment to review your process and make some changes.
For now, let's look at dealing with a lead drop-off.
How to handle "no-show" leads: 5 tips
So, you’re sitting alone in the meeting room. About twenty minutes have passed without your prospect's text or phone call letting you know they’re on their way. It’s probably safe to say they’re not coming. So, what can you do?
1. Don’t panic
As we discussed, this is an opportunity to contact your client.
2. Don’t be accusatory
Being aggressive with someone who may or may not have wronged you by missing your meeting doesn’t help generate a sale.
3. Stay calm
You have no idea what that person is dealing with, so don’t assume they missed your meeting to spite you.
4. Reach out
Show concern for them and their circumstance. Send an email or make a phone call asking them how they’re doing and when is a good time to chat about your services.
5. Your goal in handling a "no-show" client is rescheduling
Offer some flexibility, ask the prospect what works for them, offer to go to them, or do whatever it takes to reschedule the meeting. You already got your foot in their door once; you can do it again.
How to prevent future "no-shows"?
1. Confirm the appointment
Make sure your lead-generating process has some confirmation involved. That way, you not only remind your prospect of the appointment, but ideally, you get them to commit to coming.
2. Discuss the meeting ahead of time
Ensure that you clarify the meeting goals during the scheduling process. You can ask your prospect what questions they would like answered or provide a short overview of the expected agenda.
This way, your prospects will know what to expect and are less likely to forget about it, as they understand that the meeting is worth their time.
3. Generate quality leads
It goes back to your lead-generating process. When looking for sales leads, going for quantity over quality can be tempting. After all, a conversion is a conversion; the more chances you have to convert, the more likely you will.
Not necessarily. Ensure the leads you and your team generate are interested in your product. It does no good to waste time cold-calling people who say they're interested to get you off the phone.
4. Sell to people who need your product
Be diligent about providing a product your clients can't live without, and they won't want to cancel on you in the first place.
5. Provide your team with quality tools
To generate quality leads, your team will need the right tools to create those leads for you.
Everything from proper research about demographics and your client's needs to different kinds of software, scheduling, and presentation software contributes to creating the lead and closing the sale. Make sure you and your team are adequately equipped.
6. Be personable
Be friendly and likable; your prospect will want to spend time with you, preventing a "no-show" before it can happen.
7. Give them something to look forward to
Whether it's a state-of-the-art presentation or dinner at a fancy restaurant, think outside the box when wooing your prospects and get them excited about their meeting with you.
Then, they won't want to cancel.
Getting stood up during a sales meeting can be highly frustrating. After all, you did a lot to prepare for the meeting, putting the presentation together and tailoring it to this specific client, only to have them not show up.
But, take heart. Just because they didn’t show up this time doesn’t mean they won’t next time. Be diligent and persistent, and above all, demonstrate why they won’t want to miss another opportunity to meet with you again.
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