Looking back at how you got a particular B2B appointment, you remember how you strenuously researched about the company and flirted with several gatekeepers. You remember how you persistently asked for the name of the decision-maker like a stalker. You remember how you nervously prepared, revising your spiels again and again. And then the day came; after 3 cups of coffee and innumerable trips to the comfort room, you finally caught the big boss. You did your thing, he was convinced, and he agreed to an appointment.
Then after a week, just like that, he didn’t come. Not a shadow, not a single strand of hair – nada.
Oh, how marketers dread no-shows. It’s inevitable, and it makes you want to pull your hair out from your scalp. Of course you can always re-schedule, but the momentum is already lost. You start thinking about failure, and then desperation kicks in.
In B2B appointment setting, no-shows often comprise a sizable percentage in a marketer’s calling efforts, but they are still just as frustrating. There could be countless reasons why prospects fail to show up in a scheduled meeting, webinar or phone call, and the only counter-measure marketers can do is to lessen its odds. But how?
First, you need to gauge your assertiveness as to when it can become annoying to the prospect. Of course, it would be rude to ask something like, “Are you sure you’re coming?” but you can always verify by confirming the appointment while you’re still on the call. You can use simple recaps like, “Just to verify, we are going to meet you at your office at 2:00 pm pacific time this Wednesday. Is that right?”
Now if you’ve promised to send a calendar invite, send it as soon as your call ends. Then the waiting part begins. If the prospect sends a confirmation within a day or two, there’s a good chance he will push through. If not, send a gentle reminder, like “I’ve already sent a calendar invite for your confirmation. Looking forward to meeting you.”
Again, show your controlled assertiveness by sending another reminder a day before the appointment. This is the most crucial step in minimizing no-shows, because people generally are already certain whether or not to show up when asked a day before.
On the day of the meeting, obviously the best tip is to be early. You’d be surprised to know how many meetings, web conferences and phone calls end up cancelled because the prospect came before the salesperson.
Lastly, when setting up appointments, make it a habit to schedule it no more than two weeks out. pare, and short enough for prospects not to forget.