What to Do When Your Prospects Don’t Show Up for a Meeting
So your prospect missed the appointment with one of your salespeople.
At first, it’s easy to let your emotions take control of you, especially when they’re the ones who chose the schedule in the first place.
Also, the missed meetings could have been used for appointments with other potential clients who would have attended on time.
However, as tempting as sending an angry email to your prospects may be (and who wouldn’t fantasize about giving them a piece of your mind?), the best thing to do is step back and breathe before you say something you might regret later.
This post looks at what you should do when prospects don’t show up for their scheduled meetings. Let’s get some perspective on this so you can address the issue with a clear mind.
Get to the Bottom of the Situation
First, find out why the prospect was unable to attend.
There could be various factors at play as to why they failed to attend the meeting, some of which may be beyond their control.
For example, intermittent internet connectivity, delayed flights, natural disasters, and emergencies are unfortunate and legitimate reasons for them to miss the meeting.
At the same time, you can’t assume that something terrible happened to them. It’s possible the prospects simply forgot the meeting, plain and simple.
To know for sure what the reason may be, ask them why they couldn’t show up during the meeting. Or call the prospects, and maybe they’ll pick up the phone this time.
When reaching out to them, show concern regarding their situation. Don’t let any untoward feelings you may have cloud your communication with them. In other words, don’t lead with blame or fault-finding; instead, use your discovery skills.
You want to remain as professional as possible, so you must maintain this disposition until you hear from them.
Toe the Line When Reaching Out to Them
et’s say the prospects aren’t responding to your emails and calls while you’re trying to understand why they couldn’t attend the meeting.
There are possibly two reasons why this is happening:
- They are no longer interested in your business and wish to cut communication with you.
- They cannot reply or pick up their calls due to a vacation or something similar.
You’d know which of the two reasons your prospects fall under by checking out their social media, especially if they continue to post after your last communication.
In this case, you could try and reach out to them in the hopes of getting a reply soon. Or you could move on to pursue other prospects.
At this point, there is no right or wrong answer.
Since your goal is to convert them into customers and clients, you want to do whatever will help you transform the most leads fastest, (or the best leads into long-lasting customers, even if they take a little longer).
But what you shouldn’t do is harass them.
If they didn’t reply to your email the second or third time, there’s a good chance they won’t respond to the succeeding ones.
That’s why it’s best in most cases to focus all your energies on prospects who are interested in your business.
Your decision here hinges on how much you know your prospect and the market itself.
Never Put the Blame on Prospects
If the prospects’ reason is their negligence or something similar, some salespeople leverage their fault so that they can secure a meeting.
This is poor sales practice because you’re forcing them to do something to compensate for the wrong thing they did.
While you could get them to do a sales call with you using this method, it’s not coming from prospects genuinely wanting to talk to you.
Do you want to be that company that takes advantage of people’s mistakes to pressure them to do business with you? (I hope the answer is “no.”)
Also, a word about your questionable tactics travels fast in today’s world. This results in your company receiving negative press, leading to fewer sales.
Instead of guilt-tripping prospects, you should simply show understanding and move to the next step.
Propose to Reschedule Your Meeting
Instead of burning bridges with potential clients, you should make them even stronger.
You can do this by asking them to reschedule the meeting on a new date most convenient to them.
Using Booknetic, you can get them to book your appointmentfrom your website and let them choose the time and date when they want to reschedule the meeting.
Whether you have a local business selling physical products or an online service, you want them to take the initiative and give them complete control over when the meeting will occur. This helps get their buy-in for the meeting, which is especially important of not showing up would have larger-than-usual consequences.
For example, if your company wants to launch a podcast, having your guest miss the appointed time would be embarrassing as well as inconvenient. So, you might schedule two meetings – one the day before the podcast for a short, five-minute “technical rehearsal” to make sure all the equipment works.
This helps in two ways: If the guest shows up for the first appointment, you know they’re much more likely to show up for the actual podcast. Second, if the guest misses the first appointment, you know that you’ll need to have a backup guest ready for tomorrow’s podcast in case original guest ghosts you. So, in circumstances like this, a two-appointment strategy can be quite practical.
Also, by giving prospects another chance to meet with your team, you show the kind of business you have. Instead of shutting them down, you keep the doors open, which enables them to feel safe and secure doing business with you.
Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Once they have chosen a time and date for the meeting, you need to ensure they don’t forget it.
Booknetic allows you to integrate Google Calendar, so the scheduled date shows on their calendar.
The app will also remind them about the appointment an hour or minutes before it takes place.
Surely, there’s no reason for them to miss the meeting now, right?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that could happen before the meeting that could prevent it from happening again.
In this case, you must put things in your hands to ensure the meeting happens.
You can send them emails a day or hours before the meeting.
In the email, you could simply remind them about the appointment time and date, and provide them with your team’s contact details in case something happens.
You can also get creative by sharing a few slides about the presentation to show that your team is excited about the meeting.
You can influence them to attend by mentioning how long it took for your team to prepare the presentation, from research to design. The bigger the number, the better!
While this technique borders on guilt-tripping, if done correctly, it shows that you’ve dedicated your resources to the meeting and take their time seriously. You only want them to put a little bit of effort into the pot by attending their appointment with you.
You can also go beyond emails by sending a text message reminder if you have their phone numbers. Covering all your bases ensures that your meeting will happen.
How you manage and nurture your prospects will determine how many clients you can close and how much revenue your business can generate over time.
That said, some prospective customers need more prodding and nudging compared to others so you can get them to do your desired action.
In this case, getting them to commit to a scheduled meeting is a step down your sales funnel.
But for prospects unable to join the meeting for whatever reasons, it’s not the end of the world for you.
As long as you follow the steps above, you should be able to communicate with them professionally and turn this setback into a golden sales opportunity.