I’m going to show you exactly how to deal with no shows but first, here are some facts.
– For 1st meetings, a 25% no show / cancellation rate is average!
– Less than 20% and you can consider yourself world class.
– For follow on meetings (what I call discovery) anything less than 20% is top notch.
This next anecdote will blow you mind…
Last year, I ran a campaign to schedule conversations with contacts from my personal network. 10% of my scheduled meetings never showed up.
That’s right… 10% of people I have known for years and accepted the meeting request stood me up!
As a sales professional, you need expect that No Shows and Cancellations will happen. You can improve your show rate but it will NEVER be 100%.
Here is the process I use to deal with the problem.
1) The first rule is call more than once. My cold call playbook outlines my exact process for calling into a scheduled meeting. Here’s a hint: less than 50% of meeting participants answer when you call at the scheduled time.
2) No shows are a fact of life so don’t be surprised, don’t get upset, and most of all, have a standard operating procedure (SOP) ready for when they happen.
3) My no show SOP includes making the prospect feel a little guilty AND setting the expectation for a reschedule.
4) Follow up immediately with an email that provides three specific days and times for a reschedule.
5) Don’t chase them! This means you should not set reminders to follow up with them by phone and don’t ever use the phrase “if you’d like to reschedule…”
6) On the day of your last suggested reschedule time (from #4 above) send a “close the file” email. You can see my no-show voice mail and email follow up guide for the exact ‘close the file’ template I use but the basic premise is simple: “You agreed to meet… You blew me off… I suggested some reschedule times… You haven’t responded… Are we done?”
Note: while this ‘close the file’ approach might take you out of your comfort zone, it is incredibly effective. This technique allows me to reschedule 90% or more of all no-shows.
7) If there is no response to the ‘close the file’ email… move on. You can typically try reaching out to the prospect after 90 days and they will not even remember missing (or scheduling) the previous meeting with you.