For sales reps, every meeting no-show is a block of time wasted. In fact, simply getting prospects to attend a scheduled demo or presentation — in person or virtually — is often a big part of the battle to close a deal.
While you’ll never be able to avoid no-shows completely, doing everything you can to minimize them can give your bottom line a significant boost. Most experts say sales teams should aim for a no-show rate of less than 20%.
Here are five tips to help you get there.
Before you ever start composing an email or picking up the phone to invite a prospect to a meeting, you need to arm yourself with the right information. Thanks to sites like LinkedIn and ZoomInfo, it takes just a few minutes to get a general idea of the target’s background and experience. Peruse their company’s website to understand the basics about what they do and what challenges they may have. You may even find that this particular prospect isn’t the right audience for your offerings — and that’s a meeting no-show just waiting to happen.
Once you know a little about your prospect, you can make your outreach more effective by focusing on their particular circumstances. Tailor your messaging and value prop to the challenges that your product or service could solve for them. You can also stand out by mentioning any personal connections that may have come across in your research, like if you went to the same university or previously worked in the same city. Building those bonds ahead of time can help motivate your contact to actually attend a scheduled meeting.
Think of interesting and creative ways to present your message, especially in the subject line. Research shows that 64% of recipients decide whether to open an email based on the subject line alone, and a third will open one because it has a catchy subject line. The key, however, is to be catchy and clever without going overboard. Too many cutesy puns or groan-worthy jokes will undermine your message or, worse, make it sound like spam.
People are busy. When you schedule a demo or other sales meeting, especially when it’s a week or more in advance, you have to expect that it could easily be forgotten. Make sure any calendar invitations you send include a reminder alert the day before or the morning of the scheduled appointment. It’s also a good idea to reach out personally to confirm that the day and time still work for all participants. Rescheduling may be annoying or frustrating, but it’s definitely better than wasting time on a meeting no-show.
No matter how creative your invitation is or how many reminders you send, the best way to make sure that a booked meeting doesn’t become a meeting no-show is to offer a digital reward just for showing up. Busy prospects want to know that they will get something of value out of the appointment, so be clear that the incentive is theirs even if they don’t make a purchase. Not only will it motivate the invited participants to attend, it will also show that you value their time and effort.
In addition, sending a digital incentive after the meeting gives you another touchpoint with the prospect. When you use the reward email as an opportunity to reiterate your message, it’s more likely to make a good impression because it’s accompanied by the positive experience of receiving a digital gift card.
Preventing a meeting no-show isn’t the only way sales reps can use digital rewards to help them hit their goals. Download our Sales Playbook for more ideas and tips on incentivizing prospects and customers!