An effective sales appointment confirmation strategy will help you reduce no shows, reschedules and cancelations.
There are few things more frustrating than to arrive at your schedule sales meeting only to find that your prospect or customer is a no-show. It took fifteen calls to get the meeting in the first place; then, you prepared your sales materials and presentation, you donned your best suit, you fought traffic on your way across town, and then after nervously waiting in the lobby, for what seemed like hours, the receptionist informs you that your prospect is not there or is unavailable. It’s maddening.
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They key to avoiding no-show appointments is employing an effective appointment confirmation strategy. The first step is taking a moment to stand in the shoes of your buyer. Decision makers and buyers today are busier than ever before. They are being asked to do more with less and many have taken on multiple responsibilities inside their companies. Add to that the relentless stream of information pouring in via the internet, email, text, phone, and social media it is easy to see that they have very little time to meet with salespeople. So no matter how important YOU think your scheduled meeting is, realize that your buyer has a million other things to think about other than you. The truth is almost everything on their to-do list is a higher priority than your meeting and given the opportunity they will find a reason not to show.
The key to an effectively appointment confirmation strategy is to keep from giving your prospect a reason not to show. The two most common reasons why prospects don’t show up to appointments are a) they forget about your appointment or b) they overbook their schedule and you get bumped.
Six Quick and Dirty Tips for Confirming Sales Appointments
Book appointments no more than two weeks out. One of the best ways to ensure that your prospect shows up to your scheduled appointment is to set the appointment as soon as possible. An appointment set for tomorrow has a much higher show probability than an appointment set for a month from now. Besides the obvious fact that it is better to meet with your prospect while their interest in your product or service is high, by meeting sooner you reduce the possibility that your prospect will get sidetracked by another competing obligation.
Confirm the appointment while you are still on the phone. To avoid any miscommunication on the time and place of your meeting be sure to confirm your appointment at the time you set the appoint. Prior to hanging up the phone simply say, “I’m looking forward to meeting with you. Just to confirm, we are going to meet at your office at 3:00pm eastern on Thursday. Is that right?”
Send a meeting invite. Most buyers in corporate environments use meeting invites to automatically populate their calendar. Invites are easy to send using email programs like Outlook or Google Calendar. If possible send the meeting invite while you are on the phone with your prospect. If this is not possible send it soon as you hang up the phone. The invite will automatically block the time of your appointment on their calendar and serve as a reminder not to over-book that time.