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Vanishing B2B Appointments: The Magic Trick Nobody Applauds

 

 

 

 

Picture it: today is a great day for your sales team. You’ve landed the first of many B2B appointments for a demo or an introductory presentation – or maybe your friendly neighborhood leadgen agency has landed one for you. The prospect has expressed interest, accepted the video conferencing invite, and your best people are ready to bring it home with a strong proposal and a confident close. You flash a cocky smile at your manager.

A day or two later, you hop on the call. The rest of your team is there. You all anxiously wait for the clock to hit the arranged time. It does, but then seconds tick by. Then, minutes. Fifteen minutes in, a certain popular game show countdown tune has started to play in all your heads. The prospect has clearly ghosted you.

Anyone in B2B sales can tell you the disappointment that ensues. It’s even worse when the waves of disillusionment strike you earlier in the process; when the prospect doesn’t even accept the invite or rejects it outright. At GenSales, this doesn’t happen often. But nobody is truly a stranger to it.

What Can You Do About Ghosting?

Our organization has been a crucial player in the B2B leadgen market for over 20 years. In that time, we have not only nurtured leads, improved our outbound calling strategies, and accurately set over 200,000 B2B appointments; we have also become experts in prospect psychology and behaviorism. And over the last two decades we have noticed the same trend mentioned above. It’s one that has continually baffled both our clients and our competition: “no shows.”

Our tagline is “We Open, You Close.” So, one might wonder why we would even feel compelled to care about so-called “ghosting.” After all, doesn’t that usually happen following our lead handoff process? Isn’t that part of the “You Close” portion of our slogan? Doesn’t the risk of the vanishing appointment fall strictly under the purview of the client, not the leadgen agency?

We disagree – and it’s never been how we operate. Unlike our competitors, we ensure our clients a bevy of B2B appointments that are pre-qualified by a team of quality control professionals. We simply wouldn’t be performing our duties correctly if we don’t ascertain whether a client has expressed genuine interest and genuine need. And if the first half of that integral qualifying criterion doesn’t constitute a genuine enough need for the prospect to even show up to the appointment, then something has gone very, very wrong.

How Can We Help with B2B Appointments?

One other thing to know about GenSales is that we are not greedy with our knowledge. We know that, if you are reading this, chances are you are either actively looking for B2B leadgen services or have thought about it before. We also know that, with so many bad actors in the industry, the prospect (no pun intended) of a leadgen search can consist of equal measures of excitement and fear. To increase the former and assuage the latter, we wanted to ensure that both our prospects and our existing clients have access to the best tips and tricks. These tactics are tested across over two decades by our professionals to prevent and manage no-shows. 

Strategies to Prevent No Shows on B2B Appointments

Vanishing B2B appointments

We all know that the best defense is a good offense, and that prevention is the best medicine. Better to avoid a “no show” altogether, than to be forced to mitigate the damage to your sales team’s confidence when one does occur. Below, you can find a handy list of tasks you can run through to prevent a “no show” on B2B appointments.

Track Your Daily Meetings 

This might sound obvious, but you should have a system in place to ensure that the status of your meetings is clear to everyone on your team. A simple spreadsheet is a smart option. Within it, you can detail who owns which potential appointment, which meetings have been scheduled, and whether the agreement is strictly verbal or has been followed up with a digital invite.

You can also add whether the invite has been accepted by the prospect or not and any notes on results that stem from the conversation once it has happened. You’d be surprised how many appointments fall apart due to a lack of communication within your team.

Send Reminders

This is a capability that most, if not all video conferencing interfaces already have in place. But an automated reminder doesn’t hold a candle to a personal one. Make sure to follow up with a message reminding the prospect how excited you are to meet with them, even if they have already accepted the invitation.

You can include a basic agenda that details the subjects you will cover to prepare them for the conversation, or helpful resources like a case study to establish credibility in advance. Don’t forget to copy the rest of your team for maximum communication.

Follow Up with a Call

For some, this might seem like overkill, so perhaps it is better to only apply this tactic if you have any reason to doubt the prospect’s attendance. Perhaps they haven’t responded to the invitation. Perhaps they didn’t respond to your reminder e-mail. Either way, tread lightly and make sure not to annoy your prospect with too many messages prior to securing the sale.

No Appointments Under Duress

Though this is more of a retroactive tip that must be employed at the beginning of the lead nurturing process, it is perhaps even more valid than the aforementioned tactics. Nobody likes to be held hostage by pushy sales tactics! So, ensure that you analyze your prospect’s behavior so you can gauge if they are setting an appointment to simply get you off the phone.

Do you notice long pauses between their words? Are their responses short and snappy? Are their legs and hands jittery or at rest? According to Psychology Today, these are just some of the signifiers of reluctance. They might mean that a prospect is accepting the proposal to meet because they feel cornered but does not actually intend to follow through with it. Instead, make sure your pitch is smoothly delivered, that you don’t sound desperate, and that they seem as excited as you are about the appointment.

Strategies to Manage No Shows on B2B Appointments

B2B appointments

So, you followed our tips, you did everything in your power to prevent vanishing B2B appointments, and the prospect still didn’t show. It’s not the end of the world. Read on to learn our best tactics to manage a “no show” once it’s already happened.

Follow Up Immediately

Don’t let the shame of the “no show” fill you with so much dread that you give up altogether. Instead, immediately message the prospect with confidence. It’s not personal! People are busy! There’s a chance that the prospect might have forgotten about the appointment or got caught up with a more pressing matter. A simple message can go a long way. “Hey Jerry. We missed you at the meeting. Is there a more convenient time that would work for you?”

Pretend You’re Above It

How many times have you written an email that sounds clingy? Instead, use a casual, unconcerned tone when trying to recapture a failed prospect’s attention. “I was really hoping we could meet again” pales in comparison to a more self-assured statement. Try something to the effect of “Where do we go from here?” to project confidence and employ a bit of reverse psychology. Remember that you have plenty of clients. You don’t need their business. In fact, they need you more than you need them! But you’re a merciful provider. So, in your magnanimity, you are giving them one final chance to improve their circumstances.

It’s possible none of this is true. In fact, you might desperately need their business to close out your month strong. But they don’t need to know that. Acting confident places you on a higher tier in their mind than acting desperate does. They will see you as an authority and not a simple salesperson. Avoid being dismissive, of course, but don’t let them know how deep your disappointment at their vanishing act runs.

Nurture Your “No Shows”

You will inevitably be ghosted. No matter what you do, there will be some prospects that simply do not show up. The important thing is to not ghost them in return. Send them periodic emails, follow up with calls and voicemails, and even follow them on social media – if you haven’t already. Essentially, do everything in your power to keep your organization in the back of their mind.

Though, as mentioned in the prior tactic, it is important to balance your efforts with space to both let the prospect breathe and not portray your organization as needy, the worst thing has already happened. That is, they’ve already rejected you. If you keep at it, you still have a chance to recover the sale.

Offer An Incentive

If it falls within your budget, offer the prospect an incentive to reignite their interest. Perhaps a discount or a test run of your services is in order. Perhaps it’s as simple as granting them access to an additional resource, like a calculator or a piece of software that is already free or low-cost to you.

One Last Tip: Employ a LeadGen Service to Help with B2B Appointments

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GenSales ensures that “no shows” are so few and far between that you won’t even notice them. We tailor our talk track to your organization’s language, draft up custom qualifying questions, enhance your data to generate the best call list possible, and assign you a top-notch team led by a professional Account Manager. Once all the prep work is done, we start pre-qualifying leads for you through the art of the conversation. We interface with your calendar to ensure your availability and send appointments directly to your inbox or CRM. Through this process, we can check off all the tips and tricks on the lists above. All you’ll have to worry about is attending the appointment and closing the sale.

As stated above, we have over two decades of experience in this industry. Additionally, our SDRs have an average of 15 years of experience and are well-versed in objections and hesitations. They tell your story as well as your own team members would, nurture the relationship with finesse, and lower a prospect’s guard so they don’t have a wall up when they get to you. In short, enlisting our help might very well be the most effective tactic delineated in this article. Give us a call or schedule an appointment and make sure you don’t fall prey to the vanishing act that no salesperson ever wants to witness.

We Offer Free Discovery Consultations to Identify Your Unique Lead Generation, B2B Appointment Setting Needs

Call us directly at (303) 793-1111 or click to schedule a consultation today.

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