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How to Get Follow-Up Sales Meetings to Stick

February 18th, 2016
by Scott Steinman

Great job! You just hung up the phone with a promising prospect that agreed to a follow-up sales meeting to learn more about your solution. At this point, the first instinct is to rejoice and celebrate a successfully generated sales opportunity, but the reality is your job is only partially done. There is a lot that can go wrong after that first call resulting in the dreaded “no-show” appointment, and it’s our job as salespeople to minimize that outcome.

When a prospect doesn’t show

On my first day working in high-tech sales I heard multiple people warn me that there’s a big “dip” in the sales learning curve. After three months of what seemed like endless forward progress and frequent success, I finally hit my dip. One particular stretch saw me generate nine sales meetings, yet only three of those appointments ended up occurring.

sales meetingsMy mind was racing as I tried to figure out what was going on. I felt embarrassed, defeated, and it even affected my level of confidence going forward as I tried to secure other leads. Every salesperson will encounter a “no-show” appointment, but when it happened to me six times in such a short span of time, I started to panic. I worried that the quota-carrying sales reps I was supporting would stop taking me seriously because, time and time again, they patiently waited on the conference line only to find no prospect on the other end (and awkward radio silence).

As world-renowned sales training expert John Costigan says, “There is no such thing as a bad customer, only a bad salesperson.”  This quote specifically jumped into my head as I tried to analyze my sales tactics and figure out the reason so many potential customers were standing me up.  This issue was nobody’s fault but mine.  I couldn’t get angry and blame the prospect for this problem, I needed to improve my own techniques.  From that point forward, I didn’t set a sales meeting unless there was a good reason for the prospect to pick up the phone and dial in. And, to make sure there was a reason, I began to change my entire follow-up process.

According to a study done by Atom Content Marketing, “80% of sales require five follow-up touches after the first conversation. 44% of salespeople give up after the first follow up.” The steps below will help you weed out weak meetings and confirm high potential prospects so you can minimize your “no-show” percentage. Continue Reading

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