Decrease No-Shows by Making it Easy to Cancel

The meeting was scheduled to start 5 minutes ago. But with no news from the prospect and no answer to the email you sent to share the meeting link, each minute that goes by confirms your suspicion: you’ve got a no-show on your hands.

Repeat the process a couple more times and you’ve suddenly gone from a day of back-to-back calls to a slow day on the sales floor. If you want to reduce no-shows, your best course of action is to make it easy to do cancel and reschedule before your meeting is set to start.

Defeat the rescheduling taboo

When it comes to your productivity, no-shows are the silent killer. A full schedule at the beginning of the week can be cut from 10% (at the bottom of the funnel) up to 20% (for introductory calls) with no possibility to fit in new meetings on these absentee slots. And that’s just on account of no-shows and late cancelations.

The most important thing if you want to successfully reduce no-shows is to defeat the taboo around cancelling and rescheduling. Whether it’s a date, a coffee with a friend, a dinner with family: your prospect is trained to believe canceling or rescheduling is rude. Make them feel like it isn’t: bring canceling and rescheduling up first to get ahead of it. Here’s how:

#1 Include cancel and reschedule links in your meeting confirmation email

Before the topic even comes up, make sure you’ve offered the possibility to cancel or reschedule your sales call. You can do so by adding a “PS: I’m happy to reschedule if anything comes up!” But this doesn’t entirely solve the issue…

The problem remains: telling someone you have to cancel on them feels awkward. And more so if it’s a stranger. By including a link to modify and/or cancel your meeting, you effectively remove the difficulty your prospect will have writing up an email to let you know that the time you set doesn’t work. One click of a button, and the bad feeling goes away!

#2 Send a reminder the day before your meeting

Mistakes happen, stuff comes up, and speaking to a sales rep isn’t top of your prospects list of priorities. If they double-booked the slot you were supposed to have your call, they may not realize until it’s too late.

Your job is to remind them that the meeting is still on, and to give them a chance to back out. Send a reminder the day before with all the details of the meeting: date and time, call link, participants, and subjects of discussion. In addition to refreshing their memory about the key points you’ll be talking about, it’ll also make them check that they’re still available to meet with you. Make sure to include a cancel or reschedule link to make sure that they can move the meeting stress-free.

#3 Share your entire team’s calendar

Your job is to make it easy for the prospect to buy. And that means allowing them to book a demo when they want. When you offer the option to reschedule a call, showing all available slots from your entire team will increase the likelihood of them finding a convenient time to talk. Some AEs may feel strongly about offering prospects the possibility to reschedule with someone else on the team. The truth is: time is a more important factor than the person handling the call. If your prospect is only available on a slot that isn’t convenient for the rep that was in charge of handling the account, it might be best to pass them on to the next available person on the team.

Where the comp should land (the original rep, the new rep, or both) is an important discussion and should be made public to ensure your team are on board. Some teams have gone as far as to instil this into their culture: Valentin Quittot shared with us the Brother in Arms principle which he introduced at Tiller Systems. It’s radical, but effective: sales reps whose demos run longer can pass on their next meeting on to an available rep, and keep their commission if the account closes.

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