You did it!
That C-level prospect you’ve been calling and emailing everyday for the past 3 weeks finally picked up the phone and agreed to a meeting two weeks from now.
You did everything right. You did your research on the prospect and their company, crafted the perfect pitch, delivered it with confidence and the prospect found enough value to say yes to giving you some time on their busy schedule to learn more.
…The time for your meeting is here and you’re really excited for this one. You know your solution is a perfect fit for their organization. You can’t contain yourself, so you dial into the bridge a few minutes early at. It’s now 1:59. The adrenaline is rushing through your body, you start shadow-kickboxing in your office while waiting for the prospect to dial in.
…. 10 minutes go by, “They must be having trouble with the dial in info. I’ll give them a call”
…. They don’t pick up. Panic sets in. “Where the hell is this person!”
…. Opportunity Time of Death, 2:17 pm EST. You call it. With tears in your eyes you send out an email hoping to reschedule for a later date, but now you’re back in a vicious cycle of trying to get that prospect back on the phone.
What could’ve gone wrong?
This Scenario is all too familiar with those of us in the world of sales. Whether you’re a BDR, SDR, AE or whatever your company calls your role in sales, something like this has probably happened to you. You’d be lucky if less than 30% of these meetings end up rescheduling. The more times it reschedules the less likely it is to happen all together. For those of you who are sick of having your meeting fall through the cracks and your prospects going cold, here’s 7 easy steps to keep from getting ghosted.
7 Tips to Keep From Getting Ghosted on Your First Meeting With a Prospect
- Ask them to open their calendar.
- Lock down a time close to when you had your conversation.
- Ask for more time before the meeting.
- Ask good qualifying questions.
- Reference the qualifying questions in your calendar invite.
- If you set the meeting over email, call and follow tips 1-4.
- Courtesy email/call/text before the meeting.
1. Ask them to open their calendar
After they agree to the next call do yourself a favor and have them put in a placeholder while you write up the calendar invite with call/meeting instructions. Simply ask, “Do you have your calendar open now? I want to make sure I’m sending it to the right place.” and get them to accept it before you hang up.
2. Set it in close!
Ideally, if you could set it for later in the day today or tomorrow, you’re almost guaranteed it’ll occur, but if not- within 3 business days and your chances are looking pretty good. Whatever you do, make sure you set it within 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, the chances it’ll happen on that date go way down.
3. After the yes, ask for more time
It’s important to make sure you let the prospect know that they aren’t off the hook after saying yes to a date/time to you. Thank them for agreeing to meet with you or your rep and then say something like:
“Before I let you go, I have a few questions for you to be sure we make the best use of your time on (date of meeting)”. Make sure to let them know how many more questions you have, to show that you’re almost done with them. This leads me to my next point......
4. Ask good qualifying questions
I don’t mean ”Do you have money or authority to buy my (insert product/service)?” types of
questions. I mean figure out what the prospect wants to learn more about. Ask them what tools
they’re using currently. How are they using those tools? What do they like/don’t they like? Have they looked into competitors? Figure out some good questions that’ll get the prospect into thinking that you know what you’re talking about and maybe they’ll share a lot more with you and start really believing you can help them with their challenges.
5. Use those questions in your calendar invitation
Your calendar invitation should reference those questions in the body of your calendar invitation. Show them how they’ll benefit from the meeting. It should look something like: ‘Thank you for taking the time to chat. On (date/time) we’ll share with you some insights into how you could (insert a product/service value) while (insert another product/service value)’. Of course, make sure the meeting room/dial-in info is correct too!
6. If you set the meeting over email, CALL and follow steps 1-4
Doing this lets the prospect know how serious you are about helping them. It’ll also help make both your lives a lot easier than the ‘back and forth over email’ game.
7. Courtesy email
If you set out the meeting more than a few days out, you should probably send out some sort of reminder. Not only will your meetings happen more often, you’ll also be setting much more highly qualified meetings and speeding up the entire sales process!
Bonus Tip: Slow Down Your Tone
I can understand if you feel a little rushed to get off the phone after you receive that yes and agree on a date. As long as you keep the prospect informed of your next steps, they’ll be much more willing to give you more of their time. Stay true to your word tho. If you say, “2 more quick questions…’ make sure it’s 2 more quick questions!
Remember, you want to make the best use of everyone’s time, including your own! Make sure to keep everything relatively short so you don’t overwhelm the prospect or keep you from having time to set more of those high-quality meetings!