Sales Best Practices

Are you using these 6 strategies to improve sales meeting show rates?

Steve Ross, Director of Sales Development's Avatar

Steve Ross, Director of Sales Development

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“I carved out a half hour on my calendar for your meeting and your prospect no showed!”  The dreaded statement heard by SDRs all over.  The Account Executive is upset and you’re frustrated.  

All of your excitement, energy, mental stamina and preparation takes a punch to the gut. That’s your paycheck!  

Why do prospects no show?

After thousands of meetings booked by my teams a no show boils down to a few solvable issues:

1. Low certainty by the SDR

Your company has a product or service that can help prospects.  Your reps have to have conviction in your company, product and, most importantly, themselves.  They have to exude confidence over the phone during the meeting set conversation.  Certainly sells and locks meetings down.

2. No value

The sales rep just didn't deliver enough value for the meeting. Prospects are busy and get calls from many sales reps.  Reps have to present enough value for a prospect to set time aside.  

3. Lack of urgency

Even if they see value, the prospect will certainly have other responsibilities that can usurp your meeting unless the sales rep makes a compelling case for urgency.

4. Process failure

Setting and forgetting is a meeting lost.  No confirmation, reminder, systemized process to secure meetings will equal no shows.

Locking your meetings down

At Outreach, we are always working to solve this problem and our efforts are paying off, literally.

Our no-show rate has dropped to only 15 percent, 40% lower than the standard industry no-show rate of 25 percent. That 10-percent difference adds up to a substantial competitive advantage.

We’re proud to share our sales meeting tips to help you keep more meetings on the books. Here are our secrets:

Strategy 1 – Instant confirmation

The moment we secure agreement for a meeting over the phone, we immediately send an invite while the prospect is still on the line. We casually ask them to accept the meeting while we still have them engaged by saying something like, "I’ve already sent you the invite, go ahead and accept it while we’re on the phone so we both have it on the calendar."

Strategy 2 – The seven-day rule

You booked the meeting - that's great! But your prospects will forget about you by then if it's a month away. My team makes sure to schedule meetings as soon as possible after the call. We’ve found that meetings that occur within seven days of the initial conversation are more likely to take place.

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Strategy 3 – Nail the confirmation email

If the sales rep has done everything right, they have added value in every interaction. Don’t stop now. The confirmation email should continue to add value. For instance we created a video from our SVP to reinforce how Outreach can help them and why the meeting is a must. For this strategy, make sure the asset speaks to your prospect’s persona and is to the point.

Copy the account executive who will be running the meeting and have the AE send a brief response. It deepens the connection.  Your prospect will feel more inclined to show up if the account executive sends a note about how excited they are to meet.

Strategy 4 – Reinforce your solution/problem you solve

The confirmation should be used to recap the conversation and the problem you can solve for the prospect. For example, "Your company wanted to solve ABC problem and we're looking forward to showing we can solve  issues.”

Strategy 5 – Don’t forget to remember

We send out reminders by email that are triggered at specific times, such as a day before and one hour before the meeting. Don’t forget to keep adding value.

Strategy 6 – Apply oversight

We don’t let anything slip through the cracks, which is why we manage higher show rates for our meetings. Each morning a sales manager will scan through the upcoming schedule and make sure that all prospects have confirmed for every meeting. If it’s not confirmed at that point, asynchronous communication like email or text is not sufficient. Get your sales reps on the phone.   The added level of accountability keeps the whole team on track.


Managing and reducing your no show rate is about using your team's time wisely and honoring the opportunity cost of a missed meeting - but it's also about improving morale. It can really wear on reps to consistently have people stand them up on meetings, especially compounded on top of the many other rejections a sales rep faces on a day to day basis.

With a few simple strategies, you can tip the odds in your favor when it comes down to whether a prospect will show up for a meeting. Now you can spend less time fretting over whether they'll show and more time moving forward on the next opportunity.

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