You did it! After countless hours of calls and emails to your target list, you have a meeting booked with a top prospect. The time for the call comes fast, you dial in, and…the prospect doesn’t show.
You’ve been ghosted.
Ghosted prospects cost time and energy and can frustrate sales and marketing teams alike. Ensuring your prospects show up to set meetings is crucial in the early part of your sales process. One subliminal trick can help set expectations and guarantee your client is genuinely interested in attending the meeting.
Why do prospects ghost?
Prospects are people and can miss meetings for any number of reasons. As your customer-vendor partnership may just be getting started, your prospect is unlikely to tell you beforehand if or why they aren’t going to be at your scheduled meeting.
Besides the general explanations like they were sick, or out of the office for personal reasons, most prospects will skip the scheduled meeting with you if they self-determine the partnership isn’t going to result in anything worthwhile.
Consider successful sales discovery calls. The goal of your first client meeting is to uncover the potential customer’s budget, authority, needs, and timeline. A prospect is most likely to ghost you for three main reasons:
- The prospect doesn’t know enough about what you do. You are an expert on your product or service and the problem it solves. In some cases, your target prospect might not understand the problem to know if what you’re selling is worth their time.
- The prospect isn’t the right person to talk to. Maybe your prospect doesn’t have signing power for your type of product or service. On the other side, maybe your prospect has a busier schedule, and someone else in his or her team would be better suited for a chat.
- This just isn’t a great time. The target organization might be in its busy season or near the end of its fiscal year. Be sure to inquire about significant news or events or recent market activity to get a good idea of what your prospect might have going on.
In each of these cases, a client has answered their own objection and effectively ended the conversation. If you’ve already connected with them and booked them for a meeting, you can help yourself stay ahead of this finality with one simple trick.
The best way to deal with ghosting sales and ensure your prospect won’t ghost you is to send your meeting agenda along with your meeting confirmation. A day or two before the call or meeting is to take place, send a short message about how you’re looking forward to your discussion. This is likely the second or third opportunity in the customer life cycle to set the stage for a long-term relationship. It’s vital to continue producing that white-glove service.
When given a complete agenda, a meeting guest knows you’re serious about the conversation and have thought ahead about the details. A prospect with an agenda in hand is far less likely to think your call will be a waste of their time and will begin to mentally consider the agenda topics you’ve included.
Set clear expectations with a shared meeting agenda and invite your prospect to see how ready you are to meet their needs.
Share meeting agenda items and discussion questions ahead of time to set clear expectations and ensure customer satisfaction. Sending the agenda before the meeting allows your prospect the opportunity to add their own discussion topics or questions and gives you or your team time to prepare.
Keep the conversation going
With every call, email, text, or direct mail send, you should continue to add value for the prospect. When you send an agenda, you communicate a character of professionalism and thoughtfulness that prospects desire in client/vendor relationships.
If a client ghosts you, or you don’t get a response via phone, don’t be afraid to follow up via email. After your first meeting, send the recap complete with notes and other relevant resources the prospect may find helpful. Additionally, a thank you note goes a long way in building customer satisfaction and long-term retention.