Minimizing No-Shows for Virtual Meetings in B2B Sales in the Age of Virtual Meetings

Written by: Shawn Peterson

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a dramatic shift in how B2B sales teams conduct their business. Gone are the days of face-to-face meetings with prospects. Instead, sales teams are now relying heavily on virtual meetings, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, as the primary way to connect with prospects and capture new business opportunities. While virtual meetings have many advantages including cost savings, convenience, and efficiency, one of the major downsides of virtual meetings is dealing with no-shows. No-shows are when a prospect doesn’t show up for a scheduled meeting and this can be extremely frustrating for sales teams. Not only does the salesperson’s time go to waste, but it can also be detrimental to the sales process. Without the ability to build a connection with prospects and answer questions in real-time, it can be difficult to close a deal. Minimizing no-shows is essential for sales teams to be successful in this age of virtual meetings. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips and strategies for minimizing no-shows for virtual meetings for net new business opportunities for B2B sales. 

Automate the Meeting Process.

The process of scheduling and managing meetings can be time-consuming and tedious, and it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks. To make the process easier, sales teams should use a meeting automation tool, such as HubSpot Meeting Links or Calendly, to manage the scheduling of meetings. These tools sync with your existing calendar and enable you to avoid back-and-forth email exchanges to try to identify a meeting time that will work for all participants. These tools also enable you to send automated reminders to prospects before the meeting. 

Provide Clear Instructions.

The success of any meeting relies on the participants having all the information they need to join. When sending out meeting invitations, sales teams should provide clear instructions on how to join the meeting, including the link and any necessary passwords. It’s also important to make sure the instructions are simple and easy to follow. 

Send a Pre-Meeting Email.

Sending a pre-meeting email is a great way to remind prospects about the upcoming meeting and ensure they have all the necessary information. The email should include the date and time of the meeting, the meeting link, instructions on how to join, and a meeting agenda. It should also include any relevant documents or material that will be discussed during the meeting. The agenda items for the upcoming meeting should include the following: 

  • Introduction to the meeting and introductions of all participants 
  • Review of the prospect’s current situation
  • Overview of your solution and how it can address the prospect’s pain points 
  • Open discussion on how our solution can meet the prospect’s needs 
  • Questions and answers 
  • Next steps

Follow Up.

Following up with prospects before and after the meeting is an important step in minimizing no-shows. Before the meeting, sales teams should reach out to ensure the prospect is still available and confirm any last-minute details. After the meeting, sales teams should reach out to thank the prospect for attending and follow up on any action items. 

Offer Incentives. 

Offering incentives can be a great way to motivate prospects to attend the meeting. These incentives could include offering a discount on a product or service, a complimentary consultation, or a free gift. Automated e-gifting platforms, such as Sendoso, have become very popular for sending e-gift cards to a favorite coffee joint for virtual coffee meetings. Incentives can be a great way to show a prospect that their time is valued and encourage them to attend the meeting. 

Personalize Invitations.

Personalized invitations can go a long way in making prospects feel valued and appreciated. When sending meeting invitations, sales teams should take the time to personalize the message and make it feel more like a conversation than a sales pitch. Personalizing the message can also be a great way to pique a prospect’s interest and encourage them to attend the meeting. 

Even when you incorporate these tips and strategies, no-shows for virtual meetings will still happen. When you do have a no-show, take the following steps to reengage the prospect:

  • At the 3-minute mark, reply to the invite with the meeting link and ask the prospect if this is still a good time to meet and let them know you have launched the meeting. 
  • At the 7-minute mark, give the prospect a call. If you are still unable to reach them, send an updated invite for the next day at the same time with a note indicating that you understand they are busy and that things come up. Let the prospect know this seemed like a good time of day for them to meet so you are hoping that the rescheduled meeting will work better for them but ask them to please reach out or to reschedule on your calendar link if you need to regroup and find a new meeting time.

Dealing with no-shows can be a major challenge for B2B sales teams in the age of virtual meetings. However, with the right strategies and tactics, sales teams can minimize no-shows and increase their chances of success. By automating the meeting process, providing clear instructions, sending pre-meeting emails, following up with prospects, offering incentives, and personalizing invitations, sales teams can ensure their meetings are successful and their time is well-spent.

About Shawn Peterson

Shawn Peterson is the CEO of Quantum Business Solutions. He comes with a decade of experience in the technology services industry as an executive. Shawn is a visionary focused on high growth and performance through sales, marketing, and client experience. 

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