How Do You Handle the No-Show?

BY Jessica Helinski
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It's always frustrating to be stood up, especially when it’s done by a promising prospect. How should you respond in this situation? “There are ways to effectively nudge your no-​show prospect without feeling like you’re shouting into a void,” writes Claire Murdough in an article for HubSpot. She goes on to share what to do (and not to do) when faced with a no-show.

DO realize there are many reasons for a missed appointment.

People are increasingly busy, so give the prospect the benefit of the doubt. Rather than immediately dismissing the prospect as flaky, realize there are countless potential reasons the call or meeting was missed. As Murdough points out, “…the only assumption you can confidently make is that you can’t be 100% sure about what happened…This mindset will help you avoid making inaccurate assumptions or jumping to conclusions.”

DON’T guilt trip the prospect.

Making the prospect feel guilty can be an effective way to get a response and reschedule, but you shouldn’t do it. It makes the other person feel bad and may pressure her into doing something she might not want to do. A gentle nudge is fine, but purposely trying to make someone feel bad won’t help in the long run.

DO be honest.

While you shouldn’t guilt trip the prospect, don’t be afraid to mention the missed meeting. In your follow-​up communication, clearly mention what happened. Did he not show up for the webinar? Was there no answer when you telephoned at the agreed time? Mention it. “Stating what happened outright helps you establish the facts from your perspective and avoid making ‘assumption’ statements that aren’t all that motivating,” Murdough explains.

DON’T harass.

Reps will often go to great lengths to reach a prospect, like calling alternative numbers on LinkedIn or posting on a social media profile. This type of behavior is not professional and should be avoided. It’s OK to be persistent but make sure you don’t cross the fine line into harassment.

Dealing with a no-​show is a delicate task; how you react can determine the future of the relationship. So, consider Murdough’s tips the next time a prospect stands you up. They can be helpful guidelines to get things back on track.