“I’m too busy right now, can you reschedule the meeting?”
“I’m out of office due to some work, please connect later.”
“Let me check my calendar, I’ll see what I can do.”

If you are a sales leader or a professional, I can feel you. When it comes to fixing a meeting or demo, these are probably the most frequently used excuses coming from the leads. After innumerable follow-ups, some leads show up while some keep procrastinating. Worst-case scenarios are the ones that come with an assurance of conversions but somehow they stop taking your calls or decline your invitation requests.

Pretty frustrating, right? Confronting rejections comes with the baggage of being a salesperson and you already know the no-show cycle will keep revolving. The ONLY solution is to keep trying new techniques and strategies to improve your lead quality rather than fretting over your lost leads (and time!).  

Here are some effective ways to bring your A-game in convincing your leads to attend demo calls or scheduled meetings on time.  

#1 Take a deep breath and analyze the lead quality

This is the first step to take your leads to the next level. After handling a bevy of leads, you know who will act upon your proposal and who might just beat around the bush. This is where you need to put your intuitive (and counter-intuitive) hat on. Cool your jets and try to understand the tone and psyche of your leads.

Ask them questions that will help you understand their problems and challenges better. Remember, you should make them understand that you’re trying to act as a problem-solver and not a seller who’s pitching a fancy product.  

#2 Empathize and let them choose a convenient time

I hope you don’t fall into the category of sales pros who set their own set of rules to organize the meet. I know, as a sales pro, you will be often swamped with numberless deliverables, but so are your leads. Please empathize and give them the flexibility to choose their own convenient time.

Even if it comes beyond your office hours! Set up your to-dos accordingly because you wouldn’t want to lose out on a potential lead over time management issues.

#3 Prompt them with a gentle reminder

You don’t have to call them every time you organize a meeting. There are many ways to prompt without irking them. A gentle reminder with a nice message on WhatsApp or an email is one of the tried and tested ways that work well.

You can also automate your appointment scheduling and reminders with a tool like Harmonizely to reduce no-show rates. Give them ample options to reschedule just in case they are not available to attend the meeting on the first go. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

#4 Do your research. Period.

Always consider your lead to be smarter than you. Never render them unanswered if they ask you certain questions. They might just connect you with the domain expert from their team and they will most definitely ask you more and more questions related to your product.

You should stay well coordinated with your product expert who can support you during such trying times. Do as much research as possible on your product and yes, do not leave out your competitors in this process. Your leads might have tried a demo with your competitors and you should be prepared with a set of answers that makes your product look better than the other players.

#5 Maintain ORM on EVERY POSSIBLE digital platform

I always make it a point to skim through online reviews before purchasing a product or service. I’m sure, you too do the same. Your leads too would be no different when it comes to considering your product before appearing for a demo.

Coordinate with the marketing team and tell them to constantly keep a tab on the online reviews, both the positive and negative ones. ORM or Online Reputation Management is a quintessential way to stay relevant in the chock-a-block contested space. Ask them to revert the responses judiciously. The negative feedback should be answered in a timely manner with legitimate solutions. Your product will be judged on the basis of your previous records and you would want to amp up your customer service capabilities here.

#6 Try user-friendly meeting automation tools

Nowadays, there are more tools than ever to get you covered for any problem you can think of. Dot the i's and cross the t's when selecting an automation tool to help you organize your meetings better.

With a suitable scheduling tool for your business, you not only enable a user-friendly experience for meetings but also give yourself the flexibility to streamline your customer appointment efforts.

A scheduling tool will allow you to give enough space to your prospects to choose their convenient slots without your intervention. You can also integrate it with other relevant tools for a seamless meeting experience with your leads. All you need to do is just relax and prep up for the demo session and of course, appear in the meeting on time.

#7 Stay coordinated with other teams

Let me share a personal experience here. A sales guy once told me that there have been instances when the marketing team is driving promotional offers but their sales team is completely unaware of it. He was flooded with calls from the prospects with an expectation that they would be given the promo offer. The guy with his head in the clouds was rendered speechless and he lost out on many hot prospects because of his I-have-no-clue attitude. Later when he enquired the marketing team in an interdepartmental meeting, he came to know about the huge gap in communication between the sales and marketing team. You would want to avoid such awkward situations which will do you more harm than ever and this is where you need to have proper workflows and take the bull by its horns.

Aside from utilizing internal project management tools, make it a point to stay well coordinated with not only your marketing team but also other teams who might be responsible for the outcomes of your brand objectives.

#8 Monitor your calls and improvise

Now, this is important. To convince the leads for a demo call, you first need to actually persuade them in the first place. You already know, you will be able to create an impression based on your sales pitch and you would want to monitor your persuasion style for this. How will you do it?

Whether you’re a sales leader or a professional, try using tools that would help you monitor all your calls, on the go. Call management tools like MyOperator can help you keep track of all your call recordings on any device and you can set performance metrics after listening to your own calls. This will not only help you improvise on your sales pitch but also can be used for training purposes. You can also monitor your sales team’s performance and evaluate their capabilities with the help of call analytics.

#9 Follow-up, even if it hurts

It’s a no-brainer. You already know building relationships and following up with a set of unknown leads is one of the most tedious tasks. No matter how much it hurts, try to nudge your prospects only if they give no response to any of your setups.

Try not to lose your cool and ask them if they are facing any problem in attending the scheduled meeting. Avoid calling them at odd hours and make sure both of you are on the same page if it’s a no-show. If you get an inkling that they are deliberately procrastinating, don’t overdo it at the cost of losing them.

That’s it for now. If you have any other suggestions or feedback that can be added to this listicle, do ping on Twitter and let me know. Happy meeting!

About the Author: Dipannita Das is a journalist turned content marketer, currently working as a content lead at MyOperator. An OTT content fanatic, she mostly juggle between professional writing and occasional graphic designing.