Book Sales Meetings Like a Pro: 7 Tips for Reducing No-Shows

Use to help sales teams and business owners increase their meetings completed and reduce no-shows.

The meeting is set. You’ve spent the right amount of time prepping yourself, getting pumped up, and you’re loaded with all the right words to nail this meeting and book a new client.

15 minutes later, your online waiting room is still empty. Another no-show.

You know that every second you waste is just dollars going down the drain, and you’re probably starting to feel underappreciated. How do you get people to show up to the meetings you book?

While 100% attendance is close to impossible, there are some solid tips that I’ve learned over my career in sales, and I’ve used these to help sales teams and business owners increase their meetings completed, improve their sales performance dashboard and reduce no-shows.

Let’s dig into 7 of my favorite tips that are guaranteed to convince more people to show up, plus how to react when you do get a no-show.

7 pro tips to get more prospects to show up 

Getting your prospects to show up has less to do with what you do on the day of the meeting and more to do with every interaction that came before. From the moment you book a new appointment, there are specific steps you can take to increase the chances of your prospect showing up when the day finally comes.

Here are my favorite strategies to reduce no-shows:

1. Make essential information about the meeting easily accessible

When booking a meeting with a potential client, it’s your job to set the details. Whether talking over the phone or by email, avoid vague promises to connect soon. Instead, offer specific times or a link to your calendar. Make sure it’s clear where and how this meeting will be held (in person, on Zoom, Skype, or over the phone).

But once the details are set, you need to make sure they’re accessible to everyone involved.

For example, if you’re chatting over the phone, you might quickly jot down the meeting time in your calendar. But don’t assume your prospect has done the same. 

Whether in an email or with a direct calendar invite, make sure your prospect has every detail of the meeting written down and easily accessible.

MeetFox offers a scheduling tool that allows prospects to book a time with you directly, and sends the information directly to their calendar.

MeetFox meeting scheduler

2. Send a high-level agenda right after booking the meeting

Potential clients are more likely to show up to your meetings if they clearly understand the value they’ll be getting from that meeting.

While you’ve probably already explained what they should expect at the meeting, now is a great time to send them a personalized, high-level agenda that proves the meeting is worth their time and attention.

Here are some things to include:

  • Specific details you’ve discussed, such as challenges the prospect is facing
  • 3 points your meeting will cover
  • A clear benefit your prospect will get from this meeting

To that last point, a specific ROI example works best. A study by RAIN Group found that 66% of buyers ranked seeing a clear ROI case as one of the top influencing factors on their purchasing decision. So, start proving ROI from before the meeting, and you’ll prove you’re worth paying attention to.

For example, a marketing consultant might send this email to a prospect who’s just booked a meeting:

A brief agenda email example to book better sales meetings

Pro tip: Want to take these to the next level? Record a quick, personalized video and use tool like Vidyard, BombBomb, bonjoro, or Dubb.

3. Be smart about when you schedule appointments

Start by using common sense. For most people in the world, there are certain times they’re more likely to get busy or simply forget they had a meeting scheduled. Hectic business times, like Monday mornings or the first days back after holidays, are times when urgent work will push your meeting to the back burner. 

Using common sense will help you avoid common busy points in your prospects’ weeks. But to really nail this point, you need to know your ideal customers extremely well. (If you don’t have an ideal customer profile set up yet, check out Profiler: Ideal Customer Profile Kit from Close.)

Try to understand how your customers’ business schedules work. Are there certain times of the month that are more likely to get busy? How does their quarterly schedule work? 

For example, a virtual assistant selling services to accountants should be aware that tax season is an ultra-busy time, and probably not a great time to set a lot of meetings. A marketing freelancer knows that summertime and the December holidays are slow moments for B2B marketing teams, and any meetings they book probably won’t be seen as a priority.

Understand your ideal customer, and you’ll be able to book smarter meeting times. 

4. Schedule meetings right away (not next month)

This is what I like to call the power of right now. If you’re scheduling meetings weeks or months in advance, you’ll be much more likely to see no-shows.

Instead, book meetings for tomorrow, this week, or even later the same day. 

Scheduling a meeting when you and your offer are still top-of-mind for prospects will help them not to lose interest before you chat.

5. Use your calendar invite to build expectation 

Let’s face it: most calendar invites are boring.

But this is more than a simple reminder—word it right, and it can actually get your prospects excited about meeting with you.

Basically, it’s all in the name. 

Remember, your calendar invite shows up as an email to your prospect when it shows up in their calendar. The subject line of that email is the name of your calendar event.

So, treat that name as an email subject line.

Try something like:

  • 30 minutes to build your new marketing campaign
  • Exploring how we can boost your site’s conversion rate
  • Building a plan to 10x your business growth

Use your calendar invite to inspire, and your prospects will be more excited about joining that meeting when the time comes.

6. Send meeting reminders that set you apart

Reminders are pretty standard for any business professional who’s setting meetings. And anybody who knows me knows that I’m a huge champion of relentlessly following up. The reason: it works. (Some salespeople using my follow-up advice have seen a 15% increase in deals closed.)

The key is to use meeting reminders as a part of your sales sequence, not simply a generic message.

Most scheduling tools, like MeetFox, allow you to customize the meeting reminder emails that are going out to prospects. Use this customization to add your unique personality to those reminder emails. Write it in your voice, address your prospect as if you’re speaking to them face-to-face. 

Use tools that allow you the best mix of personalization and automation, and you’ll save time while still treating your potential clients like real human beings.

7. Make sure YOU show up!

If you want your potential clients to show up to meetings, YOU need to make sure you show up first. 

Do not be late. Do not push meetings at the last minute. And never, ever no-show your prospects. (That’s a sure way to lose a client.)

But we all know what it’s like when you’re running your own business. If you’re finding it hard to stay on top of the meetings you have scheduled, it’s probably time to invest in a customer relationship management tool that will automatically remind you of the meetings you have coming up.

Here’s what this looks like in Close CRM:

Meeting reminders in Close CRM

Meeting reminders appear inside the CRM when the meeting is coming up and allow you to open the lead page so you have full context on the deal before you log into the meeting. No more rushing into meetings at the last second without knowing exactly what you’re going to say (or who you’re meeting with).

Some no-shows are inevitable—here’s how to react 

Life happens, so not every potential client will show up to your meeting. That said, how you react to no-shows can either keep the deal alive or completely close the door to this new client.

Here are some quick tips when you’re dealing with a no-show: 

Two or three minutes after your scheduled time, send a friendly reminder email, letting them know you’re in the meeting and resending the meeting information.

After 10 minutes, it’s safe to assume they’re not coming—send a short-and-sweet email to get them to book another meeting. 

Meeting no-show email example

If you’ve tried to reschedule a few times, it might be time to send a break-up email. (Surprisingly, these tend to have a decent response rate and might end up winning the deal back for you.)

Book your meetings right to lower no-shows

The tips above have one main goal: maintain your prospect’s interest in meeting with you from the moment you book to the moment they log into the meeting. 

Yes, it’s easier said than done—but not impossible.

Make sure everyone involved has a clear record of the information needed to attend, use emails, reminders, and calendar invites to intrigue and excite your prospect, and make sure you are the first to show up to every meeting.

While these strategies won’t eliminate all no-shows, they’ve been proven (by myself and the sales professionals I’ve coached) to help reduce the amount of time you spend waiting for prospects who aren’t going to show. 

Use a combination of the right tools and strategies to book (and keep) your most valuable meetings.

About The Author

Steli Efti is the CEO of, an inside sales CRM for startups and SMBs, and host of the Inner Work podcast.

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