Do This When Your Meeting Attendee Doesn’t Show

Nobody likes to be stood up for a meeting. Whether it's a brief phone call to catch up or a thoughtfully planned meeting with a prospect, it's frustrating when the other person never shows up. Rather than allowing your emotions to get the best of you, Heather Wilde, CTO of ROCeteer, says you can follow up without losing your cool and damaging your relationship.

We share Wilde's best advice for following up when you're stood up in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Send meeting reminders. It's a poorly kept secret that most entrepreneurs pack their schedule with so many things that they can't possibly get them all done -- and then forget all the things they actually need to do that aren't on the schedule. As a result, Wilde says this causes most entrepreneurs to be perpetually busy. To combat this, she encourages sales professionals to send a gentle reminder via their preferred communication method. If it's an in-person meeting, send a reminder both the day before and an hour before the meeting to allow for travel time. If it's a phone meeting, send a reminder 10 minutes before with the relevant call-in information.

Employ the five-minute rule. If the person has verbally accepted your meeting invitation, whether they clicked "yes" on a calendar request or not, you have a reasonable expectation they will appear. Therefore, if you get their voicemail or they aren't on Zoom, don't waste your day. Wilde says salespeople should wait no more than five minutes for them to call back or login-or 10 minutes for them to show up in person. Any more than that and you're actively choosing to waste your own time and risking your emotions getting out of line.

Send a polite follow-up. Now, Wilde says the best thing to do is to send a quick message apologizing for you both missing each other and suggesting a follow-up. Never place any blame on the other person, she says. This will make things easier to reschedule if they see you are sincerely willing to forgive their indiscretion. Try using this template:
"Dear [Name],

I'm so sorry we weren't able to connect. Please check my calendar to find a time that works better for you so we can talk soon."

Know when to walk away. Sometimes, the reason you're being ghosted is because the other person just isn't that into you. You might be doing all the right things and they still never show up. Look for a pattern. If the person always saying they'll meet with you and then never shows up, they likely never will. Maintain your polite and calm demeanor. Remember, it takes 99 times hearing "no" to reach a "yes," encourages Wilde. Don't waste your time on the people who don't see your value.

Life happens and you're bound to experience a few occasions when the other person is a no-show at a scheduled meeting. Consider the guidance above when following up.

Source: Heather Wilde is CTO of ROCeteer and a personal and professional growth expert, executive coach, author and speaker. As a founding employee of Evernote, she oversaw the company's growth from thousands to 100 million customers.

filed under December 2019
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