How To Increase Sales Call Show Up Rate (And Decrease No-Shows)

Marketing Strategy
January 17, 2024

If you’re selling high-ticket (or honestly anything) via booked phone calls / meetings / appointments, you know that people gotta actually show up to the call to buy your program. 

And if they don’t show up – it’s wasting everyone’s time and costing you money!

  • They take up space on your calendar (that someone else could have taken)
  • Your sales people are just waiting on an empty zoom
  • You have to either follow up or re-schedule (time + money)
  • You ad dollars that got them there just got washed down the drain
  • Etc Etc

So, it’s clearly in your best interest to decrease the no-show rate (therefore improving the show rate). 

In this article I”m going to break down everything that you can use to blast up your show rate, keep your sales people happy and your revenue cranking.

And it might be different than you think!

LFG

First, let’s start with some basics:

What Is A No Show?

No show refers to a booked call where the prospect just doesn’t show up. This is money and time down the drain.

Why Do People No-Show For Scheduled Calls / Appointments? 

Theres a myriad of reasons people don’t show up, and we’ll address many of them (plus solutions) in this article. 

  • The prospect literally forgot
  • The prospect had a conflict
  • The prospect had an emergency
  • The prospect had second thoughts / doubts

Could be any or a combination of the above. 

So how do you fix it? 

Here’s the first, and most important thing to know: 

What Happens Before The Call Is Booked

The BIGGEST, most influential factor in show up rate is what happens before the call is booked / how the call gets booked.

Not all calendar bookings are created equal.

Let me explain:

The first time I realized this is when we first hired SDRs (sales development reps / setters) in my last company. We were booking 200+ calls per month, and prospects were basically scheduling themselves on our website. 

We decided to increase the bookings by hiring SDRs to call all the leads and book calls with them. We would pay them a dollar bonus for every successful booked call. 

But what we found was that there was a HUGE difference between a prospect self-booking and an SDR convincing them to book a call. The no show rate was double that of a regular self-booked call. 

Now, it doesn’t have to be this way if you have a good SDR booking process, but off the rip, the point of it is that the show up rate (AND QUALITY) of calls is dramatically affected by the process in which the call is booked. 

All the tweaks in this article can help, but first start with improving the call booking process - What happens before the call?

For example, here are a few scenarios:

Cold SDRs reaching out to leads: 

This method has a high level of no shows, or high variability, unless you have a good process here. 

SDRs need to qualify, pre-fame, get the prospect excited, demonstrate the value of the call, and book in a short time frame. 

The emotional state of the buyer needs to be kept going, and if there is too much time, it will lose steam. 

VSL Book-A-Call Funnels:

I’ve seen this have varying success, depending on the audience, offer etc. 

One one hand, if you have a warmed up audience and you email them or send a text message broadcast to your funnel, you can have a ton of success with this. 

This type of funnel can often pick up leads that meant to buy, just needed the opportunity / inspiration. 

You can likely snipe in a bunch of leads for calls by simply running a VSL/Case Study short video to your list every month. Easy peasy.

On the other hand, a lot of VSLs are run with paid traffic, and getting someone that has no idea who you are to book a call AND show up can be a hard marketing trick to pull off. Often VSL book a call funnels have Cost-Per-Call of $200+.... So your program has gotta be dialed in. You can make it work for sure if your variables are right (high pain point, demonstrated value, economics dialed in), but just realize that there is not a ton of time here to develop trust and intimacy. 

Emails / SMS > Book A Call

This is a core strategy to use every month, or even every week. 

Just writing simple emails to book calls, and the show up rate is usually pretty good. 

The reason is because this is likely not the first time your prospect is hearing about you, they’ve been on your list, consumed your content, and just needed the opportunity to book. 

Show up rates = pretty good with this method.

Booking Link On Your Site

This method produces somewhere between an average to low show up rate because you might get people that are “hot” and you might get people that forget instantly what the call is. 

This is the price you pay for having it available, however a good amount of calls can just come from this. 

Here’s an example on our website. We just have a booking link up so that anyone can book a call with us. 

This is not really a funnel, but this just gives me a simple page to get on the phone with leads. We’re at a stage right now where we’re trying to speak to a lot of prospects. You might be in a different situation where you want to qualify more, so you might have a pre-booking survey.

Use the tactics below to improve show up rates on this type.

Webinar > Book A Call

This is likely one of the best if not the best way to get GREAT calls. I’m talking people that show up ready to buy. 

You do your value based webinar, give a short pitch at the end and tell people to book a call. This results in a flood of calls and cash, just for hanging out on a webby for 1-2 hours. 

When I talk to clients selling high-ticket programs, I ask them if they are doing webinars. 

A lot of them tell me “Yeah sometimes

When I ask them how it went, they say “Well it was actually awesome, we got a ton of calls after it, and almost all of them closed!

And so I ask.. “Why aren’t you doing this all the time then???”

Webinars rock, period. 

Look, you likely have an email/sms list of a bunch of prospects. Those prospects might be anywhere on the scale of 0 - 10 in their readyness to buy. 

But getting them on a live webby, where you slam their brain with value for 1-2 hours is likely the FASTEST and most powerful way to get them from wherever they are at to “ready to buy” now. 

And when it’s live, they pay WAY more attention (because they can’t miss it, they can’t rewind or watch it later). 

AND on top of that, a lot of times the call is one of the easiest-slam dunk closes your sales team will ever have. The prospect is totally warmed up. 

One time after a webinar, a sales guy told me he had to have a 2nd call with the prospect AFTER the sale to figure out what he even bought. He told me the client was so jazzed after the webinar he just bought and didn’t even know what it was. 

The webinar created so much energy the prospect was so hyped that he was basically hypnotized into buying. 

(Well at least thats the way that it happened in my mind… HAHA)

This is the power of getting people live!!! 

(Here’s the monthly webby strategy in more detail. And no it’s not the typical Russel Brunson Perfect Webinar either!)

So point is: The WAY the call is booked, what happens BEFORE the call, dramatically affects the call more than anything below. 

Set The Call Frame

This is similar to above, but you have to consider the FRAME of the call.

What is the point of the call in the viewers eyes?

Is the frame - 

  • Is it “Book a call so you can buy this thing from me?”
  • Or “I have special information that you can only get by getting on this call”
  • Or “We are going to solve your problems specifically and give you a plan that you can walk away with”

Why are they booking a call? What value are they getting from it? How clear is that value? 

The frame / purpose of the call, and the clarity of that will dramatically influence the show up rate.

OK with that covered, now moving on to tactics to increase show rate:

Create A Pre-Sales Questionnaire 

This is about qualifying the prospect, and making sure that the right people are booking.

 Depending on the funnel this might happen a few ways:

Typeform Qualification

Sometimes this is an actual typeform (or similar) that looks at their responses and only offers calls to qualified people (like… people that confirm they have money and or urgency).

Typeform Call Customization

Sometimes this is a typeform that customizes the call offer to the type of person / situation. So for example if you have multiple client types, you would show a different pre-call video and calendar to each type. 

SDR Qualification

Sometimes this is an actual person (like an SDR) that can qualify the prospect before booking. Be careful about incentives here, as if you incentivize just booking calls (pay per booked calls) the SDRs will just book calls with anyone. If you pay per show up, or even better closes, you can get better results. 

The idea is that the more qualified the prospect is, the more likely they are to show up. 

Limit How Far In Advance Someone Can Book

This is probably the 2nd biggest factor in getting prospects to show up (after considering what happens before the call).

The absolute max recommendation is 14 days. 

B2B has a bit more flexibility in my experience than B2C (or biz opp offers). And for B2B depends on the size of the client (bigger clients = more time allotted, slower sales cycle).

But honestly for many people, booking beyond 3-4 days out dramatically decreases the show percentage. 

You want people riding the wave of excitement / mindset they had when they booked the call. 

The farther out, the more likely they will lose the energy, forget, get doubts creeping in, find a competitor, get sidetracked by something else, etc. 

You want to get people on the call as fast as you can.

The easy way to do this is to just limit your calendar to be booked out for a limited time. 

In Calendly you can set the limit under “Scheduling Settings”

Add A Customized Post-Booking Thank You Page

After booking the call, you can send the prospect to a custom thank you page designed to increase show-up and conversion. 

This page is often simple: 

Video up top that covers the basics, then written instructions + social proof below. 

Simple concepts for the video:

  • Get rapport (being friendly, real)
  • Confirm that they have booked an appointment
  • Tell them how to make sure it’s on their calendar
  • What reminders you will send
  • What is going to happen on the call (What’s the value of the call)
  • Break objections
  • Show Proof
  • Possibly: What happens if they don’t attend

Other tactics for this page:

Send Homework

Another thing that can increase show up rates is to send homework here, getting them to prepare for the call. This can be a worksheet of questions, or things they need to bring to the call to get the max value. 

This doesn’t work in every scenario but can improve show up rate if they have actually prepared.

Offer A Bonus For Showing Up To The Call

You can give a bonus for showing up to the call… This is related to the frame of the call, but something you can offer specifically for showing up.

No Show Policy

Some brands have a strict policy for no-shows, not allowing prospects to rebook if they miss the call / ghost. 

Increase Email Reminders

This is obvious, but sometimes you gotta check to make sure you’re doing the basics.

For example, did you know in Calendly, by default, email reminders are OFF? 

You want to turn these on and add multiple reminders, increasing velocity leading up to the event.

Warning About Gmail & Calendar Invites

Here’s a gotcha - Did you know that Google changed how calendar invitations are received?

Essentially, people started spamming calendar invites because they just showed up in your Gmail calendar… 

So now, when Calendly sends invites it WON’T show up in your prospects calendar automatically. 

Instead, Gmail will display a message like this:

So you can tell prospects about this on the post-booking thank you page and have them accept the invite.

OR, this is just another reason to send multiple reminders + SMS as the calendar invite might not make it onto their calendar. 

Send Pre-Call Content

You can send additional content between the time that they book and the meeting to “warm them up”

This can be simple emails about your best:

  • Videos
  • Guides
  • FAQ’s
  • Case Studies / Proof

Etc. 

The idea here is to keep the energy going + increase their intimacy with you pre-call.

Add SMS Reminders (This Is A BANGER)

This is a big win - Send an SMS confirmation text AND meeting reminders. 

We can help with this automatically with our Calendly integration. 

There are a bunch of styles of reminders, and it depends on your brand. 

For example, you can send simple reminders that come from your brand like stock templates, or you can send reminders that have a conversational tone. 

You can even ask people to confirm that they are coming by sending questions SMS like

“Hey this is Clayton, I see we have a call scheduled here in a little bit, just wanted to make sure you're coming?”

Prospects can reply and you can chat inside of Roezan conversations.

SMS reminders can be the KEY to getting show-ups, as SMS is the one thing that can cut through the noise and get their attention where it already is - on their phone.

Calendly SMS Integration With Roezan

We even developed a Calendly integration to send automated reminders. You can customize your confirmation text and timed reminders to each of your events.

Want to get a demo, or get started with reminders? 

Click here to book a call with us.

Have Someone Call Them Before To Confirm

If you have an SDR team, having someone call the prospect a bit before the call to confirm they will be showing up can help improve show-up rates.

Optimize Call Booking Times

If you give a prospect a calendar, they will book any time available, but there are certain days/ times that have a higher percentage of no shows.

For example:

Monday Mornings: These are often blown off, or overlooked as people are recovering from the weekend and/or don’t look at their calendar until later that day. 

Friday Afternoons: Even if people book they often will forget or blow off these meetings as they are getting out of work early / excited for the weekend

Holidays: Even if you’re open for business (hell yeah 24/7 entrepreneurship… amirite?)... people often blow off or forget about holiday booked calls. 

Check and see if you have a higher show rate here, and block off these times from the calendar.

Conclusion

Alright, these are the top tips to help reduce no-shows from your call schedule. 

Adding SMS to your stack can not only help getting people to show up to calls but also getting people to book calls in the first place. Check out our article on 9 ways to get more booked calls here

Any more tips? Let us know in the comments! 

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