Learn how TOPO helps sales and marketing grow faster at www.topohq.com

How to Confirm a Sales Meeting: 4 Best Practices

Many sales opportunities stall when a scheduled meeting with the buyer fails to take place. Buyers get busy, lose interest, and run into a range of other issues that will cause them to miss a meeting with you. At times, the missed meeting just delays the sales cycle by a few days. But a missed meeting is often the first sign the buyer is entering a prolonged “dark stage” or, worse yet, is about to become a closed lost opportunity. It’s a sales cycle conversion point that most sales people spend very little time thinking about.

That’s why it’s critical that sales people use a handful of proven best practices when confirming a meeting with the buyer. While optimizing something as basic as a meeting confirmation may seem like overkill, these best practices will increase the odds of prospects actually attending your sales calls – an obvious, but often under-optimized conversion point in the sales cycle.

4 Sales Meeting Confirmation Tips

To ensure that the highest number of prospects show for your sales calls, use these four best practices:

  1. Use email as the primary means of confirming your meeting with the buyer. Send an email one day in advance of the meeting, stating that you are looking forward to the meeting. This is particularly true if your meeting with the prospect was scheduled more than three days in advance of the actual meeting date. Keep this email short, to the point, and presume that the meeting is happening (see below).
  2. Make sure that you presumptively confirm the meeting. Use messaging such as “I’m looking forward to our meeting tomorrow”. Do not ask the buyer whether they are still available to meet. That’s just an opportunity for the buyer to back out of the meeting with you.
  3. Remind the buyer of the value you will provide in the meeting. Sales calls aren’t just a perfunctory step in the sales cycle. They are a mechanism to provide enough value to the buyer so that they agree to move to next steps with you. For example, remind the buyer that you are bringing a subject matter expert from your company (e.g. a founder or CTO) so that they can share their perspective on the buyer’s current priorities.
  4. Make it easy for the buyer to attend the meeting. Ideally, you should inform the buyer that you will call them directly or meet them at their office. When a conference call is required, make sure that dial in and online meeting instructions are straightforward. Many canned dial in/online meeting instructions generated by conference and collaboration vendors are less than straightforward and should be simplified for the buyer.

Sales Meeting Confirmation Tips

Using these four best practices will reduce the number of buyers that either back out of meetings or simply no show without any communication. They are easy to implement via a standard email template and will help you optimize a hidden conversion point in most sales cycles – meeting scheduled to meeting attended.

About the author:  Scott Albro is the CEO and founder of TOPO. TOPO is a research and advisory firm that helps companies grow revenue faster. We do this by identifying the patterns, plays, and behaviors that drive exceptional revenue growth. It’s this data that helps our clients (the world’s fastest growing companies) enable their sales teams to drive more leads, higher conversion rates, larger average deal sizes, shorter sales cycles, and lower churn rates. The result? Our clients grow 2X faster than the competition.

  • Bridge numbers are too easy to ignore and the meeting fails. If the prospect side of the meeting is just one person, we don’t care how many vendor attendees there are, we don’t use bridge numbers. We always get the direct dial or cell for the prospect and insist the vendor work the logistics to patch in all their people — easy with modern voip system.

    • Thanks for commenting Mike. The dial-in instructions that come with most conference services could use a massive UX overhaul.

  • I like to suggest sending a very simple agenda in the email so the buyer knows this is thought out and not just a last minute dial-in chat on our part. It gets the other person thinking ahead more.

    • Richard Young

      Absolutely and a sending it the day before as a quick “reminder” helps as well.

  • For #4: “Make it easy for the buyer to attend the meeting”. If you are using Google Calendar, make sure to remove the link to the video call. I can’t tell you how many times someone has shown up to the video call instead of to your conference line.

    • Great point.

    • Our team lost quite a few meetings the first few weeks this was happening. Step by step instructions on how to remove are here http://md.gl/removehangout

    • Richard Young

      Very good point, had that happen a number of times until I realised what was happening.

  • trishbertuzzi

    Something we have had our clients doing lately that works well. Have the SDR ask the prospect for their mobile number. Let the prospect know that it will only be used to confirm the meeting (and make sure that remains true). The day before the meeting send a confirmation text. 90% of the time they will provide their mobile and 99% of the time they will respond to the confirmation text.

Your Free Membership

Join the 100s of high growth sales and marketing teams that depend on TOPO. Your free membership includes:

  • 1Free research and data
  • 2A 30+ point assessment
  • 3Access to TOPO Councils