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No-show Cadence: Re-engage With Leads Who Missed Meetings

Everything’s headed in the right direction.

You’ve found a hot lead and they’re interested.

Meeting booked. It’s almost like that was too easy.

But wait….they flaked on you?

The truth is, you’re always going to get people that don’t show up. 

According to David Bentham, Director of Sales Development at Cognism:

“I've never seen a 100% show rate ever, ever, ever, ever”

This no-show cadence is for anyone who doesn’t turn up for a meeting.

It’s an effective way of chasing people up - remember they've already shown interest, they scheduled the meeting.

At Cognism we’ve had a 53% reply rate to this cadence. That’s a fair bit of low-hanging fruit!

Dave explained:

“One of our core KPIs is show rate. Yes, you will always have people who don’t show up. People are busy and they have lives. Generally, it slides between 75% and 85%. But you want to make sure you’re improving this as much as possible.

This is a mammoth 90-day cadence. Let’s get into it 👇

Day 1 - LinkedIn connection request, phone call and email

This is the triple touch! LinkedIn messaging, phone and email.

Why do we do this?

It maximises the chance of a response due to increased visibility.

Here’s the email:

Hi (first name), 

My colleague mentioned that we didn’t manage to connect for our call. Is there a better time for us to reschedule the meeting for? 

Best regards,

(sender’s first name)

At this stage, this is just a reminder that you had a meeting booked.

The tone here is very conversational, it’s very 1-2-1.

Dave explained:

“This email is more a reminder that we’re here. People miss things for all kinds of reasons. If we were to resell the product then and there, it would come across as very salesy and almost desperate.”

And the reply rate for this email? 15%.

Day 2 - Phone call

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Press ▶️ to watch Cognism's video on the ultimate cold calling script for B2B!


Day 3 - Phone call and email

The email is:

“Just chasing this one. Very keen to get your eyes on the platform if it's something you’re still interested in?”

It’s really important to come across as confident. You should assume the prospect is interested until proven otherwise.

If there’s an objection, then you can go back into sales mode.

Day 4 - Phone call

How should you train SDRs?

A mistake businesses are making is training SDRs to sell just the meeting.

Dave explained:

“SDRs must be coached like AEs to identify prospects' pains, challenges, and goals. Lead with value not on how to push prospects into meetings.”

“Train them on personas, ICP, and use cases. Train them to create open, 2-way conversations. Train them to qualify out as well as qualify in.”

“Then sit back and watch the quality and quantity of your pipeline fly as well as creating your next generation of killer AEs.”

Day 5 - LinkedIn message

At this stage, if the prospect still hasn't replied, send them a message on LinkedIn.

Top tip:

Don't sell aggressively! Be light-touch at this stage in the no-show cadence.

Here’s an example message:

“Hey, I sent over a few emails and calls. Just wondering if you've seen them?”

Day 7 - Phone call and email

Here’s a cold email template.

With no-show prospects, it's best to personalise your emails as much as possible. Like so:

Hi (first_name), 

Sorry for the persistence, I appreciate you must be super busy. 

When we last spoke you mentioned (input their pains, challenges, goals).......and then reiterate how we would help address these.....

My colleague and I have put together a very promising business case for you to explain how we can add value to you. Do you have 15 minutes spare to take a look? 

Day 10 - Phone call and LinkedIn message

In a no-show cadence, it’s dangerous territory to go in with a hard sell.

You put off those who would’ve attended a meeting had you said ‘hey can we reschedule the meeting we just organised’. 

You need to identify why they didn't turn up to the meeting in the first place. 

It could be circumstantial or they could have an objection. Try to find this out by sending them a message.

Here's an example:

“What's changed your mind since we last spoke?”

Day 30 - Phone call and email

Note the big gap between Day 10 and Day 30. At this stage, we need to let the prospect breathe for a bit. Being too salesy will only put them off.

On Day 30, check in with them and try to get them to commit to something minor - a 15-minute call, for example.

Dave explained:

“I think desperation stinks. We’ve already sold a product and they’ve already agreed to it once. We don’t need to keep plugging away like sell, sell, sell.”

Here’s the email:

Hi (first_name),

Me again :) When we last spoke you were super keen to learn more about how Cognism would add value to you.

Do you have 15 minutes free to take a look and trial Cognism? 

Day 40 - Phone call

How do you avoid coming across as desperate? What’s the right mindset for these calls?

It’s all about confidence.

Dave said:

“I think confidence is everything and it comes across. You need to believe that they have a reason to turn up. SDRs should get themselves into the headspace that it’s not personal. It’s okay to be this persistent”

Day 52 - Phone call

The show rate for meetings is an important KPI.

Think about how you sell the product in the first place.

Dave told us:

“The best fix is proactive prevention rather than reactive prevention. Of course, do the reactive stuff but don’t forget to analyse the call that you made.”

“Usually, it means that we haven’t sold the product well enough. We haven’t made it a priority for the prospect.”

There are many reasons this could have happened.

Sometimes SDRs downplay the product. They focus too much on free demos, rather than identifying pain and selling based on pain.

It’s all about being value-led.

Asking for a demo plays off the prospect's emotions, making it difficult for them to say no.

That often leads to people no-showing for meetings.

Here’s what you should do instead:

  • Ask them what tool they’re using right now.
  • Talk through the issues they’re having with that tool.
  • Identify the pain they’re having with that tool.
  • Use that to lead into how we solve that pain.

When they see the upcoming meeting, they’re thinking: ‘This is going to solve a problem that I have. So I should turn up!’

Otherwise, it’s a take-it-or-leave-it meeting.

Day 60 - Phone call and email

At this late stage in the cadence, it’s time to change the approach. 

The purpose is to remind the prospect why they took the meeting in the first place. It’s quite common that people forget the conversation; what you have to do as a sales rep is to remind them of their pain.

Dave told us:

“Managers just want to fix problems. They want things that are going to help them reach their goals.” 

“On that first call, we might have identified that one of their issues was data quality. Maybe they’ve just forgotten that we can fix that. This is where we’re starting to resell in the hope of a different outcome.”

Send the prospect an email showing some social proof:

Hi (first_name), 

Cognism has helped similar companies to yours (input a similar client) achieve their business goals.

The key to that success has been combining our intent data with manually verified contact data, setting us apart from anything else in the market - would you like to test it out?

Day 90 - Phone call

Why would you keep trying if the prospect's been ghosting you for months?

Dave said:

“It’s so much better to retarget the people that have agreed to a meeting. We’ve qualified them and know that they have a use case.” 

“Your odds of converting someone who has said yes once is so much higher than someone that’s never said yes.”

There might be a reason they’ve been ignoring you. Other priorities often come up.

So where is the line between desperation and persistence?

Generally speaking, the average salesperson is not persistent enough. They can always push it more.

Dave had this advice to share:

“It’s human nature to be scared of being too persistent. The majority of meetings that I’ve taken have been from people who have kept hounding me.”

“The more persistent you are, the more bridges you'll burn, but the more people are going to get in as well.”

This no-show cadence allows you to do that - to re-engage with leads who missed meetings in a persistent, long-term way.

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