Have a Lot of No-Shows on Your Sales Calls? Here’s the #1 Reason Why

Sales Meeting Agenda
Sales Prospecting

In this final part of my 6-part series about the key components in your sales meetings, we talk about getting your sales meeting agenda right. So far, we’ve covered:

1) Discovery meeting structures

2) Meeting opening

3) Probing questions in sales

4) Storytelling for sales professionals

5) Sales closing statements

I’m sure all of you have heard the legendary story of how in the 1950s Colgate made one tiny change to their business and they sold 40% more toothpaste. Well, if you haven’t they made the hole in the tube BIGGER!

Tiny changes have a huge impact on the outcome of a business and that was the same for Colgate as it is for a sales team.

I often get asked by sales leaders if I could pick a change to implement on their team. Hands down it would be ensuring that EVERY rep on EVERY meeting had an agenda in their meeting invite.

WOW! That seems so simple. Yes, it is that simple.

Why Your Sales Meeting Agenda Matters

Agendas are one of these most powerful, yet easy things to implement into your sales process. They are something you have full control over and you can monitor for your team.

Do you ever wonder why people don’t show up for your meetings whether they are a sales call with a prospect or even an internal meeting with team members? It’s because they don’t know what the meeting is about. Therefore, they don’t think it’s important.

It’s actually shocking to me how the lack of an agenda in a meeting invite is ubiquitous across all meetings both internal and external!

When there’s no agenda, it translates to you not caring

If there is no agenda, the meeting attendees often think there’s no plan in place and as such will be a big waste of their time.

When you put a simple yet thoughtful agenda in EVERY calendar invite, it tells the prospect that you’re serious, you have a plan, and the meeting is not going to waste their time.

Meeting Agendas Accelerate Your Sales Process

For a salesperson, the practice of creating an agenda for every meeting allows them to clearly think and articulate what they want to get out of the meeting and how the agenda items are going to move the prospect to the next step in the sales process.

It’s an amazing way to prepare for a meeting and an easy reminder to yourself on where you are in the sales process.

I always make sure that when I create the meeting invite, I add the agenda in immediately, so I don’t forget, and nothing gets lost in the cracks.

Sample agenda for a first meeting

Agenda:

  • Introductions
  • Learn more about your goals and initiatives
  • Discuss our approach to work management
  • Demo of our product
  • Next steps as applicable

Now that didn’t seem that hard, did it?! In five simple yet effective bullets, you’re able to tell your prospect to:

  1. Be prepared to answer questions about their business.
  2. Relax and that you’ll give them clarity about your business/product.
  3. Wait for next steps should they like what they see.

Sample agenda for much later in the sales cycle

Agenda:

  • Review agreement
  • Discuss discounts and what we need in return
  • Ensure we have a clear closing plan
  • Ensure we get connected with the right folks on your side to close by the end of the month

Again, the whole purpose is to communicate to your prospect in a subliminal way that you’re not here to sell them but to help them and not waste their time.

Meeting Agendas Fuel Your Overall Productivity and Revenue

Are agendas going to ensure that folks show up for your calls 100% of the time? Of course not!  But I guarantee you will get a lot fewer no-shows and no one will ever email you asking, “What is this meeting about?”

Imagine what getting 10% more meetings to show up would do for revenue and your personal income!

Increased pipeline clarity

As a sales manager getting your team to include agendas in every meeting is a dream for your job as well. Agendas make digging into the pipeline easy and seeing where sales reps are in the process. You no longer have to email the sales rep asking for status updates.

Better 1:1 coaching sessions  

You can easily have you rep show you all the meeting agendas for the following week and provide guidance or feedback on changes to make to help your reps move the deal forward.

Agendas are VERY tactical and pretty simple to implement across even a large organization. You just have to make the commitment to do it and call people out for not having agendas be it for internal or external meetings until it becomes a habit.


Also published on Medium.

Emily Meyer is a tenured sales rep that has been selling in the high-tech industry for 10 years. Her secret sauce to success has always been a genuine curiosity and desire to truly help her customers solve complex business problem which in turn will make them look good internally.
Emily is dedicated to sales process and believes strongly that sales is 70% learned and 30% innate ability. She strives to continue to hone her craft and also pay it forward to the younger generations of sales reps through teaching and mentorship.