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One of the most frustrating moments of the sales process is the all-too-common "no-show"—when a prospective customer fails to show up for a meeting or isn't available to take a scheduled sales call.

When it happens, too many salespeople mistakenly assume that a "no-show" is just not interested in their offer, and so they move on to other prospects.

However, a recent study of hundreds of sales conversations from Strategic Sales and Marketing (SSM) discovered that no-shows don't always mean "no." Many no-shows happen for different reasons, such as scheduling conflicts, illness, internal disorganization at the customer's company, and more.

Just because your prospect is a no-show doesn't mean they're not interested in buying from you!

In fact, no-shows are a hidden source of future business opportunity.

We conducted a study over two years, surveying 330 prospects who were no-shows for their sales appointments but who agreed to reschedule the meeting. We were curious to hear more about why the no-shows had happened. Since these prospects were still interested enough in the sales offer to reschedule the meeting, we wanted to know why they had not been able to show up for the initial sales conversation.

The study results were surprising.

As far as we know, this is the first study of its kind to go deep into the reasons sales prospects don't show up for scheduled sales appointments. These findings can be useful for salespeople and entrepreneurs who want to understand the true causes of sales no-shows.

  • 56.0% of prospects missed their sales appointment because they were "overwhelmed by internal events."
  • 10.0% got called in to another meeting.
  • 6.0% had an emergency.
  • 5.2% had a technical issue with the meeting invitation.
  • 5.1% had unexpected travel.
  • 5.0% were out sick.
  • 3.9% had a previous meeting that ran too long.
  • 3.0% had a weather issue that derailed their schedule.
  • 2.4% were double-booked.
  • 1.5% forgot about the meeting.
  • 1.2% had a personal issue that caused them to miss the meeting.

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image of Al  Davidson

Al Davidson is founder of Strategic Sales & Marketing, a leader among lead generation companies, providing appointment-setters for global clients.

LinkedIn: Al Davidson