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From Ghosted to Booked: Mastering B2B Sales Follow-Through

· 5 min read
Roy Firestein
CEO at

In the fast-paced world of B2B sales, one of the most frustrating challenges sales professionals face is the dreaded "no-show" or being ghosted by prospects after the initial meeting. This issue not only wastes valuable time but can also significantly impact your bottom line. According to a recent Forrester report, nearly 90% of global business buyers indicate that their purchase process was stalled in 2023 [1]. This statistic underscores the importance of maintaining momentum in the sales process.

As sales leaders, it's crucial to equip our teams with the right strategies to minimize these occurrences and maintain momentum in the sales process. At Autohost, we've developed a comprehensive approach to tackle this problem head-on. Here's our guide to reducing no-shows and ghosting in your B2B sales process:

  1. Set Clear Expectations with an Up-Front Contract
    The Sandler Selling Methodology emphasizes the importance of establishing an up-front contract at the end of each interaction. This contract sets clear expectations for the next steps and ensures both parties are on the same page.

    Example: "Thanks for your time today, [Prospect Name]. Based on our discussion about [specific pain points], what do you think should be our next step?"

  2. Secure Commitment for the Next Meeting

    Once you've agreed on the next step, lock in a firm commitment:

    "Great, let's schedule our next meeting to [discuss/demo/etc.]. How does [specific date and time] work for you? I'll send a calendar invite right after our call."

  3. Set Expectations for Communication

    Clearly communicate what will happen between now and the next meeting:

    "Before our next meeting, I'll send you [specific materials/information]. Is there anything else you need from me to prepare?"

  4. Address Potential No-Shows Proactively

    Use a friendly, non-confrontational approach to address the possibility of a no-show:

    "I know things can get busy. If something comes up and you can't make our scheduled meeting, would you mind letting me know? That way, we can reschedule and make the most of both our time."

  5. Establish a Follow-Up Protocol

    Agree on how to handle follow-ups:

    "If I don't hear from you by [agreed date], would it be okay if I reach out to check in? What's the best way to do that - email, phone, or something else?"

  6. Confirm the Prospect's Commitment

    Ensure the prospect is truly committed to moving forward:

    "Just to confirm, are you still seeing this as a priority for your team? Is there anything that might prevent us from moving forward with our next steps?"

  7. Summarize and Reaffirm

    Before ending the call, summarize the agreed-upon next steps:

    "To recap, we've agreed to [next steps]. I'll send you [materials] by [date], and we'll meet again on [date/time]. If anything changes, we'll [agreed follow-up method]. Does this sound correct to you?"

  8. Post-Meeting Follow-Up

    Immediately after the meeting, send a follow-up email that:

    • Provides three highlights from the call
    • Confirm our company can solve their challenge(s)
    • Reiterates the agreed-upon next steps and timeline
    • Includes any promised materials or information

    Here's an example:

    3 highlights from our call today:

    • Manual guest screening process in place, but opportunity to automate and enhance verification
    • Chargebacks have been reduced, but still an ongoing issue, especially for product quality disputes
    • Concerns around longer-term stays and evictions in multiple states

    I’m confident Autohost can help address these priorities with our comprehensive guest screening and fraud prevention solution.

    Next steps:

    • Follow-up call scheduled for Tuesday, June 25th at 10am
    • Review current screening processes and pain points in more detail

    Looking forward to continuing the conversation!

  9. Pre-Meeting Reminder

    A day before the scheduled follow-up meeting, send a friendly reminder:

    "Looking forward to our meeting tomorrow at [time]. I've attached [relevant materials] for your reference. Please let me know if you need to reschedule for any reason."

  10. If a No-Show Occurs

    If despite these efforts, a no-show occurs, follow up with a non-confrontational message:

    "Hi [Prospect Name], I hope everything is okay. We missed our scheduled meeting today. I know things can get hectic. Would you like to reschedule, or has anything changed regarding the priority of this project?"

Implementing these strategies can significantly reduce no-shows and ghosting in your B2B sales process. Remember, the key is to be proactive, clear in your communication, and always maintain a professional and understanding tone.

It's also important to note that the B2B buying process has become increasingly complex. According to a study by Drip, 77% of B2B buyers say their latest purchase was either "difficult" or "very complex" [2]. By providing a clear, structured follow-up process, you're not only reducing no-shows but also simplifying the buying journey for your prospects.

Moreover, with the rise of digital selling, it's crucial to adapt your follow-up strategies to align with modern buying behaviors. Research from Thinkific shows that 62% of B2B buyers engaged with three to seven pieces of content before connecting with a sales rep [3]. This underscores the importance of providing valuable, relevant content throughout the follow-up process to keep prospects engaged.

The shift towards digital and omnichannel selling is further emphasized by McKinsey's research, which found that B2B buyers now use up to ten or more channels, including online and digital, as part of any given purchase. This is double the number of channels used five years ago [4].

By implementing these strategies and staying attuned to the evolving B2B sales landscape, you can significantly reduce no-shows, minimize ghosting, and ultimately improve your sales team's effectiveness and close rates.

Remember, persistence and professionalism are key. As sales leaders, it's our responsibility to guide our teams in mastering the art of follow-through, ensuring that every prospect interaction moves the sales process forward efficiently and effectively.