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"I just got called into an urgent meeting, can we reschedule?"

Hi WR! First time poster, 60-ish day lurker here.


For context, I am 90 days into my first AE role after spending a year as an SDR. This is my first B2B gig (mid-market) after spending the previous decade in transactional consumer sales with a 1-2 call sales cycle (not including the SDR year).


I've had a couple of these this week. I'll grant you it's better than being ghosted, but it's still pretty irritating when you get a calendar decline 10 mins before your disco call due to "a pop up meeting I have to attend" or "a big project that requires my attention". I'm not unsympathetic, shit does happen, but it starts feeling a little weird when you get 2 or 3 of these in a row.


I guess my question for you seasoned B2B folks is what is your reaction when this happens to you?

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14
SaaSam
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
If it happens more than once with the same prospect I'll lightly call them out with something along the lines of, "I feel like this may not be a priority for you." If on the phone just say that and then shut up to see what they say. If you're just going to email them be upfront and say you want to do a temperature check to see if this is the right time because it feels it may not be a priority.

Obviously don't want to be a dick, in the event these pop up meetings are legit, but want to give them an out because some people aren't comfortable saying "no" when they should.

A manager once told me, "I make them tell me no".

You'll soon learn, if you haven't already, that no isn't a bad thing
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+12
Senior Account Executive
Reschedule the meeting for a different day/time and see if that works.Β 
barney2021
Big Shot
+7
Account Executive
Like @curiousfox said however 3 reschedules and they are out.Β 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Officer
+9
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
1) Immediately hit them with a link to reschedule.
2) Build up a big enough pipeline and 2-3 won't matter. It's a numbers game and no-show rates should be around 10-20%
3) Call their bluff. "No problem. Should we reschedule, or is this no longer a priority for your team?"

3 is aggressive in some cases, but also will get you a response that is either confirming the importance or telling you to GFY in so many words. Either way, you'll know what you should and shouldn't focus on.
UserNotFound
Politicker
+10
Mid Market Manager
My boss has a unique solve for this- he sends three different invites spanning morning- lunch - afternoon and labels them all tentative, then whichever the prospect accepts he removes tentative, and deletes any before that accept (if they accept the Tuesday option delete Monday) and leave anything after as tentative so if they need to reschedule you can suggest taking that tentative time slot. Delete last remaining tentative options as once the β€œaccepted” meeting has happened. I haven’t been in a situation to use this, but I do know he’s seen a lot of success with it (selling to CFO/CIOs).
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
Hell yeah, welcome and glad you're posting!

I had a prospect that did this at least twice a month for the better part of 6 months. That deal closed for some $$$$. The shit happens. I recommend looking back to other times they suggested later in that week/the next week and moving the event to that time.

And as @SaaSam , calling them out is fine. People don't even realize they're doing this half the time.
Werkzeug
Opinionated
+2
Account Executive
I mean it's not a bad strategy to weed out the sales reps who aren't specifically targeting you and your org and just using you for a dial.Β 

If you stuck it out with me through 11 rebooks, the meeting will eventually happen and if I have a decision to make, I'm inclined to go with you, regardless of the discounts offered by your 3 and out competition.

Thanks for your perspective, this is what I was hoping for from WR!Β 
friendlyginge
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
So I tend to see meetings fall off if I have to schedule a meeting more than a week out. If this happens, I try to stay top of mind in the meantime. In fact I think you could do this regardless of when you set the meeting. I’ve been trying to squeeze in a few more qualifications on my cold calls (I’m in a fully outbound role) to find out what may be important to them. Or if we are communicating via email, I’ll send them maybe two or three questions to help me tailor the the demo. Then in the meantime, I’ll send them some relevant content maybe a few days before the meeting. If your marketing team doesn’t put out content, maybe you could send over a customer story to pique their interest. Then, a day before the meeting I send a friendly reminder, as well as the morning of the meeting. I have a pretty good show rate
Werkzeug
Opinionated
+2
Account Executive
Sounds like I need a process to stay top of mind without overdoing it. Very solid advice, @friendlygingeΒ !Β Β 

Do you get much back from them when you send the 2-3 questions?Β  Either way it seems the point is just to stay on the radar and if they reply with something useful it's bonus pointsΒ 
friendlyginge
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
Sometimes I forget to send but I would say maybe 1/3 of the time they answer!
cw95
Politicker
+6
Pricing Executive
As others have said, 2/3 times then just ask again and if no response just leave them as the way we see it is - if they go on a trial or become customers, they will probably be very difficult to work with in the long run or equally take a very long time to get going. Happens to me quite a lot within my industry and usually they are apologetic and do attend a second or third rearranged meeting. Frustrating as hell but not worth the effort if they aren’t making an effort with you!
goose
Politicker
+12
Sales Executive
Just realize that there are more important things than your meeting. Β As long as there is an excuse then the prospect is excused. Β Use this as a time to find out if they are really interested in meeting with you or if they were caught off guard by an SDR and accepted the meeting in a moment of weakness.
ragnarlothbrok
Politicker
+7
Key account manager
evaluate the worth of who you are chasing and go from there
GrizzleMcThornBody
Politicker
+10
EVP - RevOps
Find someone else in the org and get a meeting. If they are that unprepared with the rest of their life, you're gonna go nowhere in your pitch.
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