Call to confirm appointments. A small but important detail, and a (simple) habit worth adopting, is to confirm your appointments the day prior. The message can be as simple as a one-line email mentioning that you’re looking forward to the conversation. Or simply shoot over a revised copy of the agenda or some advanced reading material. Leave a before-hours voicemail, or send a text if that’s appropriate. The key is to be a day ahead. If the person has an administrative assistant, either confirm with that person (or at a minimum copy them in.)

Make it standard operating procedure. Whenever you set up a meeting or conference call, add a reminder in your calendar to check in the day prior to confirm the appointment. If you’re traveling to see them, reach out the day before you leave.

A Calculated Risk

Yes, the prospect gets another opportunity to cancel or reschedule. And yes, something can always come up 24 hours before the meeting. There is a risk. You’re effectively granting them an out. It’s a calculated risk, but it also telegraphs to them that you’re organized and thorough, and that your time is valuable.

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If a prospect needs to cancel a meeting, they’re going to do it regardless whether or not you confirm it. There’s little you can do to prevent a cancellation. But you can use this otherwise insignificant moment as another opportunity to qualify the account, reconfirm the meeting purpose, share an agenda, demonstrate your attention to detail and decrease the chance that your time is wasted.

All it takes is one cross-country, two-day trip for a meeting that gets canceled while you’re standing in the customer’s lobby to appreciate the value of a one-minute confirmation call. A cancellation can be informative, a way to advance the sales process, or a chance to show your sales skills. Or it can be an obligation.

The one thing it shouldn’t be is a waste of time. Call to confirm.