Have you ever been "stood up?"
No, I don't mean stood up for a date. I mean for a showing appointment.
If you've been in real estate for any length of time, you probably have.
I recall a time when I went to the office on a Sunday morning to meet buyer prospects. After about an hour of waiting I called them and a little girl answered. When I asked for her mother she said "She's eating her breakfast and doesn't want to come to the phone."
So, instead of showing homes, I was on the phone trying to apologize to sellers who had also interrupted their Sunday morning for these rude, inconsiderate people. The sellers were upset, I was angry, and my husband and kids were peeved at me for having agreed to a showing when they wanted us to go to the lake. A wonderful Sunday.
But what can you do? How can you prevent that kind of rudeness? One restaurant I read about came up with a cure. (At least a semi-cure.)
This well-known restaurant was having difficulties because of customers who made reservations and then simply didn't show up. The no-show rate was a whopping 30%. Of course that cut into their profits as they turned away diners who were there, ready and willing to occupy a table and order a meal.
So they decided to try adding just two powerful little words to their script.
At the end of a call, instead of saying "Please call if you won't be able to make it," the reservation clerk switched to "Will you please call if you won't be able to make it?" Then she waited for their commitment to do so.
The result? The no-show rate dropped from 30% to 10%!
It seems that once people agree and make a verbal commitment to carry out an action, they are far more apt to do so than if they merely know they "should."
Why not try this simple restaurant tactic? When you make an appointment with anyone, ask for their commitment to call if they aren't going to be able to make it.