How to Handle No-Show Phone Meetings

Last Updated Jul 12, 2010 8:12 AM EDT

My good friend Larry Jacobs (aka Webeneezer Scrooge) just sent me yet another email complaining about how prospects frequently fail to show up for phone appointments. He writes:
I love when they set these up and then break them. It's a unique stall since they usually send you an e-mail calendar appointment. Then the big day time comes and they aren't there, having been called into a meeting.
The way Larry handles it is "immediately call their boss, tell them what happened and tell them that is no way to run a business." He claims that this "usually works," but I suspect that's only because Larry is so personable.

I can't remember who told me this, but there is another way of looking at this kind of thing.

Whenever somebody misses an appointment, it creates a debt of obligation. Therefore, the next time you call or contact them, you can ask for a favor, like a face-to-face appointment, a bit more quickly than usual.

READERS: Got any better suggestions to deal with this common problem?