December 19, 2010

Time – It Has a Role in Appreciation Marketing

Time, we have too much of it at times, but often we do not have enough.  What we do with time makes us who we are and what others think of us.

Some time ago, I met someone at a networking event who wanted to meet me for a chat so we could get to know each other better.  Since that is always my intent when I meet someone interesting, we set a time and place for the meeting.

Because I value the time of others I try to always be on time or early so that I do not appear unprofessional.  On the date for our meeting, I was sitting at the appointed place well ahead of the meeting time.

My meeting partner did not show up on time, and when she was 15 minutes late, I called her cell number, leaving her a message on her voice mail, asking if I had the time or location correct.  I was working on my laptop when she arrived 20 minutes after our appointment time, not apologizing for her tardiness.

During the next 25 minutes she answered her cell phone no less than 5 times, talking several minutes on each call.  Then she announced that she needed to leave as she had another appointment that she needed to keep.

I asked her why she had wanted to meet with me, and she informed me that she wanted to find out more about my business and about me.  I asked her if she had learned anything, and she then left for her next appointment.

What did I learn from this situation?  I learned that this person did not value my time, that she did not have control of her own time, and that she did not see any need to improve.  In short, was she someone with whom I wanted to establish a business relationship, or was she someone to whom I wanted to refer anyone from my business network?

Time is valuable to everyone; it is valuable to you, to me, to our customers, to our prospects, and to everyone that we may meet.  While you may never discover all the other people who someone else may know, you can learn how they value the time of others.

Appreciate the time of your customers and prospects.  Be on time for appointments; realize that they may have other meetings on their appointment calendars; stay on schedule.  Your customers and prospects will appreciate your appreciation for them, and they will reward you for your efforts.  Treat them like you want to be treated.

If you are going to be late for an appointment, call the other person, explaining your tardiness, giving them the option to wait or reschedule.  Don’t leave your phone on during meetings; let all calls go to voice mail and return calls after your meeting.  Don’t let the other person be aware that anyone is calling and do not hint that you would like to answer it.

Stay on schedule even if it means that your meeting will be shortened; don’t expect that the other person will allow you to take the time that you would normally have taken if you had started on time.  Be respectful of their time and offer to meet them again at a place and time of their choosing.  Be on time the next time.

Of course, you should send a thank you for all meetings.  If you were late, include an apology for your tardiness, even if they accepted your apology at the meeting.  Be sincere and make them understand that being tardy is not your normal operating mode.

If you value the time of your networking partners, they will value knowing you.  If you value the time of prospective partners they will want to be included in your network.  The better your network, the better your business future will be.

Please read “Appreciation Marketing” written by Tommy Wyatt and Curtis Lewsey.  I believe that you will find it as informative as I have.  Also, please leave me your comments and questions.  If you would like to meet and chat about any concept of Appreciation Marketing, call me at 360-314-8691, or send me an email at with your thoughts.


  1. Very nicely put, Jim. I agree whole-heartedly! Two additional thoughts:

    1. If you need to contact someone on the day of your meeting, pick up the telephone and call, rather than email. Not everyone is connected to email outside of their office and you risk them not receiving your message.

    2. When you are tardy for a meeting, just offer your apologies and move on. No one is interested in excuses -- unless it is an absolutely amazing story!

  2. Really liked the 'respect' ideas here, Jim.

    Also, if somebody has chronic problems managing their time, it's difficult to _trust_ them: with referrals, projects, or your clients. Trust is a valuable commodity in the new economy. I feel people squander my trust if they don't make the efforts you described within your article ...



  3. Thanks for this honest post! A very classy save one time was by a man who missed the appointment.

    Please see the link.