January 14, 2018

Time

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. As professional business people we must manage our time, and Gratitude Marketing means that we honor the time of others.

Some time ago, I met someone who wanted to meet me so we could get to know each other better. Since that is always my intent when I meet someone new, we set a time and place for the meeting. My meeting partner did not show up on time, and when she was 15 minutes late, I called her cell number, leaving her a voice mail message, asking if I had the time or location correct. I received no reply.

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 with no reply, she 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 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.

Honor the time of your customers and prospects. Be on time for appointments; realize that they have other meetings scheduled, and stay on schedule. Your customers and prospects will be grateful for you, 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 leave me your comments and questions, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691, or send me an email at Jim@SOC4Now.com with your thoughts. I will endeavor to reply in a timely manner.

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