Counting Down The 10 Biggest Credibility Mistakes - #6

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Counting Down The 10 Biggest Credibility Mistakes - #6

Encourager-In-Chief: October 24th, 2018

#6: Showing up late for an appointment.

Years ago, I was driving through New York City along with my mentor, Mary Scoles. We were on our way to meet with representatives of one of our clients, Sun Chemical. They had just sent us a cancellation letter. It’s never a pleasant task when you’re going to meet a client for the very first time after they’ve already sent you notice that they want to leave you and go to a competitor.

As it turned out, Mary and I inherited this account, so neither of us had ever met with any of the contacts face-to-face. We planned our strategy throughout the entire drive from Long Island into Manhattan. We left a little extra time to make sure we would not be late. We went in there planning for the worst and hoping for the best. When we arrived, we gave the receptionist our names and told her who we were there to see. A moment later, the receptionist informed us that the people we were there to see were actually in their New Jersey location about 35 minutes away.

We asked the receptionist to let our contacts know that we were on our way to see them and we would be a little late. On the drive over, I specifically remember Mary saying to me, “Dave, I fear Sun Chemical is lost.” Mary turned out to be absolutely right. Even though there was very little chance for us to salvage the situation, professionalism dictated that we drive on and face our dissatisfied clients.

That event took place about 29 years ago and I can still feel the sting of embarrassment because I failed to get the proper address for our appointment. If you’re going to be late for an appointment, make sure you call ahead and let the party who is waiting for you know that you’re going to be late. If the other party is willing to reschedule, agree to it immediately. You’ve already inconvenienced this person. Don’t make it worse and don’t miss another opportunity to shine on another occasion. And whatever you do, leave plenty of time for the rescheduled date so you don’t show up late.

If you’re not early, you’re late.
- Famous business axiom

This excerpt is taken from my Focus, Follow Up, and Follow Through seminar.

Communication Excellence V: Focus, Follow Up, and Follow Through


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