My mom once told me a story about a friend of hers who was always punctual for meetings, and how she taught her a valuable lesson. My mom went to meet her friend for coffee and was running a little late. This happened before the age of cell phones, so there was no way of informing her about her tardiness. When my mom arrived her friend was gone. She called to see if something had happened, and her friend said, “No, I just thought you had something better to do, so I left.” This story stuck with her long enough that she told it to me 20 years later to teach me a lesson; always respect other people’s time.
In any business it is ESSENTIAL to respect the time of your clients, other business professionals, and your associates. This consideration can have either a powerful positive or powerful negative impact on the perception of that person. Even if you work in an industry where it is customary to run late or to cancel meetings, you should always consider how the person on the other end is feeling about the canceled meeting. People enjoy working with others who appreciate their time, and will continue to work with those people because of the relationship that was established. Next time you go to cancel a meeting, consider how this will impact the other person’s time, and in the long run, how will it affect your business?