Be on TIME!

OK…I need to have a small “rant” for a moment or two. I think the one thing that could earn ejection from the sales community is not having a healthy respect for time! Time is respect. Period. If you make an appointment, be on time. Plan it well and think about the things that will make you late…traffic, AIR TRAVEL delays (especially in Philadelphia!), weather, etc…. There is nothing worse than showing up late for an appointment and being late with no explanations. Nothing screams disrespect more than a disrespect for people’s time! I am just amazed at how this continues to be a problem in the sales community. If you are going to be late, make sure you call and offer the truth about why you are late and make sure you reconfirm that they can still meet with you.

I have made it a center point of my sales coaching to every sales team I have had that if you cannot show up on time, you start at a disadvantage. I have seen clients never get over it…. Seriously, some just hold it over you, and if you are in a precarious situation with your sales campaign, this will…uhh…not help you. Trust me on this point. I have talked often about making sure that we sales professionals are always taking the high road – this means not allowing controllables to get in your way of being on time. Please honor our profession and be on time.

Now I feel better…rant over. Thanks for listening.

Good Selling!


11 thoughts on “Be on TIME!”

  1. I agree 100%. I hate the feeling of being late to a client and I hate to think I have inconvenienced them-some just cant get past it and the sales person is really put in a tough spot.

  2. Hi Todd,

    I couldn’t agree more, however this idea of being on time is not limited to sales pros. I have a background in music performance, and let me tell you there is one sure way never to get hired back for a gig: show up late and have it noticed by a few thousand people!

  3. I can say as a client, I am really annoyed and mostly disappointed when my account executives cannot figure out a way to be on time! Good point!

  4. Todd,
    You comment that “There is nothing worse than… being late with no explanations”. While a good explanation is better than nothing, it is nearly meaningless in a business setting. Explanations “save face” in an awkward setting, but actions speak louder than words. Your lateness says much more than your explanation.

    What I care about these days is ACTIONS: you either did what you said you were going to do, or you didn’t. Everything else is just a meaningless excuse.

  5. Todd – very valid point. I think technology is an enabler here. With the ability to easily communicate your pending late arrival via Blackberry, IM, text message, cell phone , etc. comes the assumption that its OK to be late. Wrong. If you are running late, best to let them know, but its far better not to run late in the first place.

    Mark Johnson

  6. Mark-

    I like the point most about “its far better not to run late in the first place”. Simple planning can eliminate so much stress and anxiety about being late!



  7. Todd, I couldn’t agree more with your view and the view of the other contributors to this topic. I make it a point to be at least a half an hour early for all my appointments. While I will not enter the office until I am fifteen minutes early, I find this extra time allows me to settle myself and collect my thoughts before going in.
    I also find it very annoying when I am waiting on someone else to meet me and they run late. Whetehr it is a business or personal meeting, I expect puncuality.

  8. Being on time is just being considerate of the person who you are seeing. Whether they will mean a difference in your paycheck or just getting together for a beer. Sites like Mapquest and Rand McNally give estimated travel times and news radio gives traffic updates. Unless an accident just happened up ahead, there’s no excuse for being late. Being on time is being a professional.

  9. Tod – Being late says to the other person that you consider YOUR time more valuable than their time. Not the best way to start off! Being on time is a demonstration of your respect for the other person’s valuable time. While the best laid plans of mice, men and reps can go awry, there are almost no good excuses for being late.
    I think people get caught up in the idea of split-second timing – as somehow a mark of their efficiency. “It’s a three hour drive, and the meeting is at 10, so I’ll leave at 7.” You provide yourself no “buffer,” no room for the inevitable problem or last minute adjustment.
    – M

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