The other day on LinkedIn, somebody asked: “How do you handle it when you have an appointment with a buyer, and they don’t show up? How long do you wait? How long do you stay on the call for them to show up?”
Someone said “I give it 5 minutes”, others said “Depends, 10 to 15 minutes”,
But then somebody said: “I’ll give it easily half an hour, because it’s always good to be lenient with your time”.
No! It’s not! That’s a terrible idea – do NOT be lenient with your time!
For one thing, your time is your most valuable valuable resource, and it’s incredibly scarce.
Instead of being lenient with it, you should curate and protect how you spend it with vigour – and if someone shows up late, they’re wasting that resource of yours.
And, you don’t want to train other people to disrespect your time either.
But that’s exactly what you do when you allow someone to show up whenever the hell they want.
They see that *you* don’t respect your time, so they’ll learn to not respect it either.
Instead, you want to set a rule – a hard limit.
For me, that’s 5 minutes. My contact will either show up, or I hang up.
Of course if someone then mails in saying something happened and can we reschedule, then sure: things happen, and it’s not that I resent someone for not showing up.
It’s just that after 5 minutes, I move on and go do other things.
Obviously it’s different with paying clients – in such cases, I’ll send an email or SMS to ask if anything happened and whether we’re having our appointment today. But if that goes unanswered for 15 or 20 minutes, I’ll assume my client is unable to make it, and I’ll send a message saying we can simply reschedule.
For buyers though?
Sorry, hard limit of 5 minutes. Happy to reschedule if something got in the way.
So in your business, when someone doesn’t show up and you’re sat there looking at your own face in a Zoom window… what do you do?
Got any rules? Best practices?
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