How many times have you scheduled a meeting and the person(s) you were meeting were late? How did that make you feel? What did it say about how they regarded you? Being on time is important, and it is a good habit to form.
Being a few minutes late in a social setting is not good. If you are meeting a friend for lunch and you are late, it is not good. If you are meeting your business partner (s) for a meeting and are late, it is not good. However, if you are meeting someone in a business setting, and you are on the selling end, it is a cardinal sin.
My Dad always said, “You can never offend anyone by being on time.”
“Punctuality is the soul of business.” Thomas Chandler Haliburton
My Wife is Guilty as Charged
I understand we all have certain personality traits our spouses may not totally embrace. Believe me, I have more than my share, but punctuality is not one of them. Nancy, on the other hand, not so much. Nancy always agreed with Evelyn Waugh’s famous quote, “punctuality is a virtue of the bored.” We joke by saying if she is 15 minutes late, she is right on time. Perhaps this habit started back in college, when it was not cool to be the first to show at a party. I always wondered why I was always the first person at every party. I thought it was because of my commitment to partying. It wasn’t until later when I found out it was not the coolest thing to do. Anyway, it has been a constant struggle with us. But, if being a few minutes late is her only downfall, and it is, I suppose I am a lucky guy.
One of the most important steps we can take to enhance our business is to make sure that we are on time, all the time. It shows consideration to the individual you are meeting. It shows them that what you are meeting to talk about (or sell them) is important.
The following are a few of the reasons you want to make sure you are on time. As taught by my friend, Todd Smith, in his must read book Little Things That Matte
- Demonstrates you are diligent and dependable
- Indicates you honor your commitments
- Shows you have respect for other people, and care as much for their time as you do your own
- Builds self-confidence
If you have been lazy with your punctuality, I challenge you to start today and make it a point to be on time. You will be better off for it, and so will your business.
Wishing you all the success you will allow yourself to have.