I just got "Better Dealed" for the second time in two weeks.
A gentleman who is a very aggressive sales professional, whom I know and admire, canceled on me twice for coffee. Both times he said that he had to reschedule because "the opportunity to meet with a big prospect popped up". Thus, the importance of my time in setting up the meeting seemed to have zero value in his view of the world. I guess he figured I had nothing better to do during the time we had planned to connect.
Does this ever happen to you?
How does it make you feel?
Now look at it in reverse... when you move a meeting at the last minute, do you consider the other person's feelings? By canceling at the last minute are you showing respect to their calendar? Did you waste their time?
Moving a meeting not only pushes that meeting out into the future, but it leaves a hole in the calendar where I could have met with someone else.
The person rescheduling clearly sends a message that says "Someone more important than you has requested my time".
I understand that things come up and people need to move meetings. It happens for very legitimate reasons. Being flexible is just part of being in business. But being conscious of others is also part of the equation. If you look at time as yours to possess, that is selfish. Once you are on someones schedule, you are co-owners of that appointment.
From time to time this happens to everyone (I have done this... rocks... glass house... I know). You cannot be in two places at once. However, if the same person moves a meeting twice in the same manner within a few days, it is a red flag about the relationship. Clearly he does not see me as having much value in his circle of influence. That is okay, as not everyone will like me or value my being part of their network.
But now the awkward third meeting is scheduled. My opinion of this person now leans toward his being self-focus and not someone who would be a mutually beneficial resource. So why are we even meeting?
In establishing a network, we need to be careful, as the perception we give others becomes their reality. I am, however, an eternal optimist and look forward to meeting with this person. I hope that I can find a way to bring him value in his quest to succeed. I am fairly certain that he is "too busy" to ever read this blog, so he wont know of my frustration.
Besides, sometimes the meetings that are the toughest to pull off have the greatest long-term value. We might become wonderful referral sources that will influence each other's future.
Have A Great Day.