In praise of punctuality

Impress your clients and score points with your manager by embracing punctuality. Here’s how it can make you stand apart from other advisors:

  1. The late start to office meetings. We have all been there. The office sets up a lunch-and-learn or a company training that’s scheduled for 1 p.m. About half the room is filled. Your sales manager says, “We will delay the start until the latecomers arrive. Someone take notes of who they are.”

Instead: Be among the first to arrive. You get a good seat. Your manager or the speaker takes time to chat with you. You make a positive impression.

  1. The late service call or delivery. Your internet went down or maybe you’re waiting for furniture to be delivered, and you’re given a 12-hour window of when the delivery or serviceperson is expected. You waste the entire day staying home waiting for them. It’s even worse when they call to say they have been delayed and are not coming after all.

Instead: Do not do this to your clients. They will feel the same frustration. Give them a short window of time when to expect something from you.

  1. The late Zoom call arrival. Someone arrives late to the call, and the speaker needs to stop and bring the latecomer up to speed. Everyone is annoyed.

Instead: Arrive early. This also avoids a problem I dread of having to download a different program or install an upgrade before I can join the call.

  1. The late date. You agreed to meet someone for the first time for coffee or drinks. You aren’t there on time and have not called ahead. The other person thinks they got the details wrong or have been stood up. They leave.

Instead: Under that circumstance, it’s unlikely you will get a second chance. Be the one who arrives first so you are settled in, waiting for them.

  1. The late client meeting. A client is supposed to be at your office for a portfolio review. You’re on time and ready. The client hasn’t arrived yet. You don’t know if they will be arriving in five minutes, one hour or never. You do not know how much time you have, so you cannot start another project.

Instead: You are annoyed with the client. You are even more annoyed if they don’t apologize when they show up. Now imagine the roles are reversed and the client is waiting for you to show up. You will need to overcome the negative energy.

  1. The late dinner party guest. You’re hosting a dinner party at home and entertaining three other couples. One couple is seriously late. It is considered impolite to sit down and start the meal before everyone has arrived. The other guests keep their composure but are upset because one couple caused the food to get cold.

Instead: If you are a dinner party guest, always arrive exactly at the time specified on the invitation. If it’s a cocktail party, you can arrive 15-30 minutes after the start time.

  1. The chronically late person. Your partner explains, “You cannot tell time.” Your parents give you a watch along with the hint, “So perhaps you will show up on time.” You are always late.

Instead: Set that watch 10 minutes fast. You should be on time for everything in the future.

Punctuality is free and creates a positive impression. People will take notice and tell others.

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.

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