Always Make a Date!

Every day of every week we meet new people, work with clients and prospects or deal with suppliers and controlling our diaries and calendars can prove very difficult. However for me the most frustrating emails are the ones when the recipient is totally unhelpful in getting to the point of commitment to a meeting or phone call. You have to do all the leg work and thinking and no matter what you suggest or come up with the answer is never a no nor is it a yes, let alone a suggested alternative.

Email 1 – You – The follow up email after the meeting when you say to the connection let’s meet, how is your diary over the next 1-2 weeks?
Email 2 – Reply – It was great to meet with you, I enjoyed talking with you. It would be great to meet up, that’s a really good idea.
Email 3 – You – I have some space in my diary on the Xth or the Yst. Do either of these suit you, or can you suggest another date?
Email 4 – Reply – Sorry, no can’t do either of those
Email 5 – You – What about yyy or the XXX?
Email 6 – Reply – No, can’t do those dates either
Email 7 – You – Can you suggest some other dates please
Email 8 – Reply – …… still waiting

This email conversation normally takes place over several days.

Email 7 ALTERNATIVE – You – (this email is never actually sent but you really want to as it portrays how you truly feel!) Quite obviously you are far too busy – far too important to ever say yes to meeting with me – I have found your responses and lack of courtesy rude and frustrating which has left me feeling very flat about the whole concept of ever doing business with you. Quite obviously I will not be wasting any more of my time trying to meet with you and when anyone asks about you and your business I am now left with a bitter taste in my mouth that will make it impossible for me to portray you or your company in a positive light. Thank you and good bye.

This is the problem when there is no alternative or conclusion forthcoming,  you have to do all the thinking and sorting to try to make this happen but nothing has come forward. This has the effect of making you believe that they obviously don’t want to meet, you’re not a big enough priority to them or maybe they are genuinely just too busy to meet and can’t say it straight.

When working in management the worst visitor into your world is the hapless employee who comes in with a problem and no thought of a solution, they are just trying to delegate uphill and pass the buck of decision making to someone else. This is the equivalent. Employees like this fail to move on, do not get promoted and are eagerly avoided because they are high maintenance.

By writing this article I hope you will be able to review where you spend your time and effort be that on the receiving end of such indecision or when you are being less than helpful in meeting up with others. The obvious conclusion here is to just give up and take your energies elsewhere, but that isn’t always possible. I specialise in the recovery of time – how much of your time is wasted chasing meetings with clients, prospects colleagues and suppliers? 20 minutes is my minimum daily time target to recover from my activities.

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