Let’s face it, we’ve all been late before. It’s happened to the best of us, whether it was our own doing (“just one more cup of coffee, one more push of the snooze button”), or we got stuck in traffic, or something unexpected arose (your neighbor’s girlfriend’s aunt’s catsitter needed a ride to the bus stop). Tardiness is sometimes unavoidable, but if you suffer from chronic lateness, a change in this habit could be good for your professional life.
Remember that your lack of presence is just as important as your presence. When you encounter potential customers, your goal is to give the impression that you are professional and organized, that you can be trusted and that you value your customer base. From the very first minute of a scheduled meeting you are gaining their trust and respect. If you show up late, you not only lose valuable time to prove to your prospects that you are trustworthy and capable, but you are also giving off a message that may deter them from becoming a customer. Those with chronic lateness send the message that other people’s time is not valuable, that they are disorganized and scattered, or that they don’t care about the quality of the business relationship.
Watch this video from Justin Prince and see how he has taken on the philosophy of one of his mentors after learning the hard way to be on time.
Be Early Always
Justin Prince advises to be early, always. This is a simple way you can increase your credibility with your customers or prospects, and thus grow your network marketing business. Being late is unacceptable, and when you’re late, those who have to wait on you are disappointed that you don’t value their time. And being late to an event or a meeting doesn’t just affect the time in which you are not present, it can have the ability to affect the entire day moving forward. If you’re in a hurry and flustered when you arrive, it may be hard for you to find your groove, and it can throw you off mentally when you thought you were prepared.
“Ten minutes before the scheduled meeting time is early. Five minutes early is on time. On time is late. Late is completely unacceptable.” Justin describes a time in which he had to learn the hard way not to be late. His mentor pulled him aside and asked him “What is early?” and taught him the true meaning of what it means to be on time. Rethink what it means to be on time; if you arrive at the scheduled time, you are actually late. Arrive early and you are on time.
Think of the advantages of having a few extra minutes to spare before a meeting: you can settle in, make sure the seating and temperature are comfortable, adjust the lighting if you need to. You can prepare yourself, distribute any pertinent materials, and take a minute to go over your notes. All of this will help you make a better impression on your clients.
There are times when being late is unavoidable. If this happens, remember to keep your composure; don’t let it throw you off your game. Call or text ahead to say that you are going to be late and give an estimated time of arrival. When you do arrive, do not forget to apologize profusely.
Make being early, or “on time” your new philosophy, and you’ll gain the respect and trust of your colleagues. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference; anyone can overcome chronic lateness by making just a few changes and adopting the philosophy that “ten minutes before the scheduled meeting time is early. Five minutes early is on time. On time is late. Late is completely unacceptable.”