Earlier this week I attended a talk of which Pam Collins of Oaks Integrated Care was one of the panel members. The topics all revolved around "What I Wish I Knew at 25". One of the key points in particular that Pam talked about was giving time and taking time when it comes to meeting with clients or prospects. I found the advice very valuable .
Every employee or team member of an organization should be doing some form of business development. From promoting themselves on their personal social media, to mingling with movers and shakers at networking events, everyone has to do something. Being good at this business development aspect of this job leads to meetings. Before one knows it, their schedule is packed full of them, in varying times, and varying locations. This can get overwhelming when the day comes and you have 3 meetings between 8AM and noon, and their all 45 minutes away from each other. Stressful is the word that describes this scenario.
Back to what Pam Collins said about giving time and taking time. Yes, taking as many fruitful meetings as one can is healthy practice and can lead to proper connections and later business. Lets say a prospect asks to meet with you. You agree. They ask how's 9:30AM work? You check your schedule and notice you have another meeting at 8:00AM the same day on the opposite side of town. You agree to 9:30AM anyway. Two scenarios will take place. In the first, you conclude your 8:00AM meeting early and barely make it on time to the 9:30AM. In the second you conclude your 8:00AM meeting on time, and arrive late to the 9:30AM. In both of these scenarios one of your clients ends up being short changed. This is not proper business practice. You allowed the 9:30AM scheduler to TAKE your time.
Taking it back to when the prospect asked how 9:30AM worked for you. The correct response should've been "Actually, that conflicts with another meeting I have. Hows [insert time here] work?" The two scenarios mentioned previously are avoided. None of your meetings are uncomfortably close to each other. Your able to give each person you're meeting with your undivided attention. This was because you decided to GIVE your time to the prospect.
Clients Taking your time allows them to use your time whenever they decide. You deciding to give your clients your time allows you to properly manage your days schedule. The client should then accept or decline that meeting weighing out their schedule as well. Its pretty cool how a simple few words can alter a days work.