I cannot tell you how many persons have quite literally stood me up over the past few weeks. These are business persons who, set appointments but failed to show and did not give a reason why.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that things happen that are beyond our control, but when you’ve set an appointment with someone and you’re ‘no show’ it starts the relationship off on the wrong foot and you know the adage ‘first impressions count’.
I can tell you a few of them I have all but completely dismissed, never to make contact with again. By not showing they have effectively communicated that they have no respect for me, my time or even themselves.
Nothing hurts your business more than not keeping your word. As a business owner and entrepreneur, people count on you to deliver, particularly when a time frame is established. Whether it’s a service or to make a payment, not keeping your word sets off a vicious cycle of empty promises and makes you seem untrustworthy.
What does this have to do with marketing you may ask? Well, marketing is everything, including how you put yourself out there. You won’t want people to perceive you or your brand in a negative way as this can severely hamper your bottom line.
To put it bluntly, no one will want to do business with you if you cannot do something as simple as show up when you said you were going to.
But I know sometimes it seems that the powers that be may conspire against you, so here are five tips to help stay in integrity:
- Do not make promises that you don’t intend to keep. This may seem simple but you will be amazed at how many persons walk into an agreement with absolutely no intention of keeping up their end of the bargain. If you are guilty of this, just stop.
- Speak up and have a conversation. Nothing is wrong with negotiating. If the timing is wrong or if it seems like it can’t be done, then let the party know and have a discussion to reach a mutually beneficial solution.
- Learn to say ‘NO’ if it doesn’t suit you or your purpose. Do not feel obligated to a person or tied to a particular thing. The opportunity might seem great but if you cannot accommodate based on the given time frame, workload or whatever might be going on in your personal life at the time, then it is best to say ‘no thanks’ rather than to risk ruining your reputation and hurting your brand.
- Make contractual agreements. This manages expectations because you let the other person know that if something comes up you may not be able to fulfill your duties. Lay your cards on the table and let all parties know what might keep you from holding up your end. Make sure that you stay in constant contact and keep them abreast of the situation.
- Renegotiate at the earliest possible time. This one is crucial. Unexpected things happen……such is the life we live, but this needs to be communicated. From the moment you realize that there’s no way you will be able to keep your word, inform all the relevant parties and honestly let them know when the earliest you can deliver.
Failure to show up can cause a massive ripple effect where persons who were made promises to others based on what you say cannot hold up their end of the bargain. Their character is now tainted because of it and may never recover.
If your aim is to become an industry leader and someone persons can count on to deliver, remember it all starts with your word. It truly is your bond.
I’m curious, have you been negatively affected by someone who did not keep their word? How did you handle it? Let me know.
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