One of my clients suggested a meeting from 10-11 AM recently, and his prospect assumed my client was offering to meet up at either time-not that my client was setting the boundaries for an hour-long meeting!
Once you’ve been involved with Sandler for a long time, it becomes very natural to set a meeting time with an end time (say, 11-12) and both people know that’s a one-hour meeting. But outside of Sandler, that can present a communication challenge.
Sometimes we have to change the way we serve information up and be more specific in setting the time.
Another client of mine has a referral partner she meets with frequently. This referral partner is often late, and my client was getting frustrated about it. At their next meeting, he arrived just as she was standing up to leave. Rather than reworking her schedule, she told him that she would love to sit down and have a conversation with him, but she only had a few minutes at that time.
The referral partner called her two days later and apologized! He told her that he wouldn’t be late the next time they met up.
I would encourage you to change the emphasis, if you’re having a consistent timing mismatch for your meetings. Instead of saying, let’s meet from 1:30-2:00, reframe your time-setting. Try something like this:
“You know, I think we’ll need about half an hour for us to adequately address this concern. I’ll block out from 1:30-2:00, and if you can meet me at 1:30, I think we’ll have enough time to cover everything before we have to wrap up at 2:00."
Of course, some people just won’t respect your time as much as their own. But some people may be legitimately reading your suggested meeting times differently than you’ve intended them to.
By being very clear about your time frame, you let both types of late-comers know what your expectations are. Then if you have to cut the meeting short or reschedule, that’s become part of your upfront contract.
You can’t expect other people to respect your time unless you do! Setting clear expectations can help you do that.