The Coast News Group
When someone repeatedly disrespects your time, you must take control or they’ll have no incentive to change their behavior. Stock photo
Ask Mr. MarketingColumns

How much is your time worth?

I was raised with the philosophy that you do everything possible to be at an appointment on time. If you’re running late, you call ASAP and give that person the option of rescheduling.

This training has served me well throughout my career and leads to the recommendation that everyone should follow the Golden Rule, treating others as they wish to be treated themselves.

I come to this today because three weeks ago I fired a client after he blew off two meetings in a row with me and my team. His apparent belief that our time was unimportant was unacceptable…so he’s gone.

I’m obviously not alone in this quandary. Consider Dr. Jeffrey Bloch of Rancho Bernardo, for example. My dentist since 2002, Dr. Bloch has just one thing to sell: time. Meaning if someone schedules an appointment with him and doesn’t show up, that’s money right out of his pocket.

Because regardless of whether you show up for your appointment, he still has to pay for the rent, electricity, water and staff time. And how does he know you’ll show up for your next appointment?

Thus Dr. Bloch has implemented a cancellation/failure policy requiring 48 hours’ notice for a cancellation. The first slip-up is free. The second incurs a $150 fine. And the third gets you banned from his client list.

Dr. Bloch teaches us that when someone repeatedly disrespects your time, you must take control or they’ll have no incentive to change their behavior.

So, like him, be forgiving if someone stands you up once. However, if you notice a pattern, start confirming the appointment a day or two before the meeting.

Or you can impose a fine like Dr. Bloch does. As he observes, “Someone gets that fine once and they invariably clean up their act moving forward.”

What if such unprofessional behavior persists? Seriously consider halting business relations with this person. Having just gone through this exercise, I can admit it’s somewhat extreme…but also immensely satisfying.

Because if the attitude that your time is unimportant prevails — and you allow your clientele to just blow off meetings because “their time is more important than yours” — I guarantee the day is coming when you’re waiting for a big meeting…and your client just won’t show up.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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