Hi Charlie. “Sorry, I’ve had a call from a client who needs to see me tomorrow morning, so I can’t make the meeting.”
For as long as I’ve been networking, this is the ‘stand out’ explanation I’m offered when someone calls to opt-out. They’re faced with choosing to replace one appointment with another.
They choose to be elsewhere.
Of course, I’ve heard many different stories, some that merit mentioning here:
* A flat tyre on the ‘spare car.’ (Don’t ask what happened to ‘the original car!’)
* Sorry, I slept through the alarm. (I do get it!)
* The kids were giving me trouble. (Hey, who’s the boss here?)
My all-time favourite ‘bestest’ excuse for missing out?
* Mosquitos kept me awake all night, I was exhausted by the morning … (it’s true!)
All good, valid (creative) reasons for not ‘being there.’
So I may sound terse when I say that ‘my client needs to see me tomorrow morning’ … is not a ‘valid reason’ to miss your networking.
After all, we schedule meetings, don’t we? Diaries are commonplace (even customers have them!) That’s why the networking breakfast meeting is an early start, so to avoid impacting the daily routine.
It’s a routine that works for most.
More importantly … in my view, as we reflect on the messages we’re sending to our fraternity, whether we like it or not, we’re suggesting ‘something or somebody is more of a priority just now.
I like to keep my appointments. The regular routine is not only good for my own well-being, it’s great for the continuity of the business engagement also. If I do have a request to be with someone early, I’ll make sure we reschedule to avoid a clash.
Call me unreasonable if you wish, it’s plain diary management. To me, the routine of Networking is exactly as it sounds. We’re working on a network of contacts. We’re practiced at being there for the opportunity, to offer help and advice. We’re working on becoming dependable, for reliable makes you referrable.
Word of mouth travels. It’s the best form of advertising and no one can afford to let their reputation slip by disappointing their close network.
People buy from those who they know, like, and trust.