You have planned for a couple of weeks. Put everything in place for a very important meeting with a major prospect including travel and accommodations as you will need to be there the night before to be able to meet them on time. Then you get the call: “Hi. I will be coming over to your town and would like to meet Tuesday instead of Monday.” All you can think is: “But, I had everything arranged for Monday in their city.”
“Now what do I do?”
This is where your versatility and mind has to shift because of an unexpected event.
Lets’ break it down:
Appointment: Still set and with the decision maker. Only now set for a different day.
Costs: You just saved money since you no longer have to travel to another city nor arrange for accommodations or spend money on gas or food.
Time: Instead of spending our most precious commodity, time, traveling and staying in a hotel room, you can now use it more productively by doing things such as; checking the final presentation, checking the numbers so that they make sense, even play some scenarios in your mind on how it will go.
Location: Did you ever consider that they are now on your ‘turf’? Having a ‘home field’ advantage is a big advantage. You now control the meeting site, how it will look and function. You are in control of their experience.
Those seem to be fairly large positives for you. Therefore, why are you upset?
Calls: I have to make calls to cancel my travel and accommodations.
Schedule: I had something planned for the time they want to meet.
Let’s handle the above starting with the calls. Really? You are concerned about making a couple of calls. Calls, which will take as long as driving down the street and making the first turn to start the journey to their location. Please, consider all the time your prospect has just saved you. The fact is instead of saying: “But…” you should say: “Thank you.”
Secondly, you had something scheduled. Again, I have to say: “Really?” Why did you tell your prospect that 10:00 am was not good, because you have a meeting until noon, but could meet them at 1:00?
You know I can hear you say: “But they may cancel.” They changed the appointment parameters and will be in an accommodating frame of mind. Remember, you are the one that is changing your schedule for them. Also, how do you know that they would appreciate the extra time to get to you? Perspective, ladies, and gentlemen. How can you make sure that 1:00 pm will be okay? Here is a novel idea, ask. “Hey George, would 1:00 pm work for you as I already have something at 10:00.” If they say no, then ask your 10:00 for permission to move their time.
Again, I can hear you: “They will never do that.” Oh, I didn’t know you had asked them already. What we must be aware of is that ‘real life’ sometimes happens at the most inconvenient time and others know it and will cut you some slack because it has happened to them in the past.
When the unexpected happens, instead of the ‘but…’ go to ‘great.’