The Appointment That Never Ends

Mountains of Arizona
Cloudy 81 Degrees
2:51 p.m.

I told my son about something I didn’t learn until about 10 years ago. So that’s a good 30 years of my life I did NOT even think about this.

But I figured it was worth bringing up when he encountered a similar issue.

When I explained it to him, I thought it sounded so simple it was almost silly.

But I thought about how many hours of my life had been wasted by NOT doing this and how many hours of angst and frustration had been created, and then I felt pretty good that he’ll be able to avoid that for the vast majority of his life!

I told him that most people are very good at setting the start time of a meeting. But usually, no one mentions anything about the ending time.

It’s way smarter to make sure you are clear about these two data points. When does it start? When does it end?

If you go into an appointment knowing when it’s starting but having no idea when it’s ending, you take the control each of us should have over our day and you give it away to something “out there.”

Not fixing this issue tends to lead to a LOT of frustration. But you bottle most of it up. As the meeting drags on, you’re wondering when it’s going to end. But you don’t say anything, because you don’t want to annoy your prospect/wife/friend/kind grandmother/whatever.

Appointments begin, appointments end. Just like you never hang up the phone with a prospect WITHOUT knowing the next step in the relationship/process, why go into an appointment when you don’t know when you’re coming out?

The biggest practical benefit of this appears when the person you’re meeting with is LATE. This happens. We’re all human. But that doesn’t mean it should ruin your day. Because the ENDING time of the meeting is clear, then it makes sense that the meeting will need to be rescheduled instead of having to shift your entire day.

It’s a simple way to defuse time bombs and keep things running smoothly.