I was amazed the other day to receive a text message from one of my clients, that he needed the mobile number of another of my clients (they were meeting for the first time). Turns out that neither of them had confirmed the meeting the day before, nor had they shared their mobile numbers.
And, the restaurant they had agreed to meet at, had closed two years before!
Whew! They did find each other, on the corner on longer inhabited by the restaurant. How? One looked up the email message on his phone, called the main office number of the other (which was in his email signature), and got the mobile number from the office’s out-going message!
All was well that ended well. But this sorry tale urged me to write one more list of tactics on business etiquette. Here it is:
- When setting a meeting with someone you don’t know, request the mobile phone number in your first communication, and offer yours.
- When setting the location for the meeting, first verify that meeting place is available on the day you schedule (not closed for private function, not out of business, etc.)
- Keep the email or calendar alter live on your phone until after the meeting, and include all details (location address, parking options, mobile phone, and names of other attendees).
- Re-confirm all meetings the day before, no later than noon. Re-confirm your cell number. This can be as simple as forwarding the email that set the meeting place, time and mobile phone number, with a note that says, “Re-confirming — still o.k. for you? Please reconfirm.”
- Always include a signature on your emails: it is only basic courtesy to leave your contact information. Include at least your phone and/or mobile phone. You can also include other ways you like to be reached when you are away from your office.
- Leave your cell phone number on your out-going message on your voice mail, if you have more than one phone.
In preparing for meetings, pre-select several places that you know that are good for meetings (that are: is quiet enough, allows you to sit long enough, has available parking) in various parts of town, especially if you live in a big city and you both must travel to meet up. Keep a list of these places, with details on their location, their local phone number and their URL or Yelp link. This will allow you to cut and paste the information into your email when suggesting a meeting place, as a courtesy to your guest.
Yes, this sounds like simple planning and administration, but it will smooth out your busy day and reduce your angst. And it shows respect for your time and your guest’s time.