By Jacqueline Whitmore
At one time or another, each one of us has accidentally missed a scheduled business meeting. However, very few executives know how to deal with this embarrassing mishap. The following tips will help you recover gracefully while salvaging your professional relationship.
- Be honest with the person you were scheduled to meet.
Apologize and tell the other person that you completely forgot about the appointment. Honesty is always the best
- Don't lie and blame your kids, pets, car, etc. for your failure to show up for an appointment. People will wonder if you're really telling the truth. Still, if it was a family issue, say so. Many clients respect people who put family first. If they don't respect that, do you really want to be working with them anyway?
- Call as soon as you realize that you have missed the appointment. A verbal apology is better than no apology at all.
- Ask to reschedule another meeting as soon as possible.
Be accommodating and offer to inconvenience yourself to make it more convenient for the client.
- If you know you're going to be late for an appointment, give the other person a courtesy call to let them know how late you'll be.
- Be realistic with your time. Don't over-stuff your calendar and risk missing or being late to an appointment.
- Don't belabor your error. Apologize once, and then move on. Even at the next meeting, don't apologize again for the mistake.
Jacqueline Whitmore is a nationally recognized expert in etiquette and protocol and is the founder and director of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. She has been featured on CNN, The Travel Channel, in USA Today and Glamour magazine. To receive Whitmore's free, electronic newsletter, The Protocol Post, visit her web site at www.etiquetteexpert.com. For more information about her business etiquette seminars and tele-classes, call (888) 968-3460 or e-mail [email protected].