This is what I think when I hear a salesman use this as an excuse for being late for a scheduled appointment…..

SORRY, as in the salesperson is a sorry excuse for a professional.

I’M, as in the salesperson thinks it’s all about THEM.

LATE, as in the salesperson doesn’t care about his/her prospects time.

Being late is the single worst act to start off an appointment.
It signals that the salesperson’s time is more important than the prospects.
It sets the stage and the tempo for the rest of the appointment.

” 80% of Success is Showing Up.”
Woody Allen, the director/actor, said this.

Think about that.

Put yourself in the prospects position….you’re waiting for someone to show up for a scheduled 10:00 appointment at your office or home.
About 9:50-9:55 you start looking at your watch, to wind-down what you were doing and prepare for the salesperson to arrive.
10:00 No salesperson. No call.
10:05 No salesperson. No call.
10:10 No salesperson. No call.
10:15 No salesperson. No call.
10:20 No salesperson. No call.

It’s now been almost 30 minutes that you’ve been planning, aware and waiting for the salesperson to show up.

What are YOU thinking at this point?
Oh Boy!
I get to interact with another “typical” salesman. Just like ALL the others.
Time waster.

Is that how You, the salesperson, want to be perceived?
If your answer is NO, then why do you do it?

Let me ask a simple question.
How many salespeople don’t have a cell phone?
That’s how many.

So there is ZERO excuse for a salesperson to show up late or not at all for a scheduled appointment.

You may be thinking ” what if I’m in the middle of a sales presentation, trying to close a sale right at that moment?”

Well, you can easily handle that situation one of two ways.

First, you could temporarily excuse yourself from the appointment and call your next scheduled appointment and explain that you’re with a lovely couple that had lots of questions and are just finishing up their paperwork and you will see them in however long time IF that is OK with them. Give your next appointment plenty of notice of you being late. Don’t wait until 5 minutes before the appointment if you know it’s going to be much later. You may have to re-schedule, based on what your next appointment says, but that’s OK, let them tell YOU what day and time is best for THEM.

Second, call your office/sales manager/assistant or someone at your company and use a “code word” that they understand when you use it that it means you can’t break away from the prospect you are in front of and you’re going to be late for the next scheduled appointment. And also use a certain number for the minutes you will be late.

Here’s an example :
Let’s use the code word “portable generator” to mean you are running late and please call and see what you can do to ‘save’ the appointment. AND use something like “60 feet of extra extension cord” to mean that you will be running 60 minutes late.

So, when you know you’re going to be late due to your current appointment running longer than anticipated, CALL a designated company employee and say ” Hi Betty, I forgot to tell you about the PORTABLE GENERATOR we need to reserve for the Jenkins job early tomorrow morning. And make sure you’ve got 60 feet of extension cord there also. Thank you.”

That alerts a key employee to call your next appointment and let them know you will be 60 minutes late. That gives them a heads-up to do something for the next 60 minutes or to reschedule.

It’s common courtesy and a show of respect to NOT be late for a scheduled appointment.

Leads are too expensive and precious to just BLOW OFF or WASTE by being late.

By everyone having a cell phone, and not using it, makes any excuse you come up with for being late seem outlandish and flaky.

How about when you arrive late and haven’t called to let them know?

“Oh, you couldn’t at least call me to let me know you were running late?????”

I cringe just at the thought of hearing that comment.

And YOU should too.

Don’t be like the “typical” salesperson.
Stand out from the crowd.
Do what the PROS do.
Show up early.
And if you’re gonna be late…..CALL.


I hope you picked up a useful tip or two on this blog post.

If you’ve got any comments or additional suggestions, I would love to hear from you.

Just leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you.


See ya on the next blog post.