Image by nicdalic via Flickr
There is an etiquette to asking for help .
The other day I had a meeting scheduled with someone I had never met. A mutual friend had asked that I meet with the person to help them with a a specific business issue. The meeting started bad and just got worse.
The person showed up 25 minutes late for a 1 hour meeting. We were meeting at a coffee shop. He apologized for being late. I let him know I had a meeting in 35 minutes on the other side of town. He then said he wanted a coffee and would be right back. There I sat. Once he had his coffee, I asked him how I could help. He gave me an overview of the problem. I asked a few specifics. It turns out he did not bring any of the information with him so he could not get into the details. One hour wasted.
- Be on time. If you are not going to be on time, call and let them know.
- If you are meeting someone for the first time make sure you have their number in advance in case you cannot make the meeting, are late or just can’t find them in the crowded coffee shop.
- Keep the chat to a minimum. There is nothing wrong with light banter to start but make the transition to business fairly quickly, especially if you do not know the other person well.
- Come prepared. If you want me to look at something specific, bring it along. Better yet, provide it in advance.
- The words “Thank You” and “Please” go a long way.
There are a lot of people out there that will help you with your business. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Just make sure you respect their time and treat them with respect.