Okay, sometimes you can’t help it. Unfortunately, with some people it is just a bad habit. From a lawyer marketing standpoint – in the case of this bad behavior – it is dumb marketing. Oh yeah, did I also say it is rude.

Whether you are perennially late to a client meeting, or court, or a deposition, a negotiation, or a bar luncheon, etc., you are sending the wrong message, which likely includes:

  • My time is more valuable than yours;
  • You’re not important enough for me to be on time – you are not the President or the Pope for goodness sake;
  • Didn’t mean to be late, but I’m not organized today (as in make sure to hire me, so I can prove how disorganized I can be on your next legal matter); and
  • Even though I’m suppose to be a professional, I’m not able to “get it together and act like one.”

Those points were raised by Otto Sorts (who apparently is an anonymous friend of Merrilyn Tarlton)  in posts on both Attorney at Work and HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLaw. He reminds us that bad habits can be overcome. Accordingly, if you are interested in gaining new clients and matters, you just may want to impress your clients, referral sources and prospects by showing them respect by being on time.

I know I’ve gotten better at time management thanks to my friend and colleague Jim Hassett. He is an unbelievable stickler for being on and ending on time. At first, when we started working together on business development coaching, I would make fun of him because he was so fanatical about it. I’m not laughing any more. He has proven to me that clients appreciate when you respect their valuable time. Now, when I make coaching calls scheduled on the hour, I call at exactly :00, not at :59 minutes or :01. Clients have told me that they appreciate knowing that I will be “on time.”

So, don’t be late! Your marketing efforts will benefit as a result.