There are still Professionals around

During my recent week-long visit to Mumbai, I had fixed a few appointments and a couple of my prospects suggested that I call them once I am there to fix a suitable appointment.

One meeting took unexpectedly longer than I anticipated and it was getting too close for the next meeting which was at least about 30 minutes away by taxi.  I called up the person I am to meet and asked for a deferred meeting. Despite being the CEO of the organization, he was very gracious to ask me if an hour later would be fine and when I confirmed, he gave the time.  And when I reached his office, he heard my pitch and immediately put me onto his colleague to take it further.  He did not have to give a second appointment and likewise he could have ended our meeting with a formal “Someone will get in touch with you shortly”.  The second meeting was very productive partly because I was talking to the right person and also because he was open given that the meeting was arranged by his boss.

I am reminded of yet another meeting where I should have gone with my laptop to give a demo but didn’t.  I apologized for the lapse and requested a second appointment the next day and this person, again a very senior manager in a bank, checked his calendar and without any fuss agreed for the time I had requested.  And when I went the next day, he had organized his team to be present and waved off my apologies for the lapse on the previous day.

While both these professionals responded to my request admirably, I am about to share an incident where one of my prospects took the initiative.  We had scheduled a meeting at 9:30 am the next day and around 6 pm I get a call from him saying that he has been scheduled for an important meeting at the same time and asked to reschedule sometime in the evening.  Not only did he call but he had also earlier sent a SMS (in full words, which is again a rarity) explaining his situation.  We had a fruitful meeting the next evening.

 

I cannot but contrast these with ones that we are familiar with.  An executive had given a time on the last day of my visit and as is my habit, I called in the previous evening to confirm the appointment.  He mentioned that he was leaving for Delhi at that time and will not be there until the weekend, oblivious of the fact that we had agreed on a meeting.  And then there was another, who again, when I called to confirm said that he was busy and that he will call with a different appointment and never did.

I guess we meet all kinds of people but professionals really leave a lingering fragrance of the interaction

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