Being on time is a very simple thing to do and yet it is very simple not to do. Over the years I have been in many different types of networking groups for a variety of companies and projects. There is something about the message being sent out by the members that are consistently arriving late or leaving early. Business networking is very similar to dating in that first impressions make big difference. If you are consistently late at a networking event it leads people to believe you may be late to all of your meetings.
Does being late really make a difference in your business networking success? I know for me when I see this in a networking group like BNI, LeTip, or a weekly chamber of commerce group I am less likely to give the habitual late person a referral. The reason is each referral is really an extension of me and my reputation. If I refer my best client or referral source to a member who in turn is late meeting with my contact this reflects negatively on me. My personal network is far more important to me than just giving someone a referral!
If you are habitually late and want to know simple ways to change your pattern read this great article, 5 ways to stop being late by Penelope Trunk.
So the next time you are getting ready for your business networking event or BNI meeting, maybe you should skip responding to that email which just showed up in your inbox and instead arrive 10 minutes early to your meeting (on time).