Death by a Thousand Calendar Changes

Updated: 28 Oct, 2014 | Kyle Dougherty

Okay, so one calendar change is unlikely to lead to a "downward spiral”. Nevertheless, every time you need to reschedule or you're double booked, or your prospect doesn't show up to a call - it cuts into your productivity, bit-by-bit.

Let's look at the specific ways calendar changes can lead to "death by a thousand cuts”.

"I just got pulled into an internal meeting...can we reschedule?"

You usually receive this message five minutes before or after your call was scheduled to start. This creates a few problems:

  1. It delays your sales cycle
  2. There’s an "Opportunity Cost" of your lost time. In other words, you halted whatever you were doing before this call to prep for it and you could have offered this time to another prospect if you knew it would have been available
  3. You now have the job of tracking this person down again to reschedule. Although they had the courtesy of sending an email to let you know they couldn’t make the meeting, it’s unlikely that when they leave that meeting their first thought will be to coordinate a rescheduled meeting with you

Make things easier on yourself with these nine strategies for optimizing your schedule.

"I'm so sorry to do this, but I'm just now seeing that I double booked myself... can we reschedule?"

We've all experienced this before; five minutes before your call with a prospect, you get a reminder "ding" from your calendar, only it's showing two different calls. Panic sets in…

This creates a few issues:

  1. Again, it delays your sales cycle for the prospect with whom you choose to reschedule
  2. The chase is on once again. While that prospect will understand, as this kind of thing happens, they now understand they’re even more in the driver’s seat now when rescheduling

To avoid scheduling mistakes, practice power scheduling.

"Hi, you've reached Mrs. Prospect's voicemail, I’m not available right now but if you leave your name and number after the tone I’ll get back to you ASAP."

First, that bit about her getting back to you as soon as possible is often, shall we say, an exaggeration. Secondly, it creates a few issues for you:

  1. Guess what? It delays your sales cycle with this person.
  2. In addition, again there’s an "Opportunity Cost" of your lost time.
  3. While we're at it, let's run it back with your new, extra job - getting them rescheduled for another call. This one is more problematic because the prospect did not give you the courtesy of a "heads up" email, so they likely have placed very little value on a call with you.

Protect the time belonging to both you and your contacts by confirming your appointments.


That's the sound of silence my friend. And not of the Paul & Art variety, no, that brand of silence is sponsored by one or more of the following:

  • The prospect agreeing to a call, but forgetting or passive aggressively avoiding giving you their phone number
  • You forgot to add your conference bridge into the calendar invite
  • Your CRM does not have the prospect’s phone number listed on the contact record

All the usual suspects apply here in terms of the problems this creates for you and your time. Avoid these issues by following these three steps to keeping your CRM data up to date.

Related: 6 Strategies to Augment Your Time with Calendar Management

“This article was originally posted by Prialto: The Virtual Support Service for Executives. Prialto Virtual Assistants are geared to actually pull your business forward and make delegating easy” 

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