10 Ways To Get a Competitive Advantage By Arriving Early
by Terry Brock for DSound & Steemit
One of the techniques that successful people use is the habit of arriving early for meetings. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, formerly General Eisenhower who led Allied forces to victory in WWII, was famous for his “when to arrive for a meeting” philosophy. If you weren’t 10 minutes early for the meeting, you were late. Perhaps this sage advice from years ago can help us gain a competitive advantage in today’s white-hot competitive market.
When you arrive early for a meeting, you gain several advantages right away. Here are 10 advantages that come to mind for me. Let me know what you think:
You avoid the frustrations of likely delays and interruptions. We’ve all had unexpected traffic delays from accidents, road work, and other details that cut into our estimated arrival time. Leave earlier than you need. If you arrive early, carry reading and study materials so you can expand your mind and have more mental ammunition for the tasks at hand. Bring articles and reading material that can help you learn more relevant material for the meeting about to occur.
You get extra information the late arrivers miss. When you’re early you can talk with important people who are already there. This can be the assistant or co-workers who happen to be there before your appointment. Just one or two comments or observations can yield rich information that can help you in your upcoming presentation. This can also apply to observing the surroundings and noticing important, but overlooked details, that can add value to your performance at the meeting.
If you get lost, which can happen going to a place you’ve not been before, you have more time to get your bearings and comfortably arrive. This helps to defuse the natural frustration and tension that comes when you’re running late. Take control of the situation and put time on your side.
You arrive with more peace of mind and focus than you would if you’re rushing to get somewhere at the last minute. You are at a significant advantage if you start a meeting fully prepared, relaxed and focused in contrast to the competitor arriving out of breath, complaining about the traffic delay, and not fully organized. Put the odds in your favor.
You are favorably noticed. You are there before the others and that can be quite favorable to an important decision-maker. No, it probably won’t be the only factor, but putting an extra benefit in the “you” column in their mind can make all the difference on who gets the business.
You get time to test your equipment. If you’re going to do a slide presentation, you get much more chance to test the A/V, your equipment, and more to make sure it works in that critical moment when everyone has their eyes and attention on you. Bonus: You can study the environment and learn more about important items like lights, electrical outlets and more that can help swing the odds in your favor.
You build a cushion. Mistakes and mishaps happen. By being early you have a cushion built into the time-frame to correct what might go wrong. Those extra few minutes to repair and fix allow you to be professional when you need it most.
You build trust that you are reliable and dependable. In a world where dependability has often been forgotten, you stand out in a favorable way. Decision makers know that you are the one they can depend on when the stakes are high. This gives you another competitive advantage.
You don’t have to scramble for excuses. If you’re there early, you don’t have to make up a feeble excuse about “traffic was terrible” or “the alarm didn’t go off” (as if the problem is the fault of the alarm, not you!) and other worthless ploys that erode your professional appearance.
You build your own self-confidence. You know in the future that being there early can give you an advantage so you build that chain-link discipline model to continue to propel you forward.
I’ve never ceased to be amazed at the value of information that can be collected, even at the last minute, for an important meeting that can significantly alter my performance. Arriving early for a meeting can be a low- or no-cost advantage you get in today’s white-hot competitive world.
All the best,
Terry Brock, MBA, CSP, CPAE
Member, Professional Speaker Hall of Fame
Certified Speaking Professional
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