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Bill Farquharson

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Why It’s Rude to Be Early

Think you know all about being on time? Think showing up early is your way of saying, "Look at me! I'm punctual!" After Bill Farquharson's Short Attention Span Sales Tip, you will think differently.
too early

Good morning!

There is more to being on time than just not being late.

I remember my mom telling a story about how the British were painfully punctual. Show up early to an appointment—even by just a minute or two—and you would hear a Butler say, “You’re early.” Likewise, show up a minute or two late and you will face the inevitable, “You’re late.”

That is a tough target to hit!

Farquharson’s are punctual to a fault. 10:00 means 10:00. Being late is simply not acceptable. My idea of hell includes Tom Brady playing for anyone but the Patriots, a world without Cadbury mini eggs, and showing up chronically late to events. Makes me crazy, as my wife will attest.

But what about showing up early?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard this sales tip anywhere. These words have certainly never crossed my lips before, but I want to advise you all not to be early either. While you think you are perhaps doing someone a favor or demonstrating your eagerness, showing up or calling earlier than the agreed-upon time is an interruption. You are expected at the top of the hour and even a minute earlier can cause a client distress. They were counting on using that minute another way. Taken to the extreme, it can be read as disrespectful, as if you are saying, “I am ready now, and that is all that matters.”

If you are going to be late, call or text. It will be appreciated and forgiven. But don’t show up early to an appointment unless you have already cleared it with your customer.

It’s rude and, while it’s a small point, it will not be forgotten.

Treat every appointment—in-person or phone call—like it’s Cinderella’s Ball and be there before the clock makes its last strike.


Bill Farquharson, the Prince of Sales, has your glass slipper and awaits your arrival at where you will find sales ideas, searchable content, and 15 live Zoom workshops a month. Bill can be reached at 781-934-7036

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