Many vendors offer the phrase, “Thank you for your time…” when starting or completing a meeting with a customer, often adding “I know your time is valuable…”  This is courteous, but positions the vendor beneath the customer, in terms of relative importance.

A very successful salesperson (thanks, Carol!) once shared the following advice that I continue to apply today:

She asked me, “Isn’t your time just as valuable as the customer’s?”  I responded, “Of course it is…”

She then offered a better way starting and closing meetings.  She suggested saying, “I’m glad we are [or were] able to invest this time together today…”

This positions both parties as equals – regardless of whether you are speaking with an executive, middle manager, staff member or system administrator.  What a delightful idea!

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