Like many women, I have a busy schedule. My time is precious and every day is planned around my children, my businesses and other non-work related activities.

Today I was supposed to meet with a new client, to discuss opportunities where we may be able to assist them in improving their business. Whilst driving out to meet with this potential client, he called me to let me know that he was no longer able to meet, but he was happy to come by my office to catch up tomorrow.

I know emergency situations arise and sometimes you legitimately do need to cancel a meeting so that you have the time to deal with issues that come up. But from my perspective, I haven’t even met with this organisation yet and I can already see that they are completely reactive, jumping from one crisis to another, putting out spot fires on the way.

Looking at it from a consulting perspective, I think great! There are going to be so many areas within this business that I am going to be able to educate and assist them in improving their performance. From a personal perspective, I’m questioning myself around is this a client I really want to work with?

To me first impressions are everything and they really set both the pace and the scene for how your relationship will develop as you commence working together. I have not got the time or the energy to spend chasing others and rescheduling my calendar to accommodate clients who can’t manage their time and are poor planners.

If you are one of these ‘reactive’ types, I would suggest you block out a day of your time regularly and plan. Plan what it is you are trying to achieve and how you are going to get there. As the days pass by you need to continue to plan, review your priorities and block out time to complete the tasks and activities required for you to meet the targets within your plan. Moving your approach from being reactive to proactive will not only make you a lot more efficient and effective in your approach, but it will impact those who work with you!

The other side to this is you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.  Make sure it counts through good planning and prioritisation.