How to Politely Reschedule

When you’re running your own business, you’re also running your own schedule. In network marketing, that involves a lot of setting up appointments with others. Most of us, no matter how organized, run into situations where we have to cancel a previously arranged appointment. We all have stressful days, weeks, or years, and all of us make mistakes. It’s OK to have to reschedule an appointment for whatever reason—but there are ways to do it poorly and ways to do it well. 

First, let’s look at how you should NOT reschedule an appointment:
  • Do it too late. You already missed the appointment. They already had to wait for you, expecting you to come, and only then did you tell them you couldn’t make it. This is very inconvenient for people and is likely to end in frustration.
  • Place blame on the other person. After already inconveniencing someone, don’t make it worse by passing the buck to them. Avoid saying things like, “You didn’t confirm,” or “You didn’t give me enough notice.” This is unlikely to make them feel forgiving.
  • Leave the rescheduling open-ended. If you just say, “Let’s reschedule” or “I’ll contact you another time,” that is far from solving the problem and raises the chances that this meeting will never end up happening.
  • Give excuses. All this does is send a clear message to the other person of what in your life is more important to you than them. This can also often overburden the person with unnecessary information about your personal life. 
Now, here’s how you can reschedule well:
  • Keep it short and simple. If you simply say, “Unfortunately, I have to reschedule our one-on-one tomorrow,” they can imagine for themselves what’s keeping you busy and they can’t judge you for whatever you tell them. 
  • Make them feel important. Make sure the person knows that even though something came up, you still really want to meet with them. Say you know they’re busy and you don’t take their time lightly. Tell them why you’re looking forward to meeting with them. 
  • Offer a specific new time. If you just ask, “When are you available?” you are making them do the work for your mistake. Offer several specific dates and times as alternatives. This will also help them know you’re serious about rescheduling.  
By rescheduling well, you show the other person respect and how sincerely you want to meet with them. Take the opportunity to make them feel special, rather than letting it ruin a possibly beneficial relationship. 
*Taken from “The Don’t-Be-a-Schmuck Guide to Rescheduling,” by Ross McCammon, Entrepreneur, July 2016

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