Appointment etiquette, to confirm or not to confirm? That is the question…

What is the etiquette around appointments?

I used to get super irritated when my financial broker would confirm an appointment she had with me 3 times. It felt as if she was expecting me to cancel, or move it, or for me to be a no-show. And it put a bad taste in my mouth. Until this last week, where I hadn’t confirmed 2 appointments, and travelled for at least 4 hours and had no-shows. Both parties had slipped up on appointment etiquette.

For many years I was in sales and we learned appointment etiquette. For us it meant to book appointments over the phone and immediately send an agenda and a outlook calendar invite. In the invite you would have, the client’s contact details, company name, your company name and your cellphone number. This would allow transparency from both sides, and should the client not be able to make the appointment their PA could simply pick up the phone and let you know.

As part of our appointment etiquette we also had to share our calendars internally with our line-managers, which allowed the company to either move your meeting or cancel it, should you fall ill, or have a family dilemma.

To me appointments was solid, but for some departments they may be more of an inclination of a meeting and not
set-in gold.

How reliable are you with your appointments? What is the correct appointment etiquette?

Do you keep them, or simply pencil them in?

If your company is investing in you:

If you know your company is spending money on you would you respect an appointment for coaching or training,
or only if its touching your own pocket?

Appointments with family and friends

How about appointments with family? Do you prioritse them or are they the last priority on your list? Are you
always able to squeeze in another client, lunch date or meeting, but your family is never prioritized?

  • What does the way you handle appointments say about you?

My suggestion is this:

Phone and con􀀁rm your appointment the previous day. Or like the Restaurant App does, send them an SMS and an
email to remind them, and asking them to con􀀁rm the appointment, cancel or more it out.

I personally don’t like giving people the option to cancel a meeting. But also realized the possibility that this will remind them and be a more worthwhile appointment, if its kept. I believe in flexibility and moving things around.

As a consultant, have the following in place:

  1. Cancellation clauses
  2. Movement clauses
  3. When people disrespect your time, after doing your preparation, travel and Showing up, the least they can do is pay you.

As a good friend of mine, and Self-care expert, Leigh Joy once said:

“We teach others how to treat us”

Leigh Joy

Communicate your boundaries upfront, so that your clients can know how your relationship will be handled, and
always make sure that they realise that it’s a win-win.

At Y-Connect, we aim to grow your leaders and teams. We offer a variety of interventions including training on topics like:

  • Time-management
  • Professionalism and etiquette
  • Leadership development
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Persuasion skills
  • Presentation skills
  • As well as individual or group coaching.

Reach out to us if you want to find ways of making your team more productive, more engaged and more professional.

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