With due apologies, she said her boss could not keep the appointment and wanted to reschedule. Last minute cancellations occur, so I had no problem with this.
Two hours before the second scheduled appointment, his assistant cancelled. I accepted her explanation and rescheduled again.
Finally, about two hours before the third scheduled appointment, the assistant cancelled. Here is where "chutzpa" is defined: She said her boss would prefer "a first thing in the morning meeting, which would be more convenient to him."
I laughed. What nerve. What gall. What chutzpa.
I explained there was very little she could say to convince me to be foolish enough to schedule another meeting. She bailed out by turning me over to another assistant. I asked this second assistant what could have enough importance for me to even consider meeting after three last-minute cancellations of meetings her boss had requested.
She said she'd get back to me.
That was a month ago. I am still waiting.
This is a perfect example of how not to behave in business, and how lapses in etiquette can have significant detrimental effects.
This man's credibility is shot. He initiated contact, made three appointments, then canceled them. If I can't trust him to keep an appointment, how can I trust him on issues of importance?
Without trust, I can't be involved in a deal. There are unknowns in every deal that even thorough due diligence can't uncover. That's where trust comes into play.
Opportunities to work with good people on good deals are too precious to treat with anything less than your best efforts. I'm certain the object of my disdain is bright and accomplished. He may even have a winning opportunity. However, he lost my trust before he even presented his ideas.
I can say one thing for him, though. He does have chutzpa. Erwin Bruder (email@example.com) is managing director of emerging enterprises for Cleveland-based Prim Capital Corporation. He can be reached at (216) 830-1111, ext. 2220.