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how long would you wait?

how long would you wait?

How long would you wait for a potential new client at a neutral venue i.e. coffee shop etc?

If I cant get hold of them on their mobile I would wait 20 mins. Is this reasonable or too long too short?


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16th Apr 2012 11:44

Be prepared...

I'd probably take a book or a file so my time was productive while I waited.  If I had one of these then I'd probably wait an hour before calling it a day.  This allows time for parking or traffic problems.  It would be their only chance, though.


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16th Apr 2012 12:25

I would personally only wait until I finished my coffee then leave.  They would need a pretty good excuse to get me out to meet them again.

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to Steviebaby
16th Apr 2012 12:45

Judging by your picture

MissAccounting wrote:

I would personally only wait until I finished my coffee then leave.  They would need a pretty good excuse to get me out to meet them again.


Judging by your avatar I don't imagine too many (male) clients would keep you waiting...

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16th Apr 2012 16:58


sorry just brought a smile to my face at the end of a long day......not very PC I know (no offence meant MissAccounting)

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By happy
17th Apr 2012 10:48

20 minutes is fair in my book.

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20th Apr 2012 11:51

wrong way round

I always call them and say are we still meeting no reply no meeting . I always get there 10 mins late so I am not kept waiting. I always call them as I am on the way and say I will be there in 10 mins..they are not paying for the meeting so they can wait not me.. works every time ;o)

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20th Apr 2012 12:37

I would wait a little longer

When I've been in this situation I have given it half an hour.

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20th Apr 2012 12:45

Manners & PC Coomment

Punctuality is high on my list of priorities.  If I say I'm going to meet someone I would normally be there BEFORE time.  e.g. I met a business client yesterday at Grantham station and due to an accident on the A1 closing the road and diverting traffic through Grantham I left 40 mins early and arrived 40 mins early!  Much depends on how well you know the person.

I always check before the meeting, often the day before and usually text my ETA or advise of any delays.  In this age of constant communication, I don't think it is acceptable not to update peope but how often do people forget an appointment - it happens.

Therefore, if I'm told that someone is running late, I waiut as long as it takes - even an hour.  If they don't keep me informed, 30 mins is probably about the maximum although outside the realm of good manners.

I once worked for a guy  who always cut things fine and often arrived late - he lost so many contracts this way.  Why?

I thought the non-PC comment about the attractive contributer was an excellent observation - PC humbug!!!!!

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By nutwood
20th Apr 2012 13:15

For a short time I had someone cold calling

potential clients.  I had an appointment with one lead at his premises.  He wasn't there.  I rang his mobile and he said to talk to his Dad, who was in the workshop, as he knew all about it.  He didn't.  I rearranged the appointment but the prospect wasn't there again.  I rang his mobile to find he was two counties away on a job.  I told him to call me when he was next in the workshop.

Two years went by before he rang.  He was closing the company down as the council had caught up with him for lack opf planning consent on the workshop.  HMRC were on the point of sending the bailiffs in for estimated CT- by that time there were three years accounts outstanding.  I agreed to do the work and got a substantial down payment.  I was told all the reecords were on Sage (they weren't), they were bank statements (the majority of which were still in unopened envelopes) and cheque stubs, with many blank or illegible.

HMRC were so grateful to get the troublesome case off their records that they were quite relaxed about the estimates used to do the accounts and the client was also grateful to get his affairs up to date and didn't quibble about the overall fee.

After that business closed he started another as a sole trader.  He doesn't respond to phone messages or emails or even copies of emails shoved through his letter box.  I haven't heard from him for two years .......

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20th Apr 2012 16:01

Why would anyone want to act for someone who does not show a modicum of respect for their time by at least trying to contact them to let them know if they are delayed? Send a routine text out reminding them of the meeting the day before then forget it if they don't turn up on time or at least let you know they will be late.

There will always be the odd no show so I insist that that a new client comes to me first time around unless it is clearly a business with a significant workplace and several employees where one would expect time to be managed appropriately. I am just too busy to hang around waiting for people who have no intention of showing plus I want to feel safe and can arrange that best in my own space.

There is unfortunately a real need to be wary these days and the young, female members at least should be careful of meeting clients outside of a safe environment.

I once had a phone call, from what sounded like a potentially very lucrative prospect, the caller gave me very negative vibes but seemed genuine enough. However I was so suspicious of him, (he was just too insistent that we met on his territory) that I asked a senior police officer client to check him out. Obviously I wasn't told anything about him but I was informed that the only way I should go ahead with the meeting was if a police officer came with me posing as a trainee Accountant! I have never put myself in that position again and I now always make sure that a male is around when interviewing new clients, plus at least one other person. We are not all together in one place. After that gut instinct usually kicks in to know whether they are OK or not.

I may be over cautious but would rather do that than take a risk and I would certainly urge all female members especially to be very careful. There are some not very nice people around and it only takes one bad call to regret it.

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21st Apr 2012 13:02

female meetings

Meetings with female staff on our premises only. Too many weirdos out there. Im 6ft and 200 pounds and an ugly git so so have never had any trouble. It has occured to me though sometimes when you are alone with a female client in her dining room explaining tax she might just say you touched her inappropriately and what evidence do you have that you havent, mind you she could say that in a meeting room. Theres always a risk and I am wary when alone and keep my distance

On average I sign up 1 new client every day and have for the last 10 years ( including one this am) and havent had any problems yet. Success rate is over 98% after a meeting  ( even if I am 10 mins late ;o)


So thats lets say 10 mins of me not waiting for people on average for 200 days a year for 10 years which is 333hrs of not being kept waiting at £50 an hr...pays for one of the tyres on my lamborghini

But then...what do I know...

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21st Apr 2012 14:07

From Tom7000 ""....On average I sign up 1 new client every day and have for the last 10 years ( including one this am)....."Respect!

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