I have a good friend Liz who owns a successful business that operates in over 25+ states.  She and I think a lot a-like on relationship building.  A response that has always bothered both of us is was when people respond with “I’m so busy” to the question of How are you doing?”

Almost anytime we’d hear we’d both look at each other and roll our eyes.  When I asked her about contributing to this article she instantly said “Nothing drives me crazier than that statement!”

We hate it not because you are busy but because by responding this way it may send the message that:

1-You are too busy for referrals or other opportunities
2- You imply that the other person is not busy, which can send the wrong message to your fellow chapter member(s).  You don’t want people to see you as unapproachable or think that you’re so arrogant you don’t have time for them.

Alter your response to the question.  Maybe try responding with:

-“Business is great right now because….”

-“I/we are growing at a great pace right now.  I’m looking to (expand, hire, implement, etc)..

I see this response come out in a lot of settings, but in our meetings I see it stated during meetings a lot when another member/guest is approaching you to setup a face-to-face meeting.  Face-to-Face meetings are the #1 driver of referrals.  Too often that same member who sent the message of being super-busy will be one of the first to complain to me about the program not working for them.

A few face-to-face scheduling tips for our busy members.  Schedule your face-to-face meetings:

  • pre or post meeting.  You already plan to be there.  Doing this takes out travel time.
  • Set a two window where you will be at (your office, coffee house, etc) and schedule 2-3 face-to-face meetings back-to-back.    I do this one a lot.  I’ll set 2-3 meetings up at the same location in tight windows.
  • in 25 or 50 minute windows so you have more flexibility in your calendar the rest of the day for other meetings
  • Liz also shared this additional scheduling tip for when she is slammed!

Per Liz:  “If I am approached for a meeting, and genuinely don’t have room on my calendar for 1 to 1 meetings in the upcoming 2-3 weeks, I ask the person if I can reconnect with them in X number of weeks to schedule something.  I put the follow-up on my calendar so I remember to do so.  This keeps me from 1. Saying “I’m too busy to meet” and 2. scheduling something one month or father out (which likely will get cancelled or re-arranged).  This tactic also puts the follow-up on me, which shows genuine interest so the other person doesn’t feel like they’re chasing me down for a meeting.”

We want busy successful people in our groups.  The ability to attract and retain talented business professionals is one of our main goals.  I’ve found that most of our busy people constantly want to help others, contribute at a high level, and want the group to succeed.   However, sometimes by stating we are “so busy” we send the wrong message.  I encourage you to both alter your language in the response and implement a few of our face-to-face scheduling tips.  It will open up more opportunities for you.