If you do get a meeting with someone after requesting a very specific amount of their time (as we discussed in part one of this post), make sure that you honor the boundaries of your request.
If you asked for 13 minutes, at minute number twelve say something along the lines of: “I requested 13 minutes and it’s been 12 and I want to respect your time so…”
This simple gesture – showing them that you are aware of the time – will, once again, lower their defenses and make them feel comfortable. And now, because they know they are in the company of someone who has shown them respect, they will very likely finish your sentence with: “…no, no, that’s fine, keep going.” If they like you. And if they have the time.
But even if you think they like you, still be prepared to wrap things up at the appointed time in case they have to get on with their day.
When you are trying to get a meeting in the first place, here’s a great sentence to use if you are speaking with the receptionist or assistant:
“Hi _____, I’d like to talk with ____ for 7 minutes sometime next week – is this something you can schedule or do I need to speak directly with him/her to set it up?
Notice that the question is not in any way about asking permission, it’s purely about scheduling. True, they may change the topic to “permission” but you certainly don’t have to bring it up right from the start!