Professional salespeople will often say that “meetings make money” as meetings create an excellent opportunity to capture the hearts and pockets of potential customers by creating a lasting impression of the quality and value of your product or service. These great opportunities for pitching your business don't just occur. Meetings are sometimes requested weeks in advance and scheduled appropriately.
Meetings that make money or lead to progress for organizations are strategically positioned or scheduled with relevant stakeholders in attendance. Therefore, when requesting a meeting, it is crucial to define the objective of the meeting and identify the concerned parties that should be in attendance for a productive meeting to hold.
For example, if requesting a meeting with the regulator of your industry to discuss obtaining a license or waiver for your organization (objective), ensure that the key decision-maker or an equally relevant officer will be present at the meeting. Having a meeting with the staff of the organization that has nothing to do with licensing and can't give you any practical guidance would be a waste of your time.
Therefore, when requesting meetings via email, keep the following points in mind to ensure you get a meeting that supports and facilitates your objective:
- Start with an impactful introduction.
- Make your meeting request appropriate.
- State the objective of the meeting
- Request for the presence of relevant persons
- Ask for confirmation of the meeting.
Start with a strong introduction.
Don't wait till the meeting to make an impression on the receiver of your email. Instead, start positioning your organization from the first line of your email with a persuasive introduction of your organization and a definite statement of purpose.
Most organizations have a standard company introduction or a frequently used favorite. Ensure that you introduce your company in a way that accurately captures what your organization does and presents your organization as professional and competent. Within this first paragraph, you also want to summarize the purpose of your email or the meeting you wish to request.
Here's an example of an introduction for a corporate fitness consulting company:
Fit Labour Consulting is an international business and organizational development consulting firm specializing in corporate health and fitness. We wish to request a meeting with your organization, Herpers & Co., to review your current corporate fitness strategy and present our solution for optimizing your strategy.
Make your meeting request appropriate.
Do some research before requesting the meeting! An understanding of the receiving organization's culture, operations, and the process will help you communicate more effectively and align your request better to the receiving organization.
For example, if your research into the organization finds that the organization closes by 12noon on Fridays, you would be better off requesting a meeting on a different day of the week or earlier than 12noon as your chances of receiving positive feedback are greater.
You do not want to request for meeting schedules that would be impossible for the organization to meet or engage in a prolonged email back and forth to secure the appointment. Doing your research and picking appropriate schedules will ensure you secure the meeting with less hassle.
Here's how to request a meeting by email:
We kindly request a meeting with your organization by 10 am on Friday, September 1, 2017
State the objective of the meeting
A meeting without an objective or agenda will often fluctuate between topics/issues based on the personalities of the participants and end with nothing achieved or resolved. Result-oriented organizations/individuals will request you state the purpose of your meeting or provide an agenda before confirming the meeting. By stating the objective of the meeting in your request email, you appear more professional and competent.
Returning to the example of the organization requesting a meeting with its industry regulator here's a simple way to outline the meeting objective:
Smart Kids Academy kindly requests a meeting with your organization by 10 am on Friday, September 1, 2020, to:
- Confirm requirements for registration as a Special center for kids with learning disabilities
- Discuss our proposed plans for the Academy and possible areas of partnership
- Get approval for Extra-curricular programs for our students.
The use of list – bullets or numbers, instead of run-on text ensures that no point is lost and makes emails easier to read.
Request for the presence of relevant persons
Though efficient organizations can assess from the content of your meeting request the relevant persons that should attend your requested meeting, it is more proactive to add this detail in your email. This may not be relevant if you know the exact person you wish to meet, or your email is to the specific person you want to meet.
When sending a “cold” email to an organization to request a meeting, be sure to state the sort of people or persons you wish to have at the meeting. This can be added to the introductory paragraph or while stating the purpose of the meeting.
To use this in the case of the Corporate Fitness Consulting company, here's a simple way to state who you want at your meeting:
We kindly request a meeting with your Head of Human Resources and other relevant personnel by 10 am on Monday, September 4, 2017, to discuss how Fit Labour Consulting can:
- Support your current corporate fitness strategy
- Improve staff productivity and performance
Ask for confirmation of the meeting.
Make no assumptions; confirm everything! After sending an important email, if you do not have a read-receipt functionality set up, follow up with the receiving organization to ensure your mail was received. Important emails are often useless when an error in the email or spam blockers prevent them from reaching the intended party or organization.
Asking the recipient of your email to confirm receipt of the email and requesting a confirmation of the meeting schedule takes the guesswork out of the process. Individuals and organizations with poor email etiquette or a tendency to not respond to emails are more likely to respond when confirmation is requested.
Here's a professional way to phrase your request for confirmation:
We kindly request that you confirm receipt of this email and your availability for the proposed meeting as scheduled. If the proposed schedule is not suitable, kindly suggest a more convenient schedule for this meeting.
We await your prompt feedback.
For: XYZ Company
The internet has made reaching potential customers and engaging with existing ones a lot easier with the use of email services. Several meetings can be effortlessly scheduled every day. Be proactive in your meeting requests to ensure that all the essential elements for an effective and productive meeting are accounted for and present at the meeting.