In the digital age, it is common to find most meetings taking place online, in a virtual office. However, meeting face to face is still one of the best ways to connect with clients and win them over. But how do you get a meeting or appointment with a prospective client to achieve your goal? Meeting requests with clients can be made via e-mail or phone, depending on your preference. If you are looking for information on how to request a meeting, here are some helpful tips.
How to request an appointment via e-mail
E-mail is one of the most used forms of communication between a business and its clients. It is common to find staff exchanging e-mails in the office and reaching out to clients in the same manner. Some e-mails may involve requests for an appointment for a face-to-face meeting which usually follows a particular format. Your e-mail to request an appointment should include:
- Why you want a meeting
Begin your e-mail with the appropriate salutation and build rapport by adding a bit of pleasantries. Quickly follow up with the reason for the meeting request in a few sentences to keep their attention longer. An attention-grabbing introduction is essential to ensure they read the entire e-mail body and respond appropriately. Busy clients usually scan through e-mails and so a great introduction can be the difference between getting a meeting or not.
- Where the meeting will take place
The location of the meeting is essential and should be explained clearly in the e-mail. Whether you are meeting in the office or at a public place, you can share information on the exact location. Include any familiar landmarks to help them get to the meeting place with minimal hassle. You could also provide options for the location of the meeting to give prospective clients the chance to choose the most comfortable spot for them.
- When you want to meet
The day and time for the appointment are crucial when setting up a meeting. Ensure the date and timings are indicated in the e-mail body and ask if they are comfortable with it. If possible, give them more than one option for date and time to choose the most convenient one. If available dates are not working for a prospect, ask them to suggest the best time for them and adjust your schedule to fit in their calendar. The goal is to book a meeting within the shortest time and have a face-to-face consultation about your product or service.
- How long will the meeting take
Most clients are busy and usually have little time to spare for meetings. Make it clear the length of the session so that they can plan their day accordingly. Mentioning how long the meeting will take shows the client that you value their time.
- Benefits of meeting to client
Most clients spare time for meetings that are beneficial to them or their business. It is therefore important to list the advantages of the planned discussion in the e-mail body. A prospective client will likely accept a mutually beneficial meeting request.
How to request a meeting via phone
If your business involves outbound calling to specific clients and other companies, asking for a meeting through the same channel is the ideal choice. Some steps on how to request an appointment by phone include:
- Introduce yourself
As soon as the client picks up the phone, state your name and the company you work for. An engaging introduction helps lower their guard and allows you to engage more with the client. Try not to sell your product or service at this point and focus on getting an appointment. When a prospect feels that you are not going for a sale, they are likely to stay on the call longer. If they positively respond to your introduction, you can proceed to the next step.
- Explain the reason for calling
Now that the client knows who you are, you need to tell them why you reached out to them. Go straight to the purpose of the call, which is to request a meeting, which shows the value for their time. Answer any questions concerning the purpose of the meeting so that they understand they will receive value. Mention the period allocated for the meeting and ask whether they will be available on that day and time. You can be flexible with the time, but twenty to thirty minutes is ideal for a constructive meeting.
- Share benefits of the meeting
While explaining the reason for requesting a meeting, also highlight the benefits that come with the meet-up. Most clients will be open to confirming an appointment when they feel they will get value for their time. Always line up your thoughts in advance so that you can maximize the time on the phone call with a client. Also, be prepared with answers to objections so that common with those seeking appointments with clients. Clients often agree to a meeting when they feel no pressure to buy or sign up immediately.
- End with a call to action
As the call ends, focus on booking a meeting or appointment with the client. You could ask a question that prompts them to confirm their availability. The question should drive them towards making a decision or agree to be followed up soon. Give them options on the meeting time so that they feel in control and continue to be engaged in the phone conversation. Make sure the call ends on a positive note so that you can reach out to them again.
Making appointments has become more complex over time, but your chances of booking one are much higher with these steps. The techniques are applicable for both phone and e-mail and may need to be customized for different clients if they are to be effective. Overall, the focus at this stage should always be on getting an appointment or confirming a meeting and not selling your product or service.