An effective meeting request email is the golden ticket that will get your foot in the door when securing new clients. Meeting requests are a fine art that you will get better at with practice. The meeting is where you can showcase your formidable talent and wow potential new clients but you have to get that meeting in the first place.
There are plenty of rookie mistakes that this guide will help you eliminate, meaning fewer clients slip through the net. A great business meeting request email will give you a platform. After that, it's still up to you to ace the meeting. All the same, if a client has taken the time to schedule a meeting with you it's a surefire sign they're interested in what you have to say. Let's take a look at how you can grab their attention and secure that meeting.
Structuring a Meeting Request Email
Business meeting request emails need to be simple but they also need to contain every bit of relevant information. It may seem strange to be mentioning the band Sum 41 at this point, but the title of their debut album 'All Killer, no Filler' sums up the approach you should take when putting a meeting request email templated together. Here are some key points.
Ok, so let's try and walk in the client's shoes. They've fired up the computer, taken a sip of their first coffee of the day and taken a deep breath before opening their emails. Most of the content of their inbox they won't be in a hurry to read. They'll be looking to wade through all the junk to find anything that may actually be worth their time.
With an irresistible subject line you can grab their attention right away. Take time on this often overlooked detail. Think about the client, what they will be looking for and how you can turn that into a snappy soundbite that will make them open your email in the first place. With cold meeting request emails your subject line must be eye catching, clear and intriguing enough so the client cares to have what's inside revealed.
This is a meeting email request, so if someone is going to want to meet with you they will have to know who you are. Also, you have to show that you know who they are. Your meeting request email template can make up the bulk of the content but your introduction needs to be specific to who you are trying to impress. Keep it brief, but tell them who you are and why your work is relevant to them.
Purpose of the Meeting
Now it's time to give all the details of why this meeting needs to take place. It is a formal meeting request and should explain why the meeting would be of benefit to both of you.
A trap to avoid is giving too much away at this point. If you say too much now then what will be the point of the meeting? You need to drop hints of why this client will want to work with you but without giving too much away. You need to indicate the value that working with you will bring, as well as showing that there will be a benefit to you. If a client is left thinking "What's in this for you?" then they will think there must be a catch.
The client will have a lot of emails to read through so make sure yours is to the point and that whoever opens it can clearly see the start and end. If they see blocks of text that disappear beyond the bottom of the screen they will instantly mark your e-mail for the 'later' pile. Because they're busy later will likely mean never!
Setting a Date
When you request a meeting it's a good idea to suggest a meeting date or two. The question "When is good for you?" shows that you care but it also indicates that you have all the time in the world, which means nobody is working with you. If you give a short meeting time list then the client will get the impression that your time is valuable and they'd better snap up a meeting before someone else does.
This is the way to draw your e-mail to a close and get that meeting appointment in the diary.
Important Points to Remember
You've got an idea of how to put together a meeting request email sample, now here are some important things to consider when writing the email itself.
Make Sure You Get the Details Right
An instant red flag for potential clients will be if they see typos in their details. Take time to make sure you get the recipient's name right and don't say anything about their company that isn't true. Attention to detail is key for showing that you value them personally and are not taking a scattershot approach to finding clients. Make sure you spell their name correctly - are they Steven or Stephen? Mrs Peterson or Mrs Pietersen? These things matter.
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Keep it Brief
Think of a film poster for Lord of the Rings, not Lord of the Rings itself! The meeting is the time to go into depth about what you can offer. The introductory email is about getting the main details in and inviting them to respond. Use short sentences, short paragraphs and no more paragraphs than are absolutely necessary.
The Personal Touch
You will want to show that you've taken the time to email this client personally and that it's not part of a blanket email to hundreds of companies. Always make sure you use someone's name rather than 'to whom it may concern' and include a couple of details about them that show you know who you are talking to.
If you do not hear anything for a few days or a week it may be worth a follow up email or even a call. Someone may not think you intended to approach them personally but a follow up email can change their mind. It shows that you were actually serious about working with them. However, if you hear nothing back from the follow up either it's time to cut your losses and move on. One follow up shows interest, multiple follow ups just feel like harassment.
Warm Meeting Request email vs Cold Meeting Request email
An important distinction to make when crafting a meeting request email is whether it is warm or cold. In simple terms this means do you already know the person or not? The cold request is what we have talked about already but if somebody already has a connection to you or has shown an interest then you will want to be less formal and can be more familiar.
When putting together a warm email you should not take it for granted that the recipient wants to work with you, but you can assume some level of interest so your job is to confirm why you will be good to work with. In a cold email you are starting from scratch and have to assume the recipient has never heard of you, having no idea of what you can offer.
Examples of people you might send warm emails to:
- Somebody you met at a networking event and explained a little already about what you do.
- Somebody who has interacted with your social media page and shown an interest in your work.
- Somebody you may have worked with already in the past and are looking to re-establish a relationship with.
Examples of people you might send cold emails to:
- A company you have identified as having similar goals to you who you think you have something you can offer.
- Someone you have been told is looking for freelancers but has not heard of you.
- Someone who has shown an interest in the type of work you do in general but not you personally.
Getting the Right Tone
Tone is massively important when requesting a meeting. The degree of formality you should use depends on how well you know the person you are contacting, but think also about the nature of their work. If you are contacting an attorney to offer accounting services, say, you will go for a more serious tone than if you're a freelance writer contacting a vibrant youth culture magazine offering to write an article.
Again, try to put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving the email. What will show them that you understand their work, or their target demographic? How can you show your personality without being too familiar? Choose your words carefully based on who you are trying to establish contact with. Show them that you speak their language and they will be far more inclined to set up a meeting.
A Sample Email
So, let's recap a little bit and think about the content and structure of your meeting request email. The most common email will likely be a cold request, so think about the main points we've covered. This person has never met you so you need to tell them who you are, what you can offer them, why it will be mutually beneficial and when might be good to meet. That's a lot of information, so the key point is to be succinct. Save all the best stuff for the meeting, but leave them feeling that the good stuff will be there.
SUBJECT LINE - This should be short, to the point and intriguing. Maybe "Let's Talk" or something along those lines.
INTRODUCTION - Basically at this point you are introducing yourself and explaining why you are getting in contact in the first place. Imagine you are meeting the recipient in person; if you bombard them with too much information their eyes will glaze over as they politely nod and smile whilst making an exit plan! You need to give them a couple of sentences about who you are and why you're good at what you do - is there a key achievement you can draw on? Someone you've worked with who the recipient will be impressed by?
BODY OF EMAIL - This is where you give the meeting details; what will you talk about and why is it in their interest to do so? Again you have to think about the attention span of the recipient. It's not that they won't want to hear details about your work, it's that they will be reading your email as part of their busy working life. Just give them enough to convince them it's worth their time to hear more. That's what the meeting will be for. A meeting invitation email should be brief, to the point and having enough intrigue to convince the recipient to accept the invitation.
MEETING DATE AND TIME - Sign off by suggesting a few days and times when you would be free for a chat and ask if any of those times would work. Some people prefer in person meetings, others love the fact that you can now meet remotely. Perhaps offer both without being too vague - "Would you be free to meet at my office on Thursday at 11am? Can do Zoom if that would work better for you." Something like that.
How Can Indy Help?
Indy offers a range of templates and tools to help you streamline your working life as a freelancer. Check out our website to see what is on offer. As well as templates, there are tools that help with time tracking, project management, invoicing and all aspects of running a successful freelance business. There are plenty of free resources or affordable monthly or yearly plans to suit you depending on your needs. There are also many articles covering every aspect of freelancing life in Indy University. You will easily find what you're looking for.
So, let's recap the main points:
- A meeting request email is just that - you are requesting to meet with someone, not delivering the content of the meeting in your initial email. Keep it brief!
- Make your email personal to show that you have taken the time to learn something about your prospective client and there are genuine reasons why it will benefit you to work together.
- Leave the recipient wanting more. Give some tasters of what you can offer but leave them feeling that they will have to accept the meeting in order to hear about it in full.
- Don't be afraid to follow up if you've not heard anything. Someone may have read your email and been intrigued but then forgot to reply amid all of their other tasks. Remember though that more than one follow up seems pushy, and if someone has not responded to an email twice there is probably a good reason.
There is a craft to writing a meeting request email and requesting meetings is a big part of what will give you the chance to land new clients. If you do the request right then the meeting will just be a case of confirming that you are worth working with. If someone agrees to a meeting they at least have some interest in working with you, so you just have to build on the information you have given already. Take the time to get this right and you will see results.