When You Have One Shot to Secure a Meeting with a High-Value Prospect

Photo by  Eric Rothermel  on  Unsplash

An important prospect emails you expressing interest in meeting to discuss how your product or service could solve their problem. How do you respond?

If you’re like most people, you’ll reply:

That sounds great!

Where would you like to meet? And what day and time would be best for you?

But please don’t do this.

While we think we're considerate by giving the prospect first dibs on selecting the meeting time and venue, we're actually putting a burden on them. We're forcing them to come up with available times and locations to propose to us. This creates friction in the scheduling process that, more often than not, leads to radio silence from the prospect.

And when we don’t get a response, we’re confused. We’re thinking, Hey, I thought they were interested?

We take it personal. But the reality is that we made it difficult for them to WANT to respond.

Take the Lead

To ease the burden on the customer—and improve your odds of getting a favorable response—take the lead and propose a day, time and location.

That sounds great! Would love to get together.

How about Monday at 2 pm at your office?

If that day, time, or location is not good, let me know what works best for you.

I look forward to meeting you!

Why Take This Approach?

When you propose a day, time, and place, you’ve saved the prospect a lot of time and anxiety of doing it themselves. You’ve taken friction out of the scheduling process.

This way, if the meeting time and location work for the prospect, they can simply reply, “Sure! That sounds great. See you then.”

That takes only a few seconds of their time.

And if the prospect is not available, they can pivot off of what you proposed.

2 pm is not good. But I can do 3 pm.

Again, you’re making it easy for them.

The Bottom Line

And that’s the big takeaway here: If you’re not getting responses to your emails, ask yourself, “How can I make it easier for them to reply?”  

Sean M. Lyden is CEO of Lyden Communications LLC, an Orlando, Fla.-based consulting firm that helps companies use storytelling to unlock sales growth.