Whether you’re an industrious recruiter or a busy executive, you may be resigned to the notion that business meetings = wasted time. You shouldn’t be.
There’s one effortlessly ingenious way to make your calls and meetings more focused and productive. It comes to us courtesy of Ella Banks on theartofcharm.com, via Business Insider UK. And it confirms our long-standing belief that a well-written preliminary email is worth its weight in gold.
The problem is pervasive: When you meet or call someone for the first time, the occasion is invariably clogged by preamble – introductions, agenda setting, establishing credibility etc.
The solution? Get all of that preamble out of the way beforehand by sending a brief but beautifully crafted pre-meeting email.
Why send a pre-meeting email?
There are 5 key benefits, corresponding to the 5 core paragraphs your email should contain:
- Confirm the meeting is going ahead as arranged
- Set out your intentions and relevant credentials in the neat, professional manner that can be awkward in person
- Convey your enthusiasm to the person you most want to share it
- Help your correspondent see why this meeting is so important and timely
- Ultimately, free up time to focus on the matter at hand when you do get together
What should it say?
Below is the Art of Charm template, tweaked slightly for the more executive tone we aim for at EWS:
I’m really looking forward to our [call/meeting/session] tomorrow.
To make it as productive and efficient as possible, I wanted to tell you a bit about me, specifically my experience relating to [the topic you’re meeting about].
[Write 3-5 bullet points or one-sentence paragraphs on your relevant experience and how it’s led to you speaking to this person right now.]
[Next, articulate clearly why this is such a good moment to connect. Be very specific, e.g. “I wanted to meet you because ____. I’m also looking forward to talking so we can _____.”]
[End by reiterating your enthusiasm about the meeting. If you’ve been introduced, now is the time to mention your mutual contact’s glowing report of your correspondent!]
Of course, you don’t have to stick rigidly to this template if, say, you find the wording too prescriptive. The framework is the important thing. As long as you communicate the 5 key benefits listed above, you’ll set a positive and focused tone every time.
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