How to Request a Sales Meeting by Email (with Examples)

Andy Cabasso

December 21st

It seemed so darn simple, didn’t it?

You’ve connected with someone. Maybe you’ve met them at a conference. Maybe you got introduced by a mutual connection. Or perhaps you just found them when prospecting. It doesn’t matter. 

What matters is that you were certain about how well your product or service would help them and you were eager to show it to them. 

So, you sent them an email requesting a meeting.

And they ignored it. 


Unfortunately, this isn’t anything unusual. I hear complaints like this all the time. I also know why situations like that happen to salespeople and that’s what I’m going to talk about in this guide. 

Specifically, we’ll talk about how to write a meeting request email that’s guaranteed to get a response. 

What the hell is so special about meeting request emails?

Let’s take it from the top…

A meeting request email is a message you send to someone – a prospect, a lead, a connection, etc. – asking to arrange a meeting or appointment. 

You, probably, send quite a number of such emails each week. 

  • You organize quick meetings and invite colleagues for a quick chat. 
  • You or ask your boss to meet with you to discuss your latest challenges. 
  • Or you simply organize a get together and send everyone the date and time. That’s a form of a meeting too. 

But the thing about those appointments is that, typically, the people you request to attend are somehow connected to you. They’re on your team. Or the person’s your boss. Or you’re friends. 

So, their likelihood to agree is quite high, right? 

The situation is different with prospects or leads. In this case, the person might have never heard about you or from you. Or they don’t remember you. 

To them, your email with a meeting request basically pops out of the blue. They have no context in which to process that request either. 

So, unless the message is convincing like hell, they ignore it.  

But why email?

I’m being asked this all the time. Why use email for this? 

Well, to be fair, you don’t have to request a meeting by email. There are so many other forms of communication to use. Phone, in-person chats, and so on. 

But the benefit of using email in a professional setting like sales is that you have absolute control of the message. 

  • You can take time to craft the best meeting request email possible. 
  • You can personalize it to the recipient and make the message even more enticing. 
  • You can attach suggestions for the best times to meet and let the person take their time deciding when to meet you.
  • You can create a template to use and scale your efforts too. 

Two types of meeting request emails

Hardly anything is simple and straightforward in sales, and this goes to meeting request emails too.  Even though it’d seem that the concept behind those messages is simple, several factors determine what message you send. And the most important of those factors is the state of your relationship with the person. 

In other words, you send different messages to people you know or have interacted with and to cold leads. That’s why we typically break meeting request emails into two categories:

  • Warm meeting requests
  • Cold meeting requests

Warm meeting request emails are messages that you send to people who already have some sort of relationship with your company. These could be current customers, of course, but you can also send warm meeting request emails to:

  • Leads, 
  • People on your newsletter list, or 
  • Individuals who have reached out to you on their own accord first. 

Actually, if you send meeting requests to people within your company – friends, colleagues, bosses, etc. – these messages would also qualify in this category. You know those people, and they have some sort of a professional relationship with you already too. In fact, most likely, your meeting relates to something you two are working on together or have in common – A project, an account you work on together, challenges you have encountered, and so on. 

Warm meeting request emails are typically more effective. They also convert at a higher rate, and that’s precisely because you are already connected with the recipient. The person receiving your message has a context in which they can process your meeting request. They either know you and have interacted with you, or they have heard of your company and have actively engaged with it on their own accord. 

In this case, sending the person a meeting request directly along with suggestions for a date and time usually does the job. 

Unfortunately, the situation is quite different with the other type of meeting request emails

You use a cold meeting request email when you’re trying to set up an appointment with a person who does not have any relationship with your brand. In this case, the person might not have even heard about your company before, and your email arrives out of the blue for them. 

This type of message is similar to a typical cold email – a message you send to a person to initiate a sales conversation with them. In this case, however, you have a clear objective for the email, and that is to set up a meeting. 

Because with cold meeting request emails, you’re reaching out to someone who doesn’t know you or your brand, you can’t approach the message in the same way as you would with a warm email. 

You can’t just send a meeting request email with a link to your calendar, for example. Your recipient lacks the information and context to process such a request. 

So, you first need to introduce yourself. You also need to make a case for them to meet you. In other words, you need to engage the recipient so that they at least consider hearing you out. And you also need to provide them with means to book that meeting, should they choose to do so. 

I’m sure you’ll agree – It’s quite a lot. Later in this guide, I’ll show you exactly what to include in such a meeting request email. I’ll also show you some examples of such emails. 

For now, let’s discuss this:

Should you even request a meeting in the first cold email?

First things first – I don’t have an exact scientific answer to this. I don’t think anyone has. But, I do have personal experience, and a somewhat-relevant study.

As far as the data – we have some insights into the effectiveness of certain calls-to-action in cold emails.

There are a few types of calls to action:

Specific – e.g. “Can we discuss at 12pm?”

Open-ended – e.g. “Do you have time to meet this week?”

Interest-based – e.g. “Is this something that might interest you?”

And the study showed that interest-based calls-to-action perform twice as well as specific or open-ended calls to action.

Also, from my personal experience, I find that cold emails in particular serve well to get a conversation started, but not close the deal. People may be reluctant to click a link in an email from someone they don’t know (it could be a phishing attempt or scam or something).

What to include in a meeting request email?

Let’s talk about what your meeting request email should include achieving all the benefits we’ve talked about. 

A little reminder – We’re discussing a cold meeting request email here. You actually wouldn’t need most of these elements in a warm email. But since you’re reaching out to someone who hasn’t had any dealings with your company before, the message must cover certain important aspects:

  • An irresistible subject line
  • A short introduction that tells the reader who you are
  • A note about the meeting’s purpose
  • A call to action – We discussed it briefly in the previous section. 

Let’s go through them in turn.

#1. Subject line

If you’ve ever done cold outreach, then you know how important a subject line is to your campaign’s success. 

You know that a strong subject line is a difference between the recipient opening the message and them discarding it to the trash without reading. 

There are so many different approaches you could use to craft a solid subject line:

  • You could include something that will trigger their curiosity. 
  • You could include information that would communicate that you know the recipient in some way
  • You can use it to make the email seem urgent, and so on. 

Examples of subject lines for a meeting request email?

  • Could we meet? 
  • Quick question…
  • [Your name] from {Conference name or another place where you and the prospect might have met] (i.e., “Steve from SaaStock”)

Overall, remember to keep your email subject lines short and to the point. Also, avoid anything that would make it sound suspicious or like clickbait. For example – “A great reward inside” Such a subject line would immediately trigger the recipient’s spidey sense. I can guarantee you that its open rate would be ridiculously low (and that’s provided that the message won’t get picked up by spam filters based on that subject line.)

#2. Introduction

Remember, the recipient doesn’t know you. They might even not have heard of you either. So, the first logical thing to do is to tell them who you are and why they’ve received the message. 

That’s one role of an email introduction. But this short, 1-2 sentence overview does even more than that. In many cases, it can also convince your prospect even to open your email. 

Take Gmail, for example. The platform displays the opening sentence in the list of emails. Your recipient, therefore, can see it without having to open the email. 

The same goes for other email clients like MS Outlook or Apple Mail.

And I can assure you that many people check this copy, and make the call about what to do with the message based on that. 

An email opening sentence example.

Use the email intro to set the tone for the message. Build the rapport. Introduce yourself and also, tell the person why they should keep on reading. 

You don’t have to write anything elaborate here. The introduction shouldn’t be too long, after all. But it should make the person want to keep on reading. 

(And that’s quite a challenge, I can tell you.)

RECOMMENDED READING: My advice on writing email introduction (with examples.) 

Examples of meeting request email introductions

General/Professional Example

Dear [prospect’s name],

My name is [your name]. I’m the [your position] at [your company], a [business category] company specializing in helping organizations like yours [main benefit of your solution]. We’ve helped [a number] of companies like yours to date, and I believe that we could help you [more benefits of your solution] too. In particular, you could benefit from [specific feature or service that’s personalized to the prospect.]

Informal introduction example

Hi [prospect’s name],

I’ve been watching you guys, and I’m amazed by the stuff you do for [their company’s target industry.] I’m working for [your company name] and we specialize in helping [your target industry] [main benefit of your solution] and I believe I could help you [benefits the prospect would get from your solution.]

Question-based introduction

Dear [prospect name], 

How often do you worry about [a problem your solution helps overcome]? From my experience of working with [target industry] companies, I know [the problem] can be really daunting. 

But I also know that it’s not as difficult to overcome/prevent. My company, [your company name] helps businesses like yours achieve exactly that and more.  

#3. The reason for emailing the person

This is the meat of the message. No, I mean it. 

You’ve captured their attention with the subject line. You’ve engaged them with the intro. Now you need to tell them two things:

  • What you want them to do (book a meeting with you,) and
  • Explain what’s in it for them.

The first point is easy to do, naturally. In most cases, you just need to openly state that you’d like to request a meeting with them. 

It’s the second part that’s the most challenging. It’s also difficult to advise on how to do it right. This is mostly because every product or service is different, every company is different, and so on. So, there could be endless ways to communicate the value of the call. 

But there are several things I can recommend:

  • Talk about what you want to cover in the email. If, for instance, you may want to show the prospect some ways to improve their business that you’ve identified while researching them. That could spark their curiosity and make them want to meet you.
  • Explain (briefly, though) how their business could benefit from your solution.
  • Mention a case study that you’d like to present, and so on. 

Notice how each of these items puts what you want to say in the context of the prospect’s business. When approaching it this way, you focus not on what you want to deliver but what the person gets out of it. 

Quick tip: Don’t make this part too long. Your prospect doesn’t need to know all the details. All they need to know is what value you promise to deliver on the meeting. In fact, telling them too much might reduce their willingness to meet you. You’ve told them the main points already, after all and they don’t need to be curious about it anymore.  

Examples of meeting purpose explanations

  • Should we talk? I have some pretty good ideas how you could benefit from [product or service] and I’d love to show them to you. 
  • I’ve helped [a number] of companies like yours to date, and I’d love to show you what solutions worked particularly well for them. Could we meet up to discuss?
  • I compiled a list of ideas that would help you. Would it be a good idea to meet up and go through them in more detail?

#4. Call to action

This is the simplest element of the email. Because you have a clearly defined goal – to set up a meeting – the call to action is no mystery. However, you can take different approaches here:

  • You can include a link to your calendar and let the prospect select the date and time that suits them best. 
  • You can also suggest times for the meeting. You can do it simply by listing them, or leave it more open like “Would you have time to go through this sometime next week?” You can follow up such a call to action with specific dates and times, and book the call this way.

Both options work equally well. What I recommend you don’t do, though, is leave it up to the person entirely to suggest a date and time. It’s too much work for them, and there’s little chance that the person will even want to put the effort into this.

Examples of meeting request email calls to action

  • Here’s a link to my calendar. Perhaps any time in there suits? 
  • Would you be interested in hopping on a quick call? You can book it here [link to the calendar].
  • Would you have 15 minutes for me this or next week? Just in case, here’s my calendar showing the current availability. See if any times there would suit. 

#5. Optional items

Items listed above are, in my opinion, the absolute must-have for any meeting request email. But there are also two additional things you could mention. Remember, they aren’t necessary. You can use them to enrich the email but a solid meeting request email without them would work too. 

#1. Agenda for the meeting

Listing what you want to cover during the meeting may reduce the person’s anxiety about it. Even a basic agenda might tell them whether it’s worth scheduling the appointment, and what to expect when the two of you will meet. 

You don’t have to include any elaborate lists of items. Even 2-3 bullet points will work.

Example of such a basic meeting agenda

Here’s what I’d like to cover specifically:

  • Your current situation, as I see it based on my research
  • My ideas to improve [problem or issue]
  • A brief discussion of next steps you and I could take

#2. Goals for the meeting

If you’re not comfortable or ready to present an agenda, you can achieve the same effect – reduce the person’s anxiety and reduce their objections – by listing your goals for the meeting.

Example of meeting goals

Here’s what we should aim to achieve during the meeting:

  • Uncover your current situation
  • Discuss what potential solutions to [problem/issue] exist
  • Get a clear picture of next actions to take to eliminate those.

Final thoughts – Best practices and things to remember when sending meeting request emails

By now, you know exactly what to do to request a meeting with a prospect by email. But there are also things you shouldn’t do, and I think it’s only fair that we cover them briefly. 

So, in no particular order:

Don’t send the email without triple checking the person’s name. Believe me, typos happen so easily, especially when most of your attention goes towards crafting the message. So, check, check, and check the message again before sending. 

Validate the person’s email before sending. Naturally, sending the message to the wrong email will not get you into any trouble with the prospect. But it could affect your overall deliverability rate of future campaigns. 

Use software like Postaga to validate prospect emails and ensure that your email list is clean. 

Follow up. This is particularly important to remember. Your prospect might not respond to your first email but it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to meet. There could be countless reasons for their silence. So, follow up. Set up follow up cadencesTIP: Postaga is a dedicated email outreach tool that lets you schedule email sequences so that you never miss a follow up. Check it out.

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