You need to make an appointment with a client. You give him a couple of dates to choose from, but none of them are a good fit. He suggests another date that doesn't work for you. God forbid more than one person attends the meeting. Finding an open window of time can be frustrating. Learn how to schedule meetings effectively and what day and time works best for business meetings.
The ideal time for a business meeting
Business meetings need to be efficient. No one wants to burn more time with them than necessary. In addition to good meeting preparation and management, the productivity of the meeting depends on the appropriate meeting time.
Therefore, at the outset, eliminate Mondays and Fridays from your selection. The beginning of the week means a start after the weekend, usually there are team meetings, people finish the rest of the previous week and plan their tasks for the current one. Friday, on the other hand, sees everyone off work for the weekend.
That leaves Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and all we have to do is pick a good time.
Early morning (8 - 10 a.m.)
Some people need a slower start and make coffee, catch up on emails and plan their work when they get to work, rather than rushing straight into a business meeting. You would force the client to come to work earlier than usual or prepare for the meeting the day before. In short, it could be an annoying break from your work routine, which is not conducive to a successful meeting.
Morning (10 a.m. - 12 p.m.)
If you want to hold the meeting as early as possible, leave it for the 10th hour. This is when most people have the most energy. At the same time, they've already managed to get some work done in the morning, they've had time to prepare for the meeting, and you won't be holding them up from lunch yet. So ideally, you should be able to make the business meeting by 11am, after that your ability to concentrate and productivity drops.
Over lunch (12 - 1 p.m.)
It's not a good idea to arrange a meeting combined with lunch. People often reserve their lunch break for eating and taking a break from work. If you already have to arrange a lunchtime meeting, at least give the participants some refreshments. Hungry people can't make anything up. Alternatively, end the meeting with lunch - get everything sorted out and don't negotiate during the meal.
After lunch (1 - 2 p.m.)
The period just after lunch is also not conducive to business meetings. People are more ripe for sleep than negotiation. Allow them time for coffee, rest and postpone the meeting until 2 pm at the earliest.
Afternoon (2 - 4 p.m.)
Around 3 p.m. is a similarly good time to 10 a.m. People have already recharged their batteries after lunch and have had plenty of time to prepare. Most of the day is behind them, much of the work is done, and so they will not be thinking about the tasks that still await them. At the same time, they will try to make the meeting efficient and quick so that they can go home early.
Late afternoon (4 - 6 p.m.)
At home, most people see each other after 4 pm. Making an appointment for this time is therefore not ideal. However, if you want to be efficient, go through the points quickly and not discuss them for too long, a meeting in the late afternoon can work.
In the evening (after 6 p.m.)
The chances of successfully arranging a meeting after 6 p.m. are even lower than after 4 p.m. However, if you and your client need to dive into the solution without being disturbed, evening meetings can be worthwhile.
Tuesdays or Wednesdays around 3 p.m. seem ideal. By that time, the client has already handled urgent tasks and had time to prepare for the meeting. They have replenished their energy during lunch and are not yet completely tired. At the same time, they have the rest of the week to complete other tasks, so the appointment will not delay them.
We also wrote an article on how to best prepare for a meeting with a potential client. Take a look before you hit it off.
Where to meet the client
The ideal meeting place depends on the nature of the meeting, the number of participants or the technical facilities you need. Therefore, always adapt to the specific situation when choosing.
The number one choice is a meeting room your place or at the client's. Decide according to what the client prefers and what is more practical in the given situation. If the client is from the same city or nearby, invite him to your place. If the client is far away, offer to come to him.
We always recommend a live meeting instead of a virtual one. After all, relationships are built live better than on Zoom, Teams or Meet. Keep them in reserve if the client insists on the call, for example due to lack of time. Or if it's just a quick tune-up before the main meeting.
If you do not have your own facilities and need to meet with the client outside of the meeting, suitable options are:
- coworking spaces,
- or hotel lounges.
On the other hand, a restaurant is not very suitable for a business meeting. Not everyone is comfortable eating at meetings. And if you don't know what the client likes, you can easily make a mistake when choosing a business.
How to make an appointment with a client
You already know when and where to schedule an appointment. All that's left is to invite the participants. Sometimes it's enough to send an email, other times it's worth calling and finding a convenient time together. Either way, include an email confirming the meeting and important information so the client can come back to you at any time.
Give the email a clear and understandable subject line, so the client knows what it's about right away and doesn't get lost among the other messages in their inbox. Structure the text clearly and be sure to include:
- the reason why you want to meet,
- the main points to be discussed, and any supporting documents in an attachment,
- a suggested meeting time asking about the client's time availability - suggest three dates that are convenient for you and from which they can choose,
- suggesting a meeting venue and letting the client decide - you can mention your preferences, for example, based on how difficult the meeting will be and whether it is enough to meet online or whether a face-to-face meeting would be better.
Before you go to the meeting, read our article with proven tips on how to successfully manage it.
When to send an invitation to the meeting
It depends on the importance of the meeting, the client's habits and relationships, or the number of people involved. However, it is a good idea to plan the meeting at least a week in advance so that everyone can prepare for the meeting. Remind yourself a day or two before the meeting.
Once the client confirms the meeting, put it on your calendar. In your notes, summarize the essential information from the email or phone call. The calendar will also help you plan the time of the meeting - if your client uses it, you have an idea of their options in advance and avoid a lengthy search for a suitable date.
You can find a special calendar for recording business meetings in CRM. Emails are automatically assigned to a given client or business, and you can also see scheduled appointments and important documents together. Try it free and without obligation for 30 days.