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By: Patty DeDominic

Catching the attention of business leaders can be quite tricky – especially if they are extremely busy, which most often are. Having a high-level management position comes with many responsibilities that keep most leaders running from meeting to meeting with not a lot of time in between. But if you want to be worked into their schedule, there are steps you can take to do so.

  1. Be relevant
  2. Be enthusiastic
  3. Make friends with the gate keeper
  4. Be persistent
  5. Be thankful

The most important thing to keep in mind is that scheduling for business leaders is all about prioritization – choosing what meetings are most important, and attending those while potentially edging out others that are deemed less important. Therefore, the main way you can get onto an executive’s calendar is by demonstrating why your request is more important than many others.

To do this, start by contacting the person you are trying to reach in the right way. Phone is almost always preferable over email, because phone calls must be answered immediately (while emails can be left to languish in an inbox for long periods of time) and thus phone calls seem to carry more weight with many people. Furthermore, emails can get lost among hundreds of spam messages, offers, and random communications that many business leaders receive, while it’s much more difficult for a phone call to be misplaced or “lost in the shuffle.”

Then, use keywords in your communication that emphasize the urgent nature of the request. This doesn’t mean that you literally state “this is extremely important” if it is not, but rather that you use subtle word placement to indicate that a deadline is coming up, which makes people more likely to move a meeting with you closer to the top of their list. For example, give specific (nearby) dates rather than just vague phrases like “in the future” or “soon,” and be very clear with your request to meet at a certain date and time instead of just “whenever.”

Finally, emphasize what the person you are trying to contact will gain from this. Everyone is ultimately focused on interactions that are the most beneficial for them, which is especially relevant for leaders who don’t have a lot of time. Clearly state why this meeting will help them, not just you – and what concrete outcomes they can expect.

DeDominic & Associates is an award-winning business coaching and management consulting firm dedicated to helping you achieve your definition of success by developing innovative solutions. Contact us Today for a FREE booklet on hiring!


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