How to Ask for an Appointment Politely
There are several formal proceedings every business or non-business minded person should know. One such is knowing how to ask for an appointment politely. This could be formal or informal, depending on the personality or event you are dealing with. Whether you are selling advertising over the phone, you must understand that setting an appointment for a follow-up is what gets you a sale.
On a formal ground like acting as a sales representative, you make tons of calls to clients regularly. Since the goal is to get these clients to respond positively, how do you ask for an appointment from such clients without rejection?
In an informal setting, similarly, you still have to be mindful not to receive excuses from the person or group. It could be your sports director, dance crew, cousin, or whomever. This is a problem that requires a fix, which is why this brief guide has been compiled.
In this guide, you’ll discover not just how to ask for an appointment politely but in a manner that attracts a positive response.
This guide covers three mediums of asking for an appointment. They include the following:
- how to ask for an appointment over the phone
- how to ask for an appointment by email
- how to ask for a meeting in person
How to Ask for an Appointment Politely Over the Phone
During a sales call, in a scenario where you finally get a call through to someone after several days. You find yourself merry, and suddenly you run out of vocabularies. He/she then returns a cold response like:
- “You don’t have anything to say?”
- “I hate this call!”
- “This isn’t the right time.”
- “What again???”
You try to compose and reply, but it’s too late, and the person terminates the call. Sincerely, I’ll advise you don’t call again, at least not immediately.
And, I’m sorry to say that you’re back to square one, and nobody loves this while requesting an appointment. Does this mean you don’t know how to ask for an appointment over the phone? Well, not really.
In this situation, I will ask you to go back and learn the fundamentals of making a good sales call. Once you are done with that, then let’s proceed.
Here is how to ask for an appointment politely without rejection over the phone.
Understand the Occasion
A necessary ethic on how to ask for an appointment politely is to understand the occasion. You should follow the relevance of the meeting to the individual. Figure out the things needed to make such an appointment is a decent one.
One of the few things to pay attention to is the use of words. There are words we use for a particular occasion that does not apply to another. For example, if you want to book a business appointment, the sort of words to use may include ‘interest,’ ‘money,’ ‘cash out,’ ‘discount,’ etc. You don’t need to be fluent in a particular language to ask for an appointment politely from someone. The reason is that long request speech while asking for a meeting makes it annoying. You may end up saying unnecessary kinds of stuff.
Assume the Person is Busy
If I receive a call that has to do with an appointment while I’m busy, I may be forced to excuse the caller. However, a few words from the caller may increase my interest in the conversation. Also, this works magically on several other people.
When you call through, whether the person is busy, less busy, or not, conclude that they are working. From where you are, it’s impossible to tell when a client, colleague, or boss is free. Now, use any of the trick words below to sustain their interest in the conversation.
- “Hello (title or name), I understand that you may be quite busy but spare me a few seconds. Thank You.”
- “I’m calling in during a busy hour, but this is very important, Sir/Ma’am. Please give me a few seconds.”
Automatically, you’ve stolen time for yourself. Telling the prospect to spare you a few ‘seconds’ is just an exaggeration and doesn’t mean you’ll talk for only 30 seconds. But then, you don’t have to exceed 1 minute, 30 seconds.
Quickly Introduce Yourself
Once you’ve acknowledged taking the person’s time, immediately introduce yourself if he/she is not familiar with you. If you’re dealing with a business client or a lecturer at college, introducing yourself briefly is necessary. This should cost about 10 seconds of the time. If you can keep it pretty short and clear, you’ve mastered this aspect of how to ask for an appointment politely over the phone.
Disclose the Purpose
Here is where most persons fumble most. All you have to say is a summary of what the person should expect if he agrees with the appointment. Practically, about 30 seconds would do the magic unless the person interrupts to be clear about something.
The focus should be on the following:
- The topic of the potential appointment
- What would be discussed about the topic
- How necessary an appointment would be for the success of whatever is the topic.
When I’m setting up appointments with clients, whether via video calls or voice calls, the above are usually my focal points. Interestingly, every client often falls for it because I convince them within 2 minutes.
Leave No Room for Questions
An appointment request is boring when there are too many questions. Like I stated earlier, you have to be composed long before now to be able to deliver, whether you’re fluent in the language (English, French, Chinese, etc.) or not.
How do you ask for an appointment over the phone without leaving room for questions? It’s relatively easy when you do the following:
- Introduce the subject matter (topic for discussion).
- Highlight the major contents of the potential meeting.
- Could you provide a reason why it’s necessary?
- Provide venue and date.
Wait, I figured out that giving a time and date that is convenient for you isn’t always great. Because of this, I prefer to ask for the person’s opinion concerning time and venue.
Below are examples of what I say to my clients instead of fixing time and venue for them.
“How about Wednesday at 4 pm for the time? Would that be okay with you?”
“Do you mind informing me about the time and place that is convenient for you?”
But, when the appointment is a fixed appointment (decided by the board or committee), I don’t use the above phrases. Instead, I use the following:
“Wednesday, 9th of April is the date, and the venue is at our conference hall”.
“I’ll be most grateful if you let the date be Wednesday, 9th of April”.
Apart from date and venue, another possible question the person may ask is:
Would this appointment exceed the time you’ve provided?
People no longer mess with time, especially business-minded individuals, so please have that at the back of your mind.
End with Call to Action Effect
Lastly, on how to ask for an appointment politely over the phone, ‘call to action’ is the magic action. Traditionally, call to action is a marketing term that tricks clients into subscribing to a deal almost immediately. As you know, requesting appointments usually is about getting something from someone. If the person is not triggered, then there’ll be a rejection.
Since I wanted to ensure that I receive a near-zero rejection from people I need appointments with, I introduced this tool. This is an effect that should come at the end of the phone conversation for the client, professor, government official, boss, director, or whomever to accept the request.
In my case, when I’m dealing with clients over the phone, towards the conversation, I apply a call to action, which lasts for about 13 seconds. Here are the sorts of things I say:
“This promises to a great appointment, and I’m certain it’ll be opportune and open you to the advantage of getting a high discount on the product.”
If you’re dealing with a lecturer, say the following:
“Sir, granting this meeting with you will open me up to learning from you and become better, if not the best of your student.”
The one I love most is even dealing with a boss on matters that concerns the company. Your call to action should be something like:
“I will briefly highlight the things that will help boost the company’s competitive level.”
As you can see, the call to action differs depending on the profession of the person you want an appointment with and the appointment’s nature. In essence, leave the person with what to chew on before ending the conversation.
How to Ask for an Appointment on Email
Asking for an appointment via email may be quite distressing. You risk having your message ignored. For such reason, this guide is tweaked to teach how to ask for an appointment on email politely without rejection. In asking for money message samples that I wrote, you will see more about creating an email that gets responses from the receiver.
Compose a Short Email Message
I send out tons of emails daily. Out of 20 emails, I often receive responses on an average of 14.7 emails within two days. This is not magic of some sort but the preciseness of my email messages.
While learning how to ask for an appointment politely, do not neglect the fact briefness matters. I hate long mails, and you equally hate them. Tell me, if you receive a lengthy email message, would it interest you to go through it? As long as it’s someone requesting for an appointment, you’ll be discouraged.
Introduce yourself in 2 to 3 lines, if it’s formal. For an informal request, a line should be enough since you’re familiar with the person already.
Highlight the Subject Briefly
This should take a minimum of 2 lines and a maximum of 8 lines. Typically, a decent paragraph is expected not to exceed 12 lines. Therefore, if you compose a mail that describes the subject of discussion in more than 12 lines, it becomes boring.
I state the subject of the potential appointment using five lines. It’ll be irrelevant to disclose everything to the person so that their interest stays alive.
Close with Call to Action
As I stated earlier, the call to action is the magic action. Depending on the event, I sometimes use a call to action in the middle of the message, but I recommend ending the request mail message.
Appreciate the Person’s Time
There is nothing as enticing as appreciation. While the reader is about to close the email appointment message, he/she is pleased to see an appreciation message. It doesn’t do much to the appointment request, but it works.
At the end of this section on how to ask for an appointment via email, lookout for a quick response. If the answer isn’t fast enough, you either did something wrong, or the receiver is yet to check his/her email. Also, do not resend the email that day unless the appointment is urgent. If it’s urgent, include that it is urgent in the second email.
How to Ask for Appointment in Person Politely
How do you ask for an appointment in person politely? Is it by kneeling before the person? No, no, and no. Asking for work politely in person is the easiest because you can read the person’s body language and facial reactions.
A couple of times, I’ve had to meet with clients in-person to ask for an appointment. Their reactions aren’t always promising, but because I’m seeing them in person, it’s still easy to convince them. Here’s how to ask for an appointment politely in person the same way I do.
You don’t necessarily have to compose yourself while requesting through email or over the phone, but you must be organized when meeting in-person.
If possible, take a deep breath before you face your target.
Briefly State the Purpose
In a few seconds, introduce and conclude the subject of discussion. If possible, let your statement cover all possible questions that the person may have for you.
Provide Convincing Answers to Questions
I noticed that meeting people in person to request an appointment usually attracts lots of questions. Be ready to provide answers briefly.
For me, I use the discussion to answer questions, not to mess up the client’s mind.
Emphasize Call to Action
, make a brief statement on how the meeting will benefit the client and yourself. Nobody loves to waste time on irrelevant things in the 21st century.
Appreciate their Time
Whether it ends in a rejection of acceptance, be grateful. Not everyone would give you time. Besides, the client or whomever that just rejected might call to show interest later on. This happens, and I’ve experienced it a couple of times.
I drill people on the appropriate ways to compose themselves and win clients’ minds to fix appointments with them. Interested? Contact me, and I’ll gladly help you out.
When Not to Ask for an Appointment
On some occasions, you should try to avoid requesting an appointment. Do not request an appointment if:
- The person is sick.
- Your reason for the appointment is not tangible.
- You can’t make it to the meeting venue on time.
- The person refused the conversation earlier and asked you not to bring it up again.
- You are asking for a meeting appointment with someone that is not comfortable.
If you are instructed not to discuss what you intend to discuss again, your reason for asking for an appointment is the same discussion, do not request an appointment. Instead, find other alternatives to settle the outstanding dispute with the person before you request an appointment.
If you continue with the request, the meeting may be cut short, and the person might walk out on you.
No matter how polite you are, all the persons you meet will not always say, “Okay.” Even I do get rejections, and it’s just one of the things to expect.
As promised, this article has touched broadly on how to ask for an appointment politely. Mediums to request an appointment, such as over the phone, through emails, and meeting in-person, have been addressed. Begin to compose your message, pass it through to the person, and you’ll receive a positive response.