Consulting 2.2 Setting up a meeting: Executive invitations

This lesson will show you how to use formal language smoothly to set plans with high-level clients or colleagues. 

Introduction: 

The previous lesson was about direct or informal invitations and responses. This lesson will build on it with more respectful and considerate language for high-level clients or colleagues.

Warm Up: 
  1. How often do you have to set up client meetings? 
  2. What is the difference between setting up a client meeting and an internal meeting? 
Language: 

A. There are a lot of ways to ask about meetings. Read the following and discuss which phrases you have used, which you have heard, and which you haven't used yet: 

  1. When would you be free next? 
  2. Would Tuesday at 10 AM work for you? 
  3. I'm available at 10 AM on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Would any of those work for you?
  4. Would Thursday at 10 AM be good for you? 
  5. How/What about meeting Friday at 10 AM? 

Now quickly and positively answer each of the above questions.

B. Ending powerfully requires repeating the day and time. Make sure to leave a good impression.

  1. See you Monday at 1:30!
  2. Okay, so we are set for Tuesday at noon.
  3. Great. Wednesday it is. See you at 2 PM.
  4. So, Thursday at 9 AM. I'm looking forward to it.

C. Sometimes, you may want even a formal meeting to depend on other tasks being finished.

Look at the following phrases, discuss the nuance of the word in italics, then choose the most appropriate ending. Note that one of the endings is used twice: 

  1. If we receive the key documents before Thursday morning...
  2. When we get the results... 
  3. The results are supposed to be in by Wednesday night...
  4. We are going to finish by the end of Wednesday...
  5. We need to meet as soon as possible after the results are received. I expect them Wednesday night...

    a) ...then we can meet Thursday morning.
    b) ...so let's meet early Thursday morning. 
    c) ...so let's say, tentatively, Thursday morning. 
    d) ...then we can meet. So, I'll let you know as soon as I know.

Now, think of some events this week (analysis due to be finished, interviews to be done, minor or major meetings) and arrange meetings around those events. 

D. It is also possible to refer others to an assistant.

  1. My assistant Danny is going to reach out ASAP and set up the next meeting.
  2. My assistant Rhonda will be in touch soon to set up the next meeting.
Practice: 

Follow this pattern and practice with your teacher until you feel confident with the language.

Consultant—states the purpose of the next meeting.
Client—responds positively.
Consultant—suggests a day and time.
Client—apologizes and declines.
Consultant—suggests another day.
Client—accepts.
Consultant—suggests a time.
Client—apologizes and suggests a different time.
Consultant—accepts and finishes strongly.