3 Days 3 Times – make scheduling via email easier

Scheduling a meeting with someone can be difficult. People are busy, its hard to find time, and its usually a volley of back and forth emails to get something setup.

My strong recommendation is to always use a simple formula that has served me well for over a decade; always put forth 3 days and 3 times in your initial email. This means writing out, specifically, 3 open days and 3 open time slots that work for you. As I have written about before, it is essential to do it right from the start.

As it relates to reaching out to a potential investor, sales prospect, or other person this is a thoughtful way of dealing with what is often a hectic schedule. It also allows in the case of an assistant helping that person an easy message to forward along that lets them know these details without having to reach out. 

In my experience anything that saves time is appreciated, and scheduling a meeting should be no different. It is also the first signal someone gets, small action but meaningful.

My framework example:

(Thanks John for putting us in touch – BCC’d to spare your inbox)

Hi Sally,

Great to be in contact – John had some really nice things to say about you.

Do any of the following days/times work for you:

Monday – 2pm – 4pm EST

Tuesday – 11am-12pm EST

Thursday – 1pm-2pm or 4pm -5pm

I am at XXX-XXX-XXXX or if convenient located at 123 Main Street.

Looking forward to meeting soon.

Thanks,

Eric

Simple and clear, letting both sides make progress fast.

Unfortunately, I see the following often that is not helpful to anyone:

Let me know what works!

This is probably a pet peeve, but seeing this comes through warrants at least a few back and forth emails that aren’t helpful. We seem to live in an age where people want to get back to each other fast, and not be “holding things up” but adding more work to anyone else is not a good idea. I am probably guilty of doing this a few times, but I always try to empathize with the other person.

Another contentious tool for scheduling is https://calendly.com/ – an automated way of sending a link to someone that shows an up to date view of your calendar + free time and a simple way to book 30, 60 or custom X minutes time with them. Some view this as offensive while others appreciate the time savings. I am fine with it, and in an age of automated assistants and busy schedules this is the same as 3 days + 3 times. The other side of this argument is that it shows that someone is too busy to deal with checking their calendar. 

This framework for scheduling has been helpful for years, and lets me always stand apart from others. It’s an extra few minutes to check to see your own schedule and typically appreciated on the other side of the email.