How to pitch a meeting to a senior exec

 In Message creation

Recently an executive I was coaching in planning and delivering sales presentations wanted to know how to increase his contact with senior executives in other divisions of his organization.

I gave him the below template for an email pitch for the meeting.

Subject line:       “New contact/Your wisdom – my growth/20 minutes

Message text:


We haven’t met before. As you are a top performer I feel you’d be an ideal person to help me grow as a business person. If you can spare 20 minutes (I’ll fit in with your schedule, including before or after hours) I’d love to buy you a coffee at a café near your office – to tap your wisdom.  Whatever time-frame works for you would be fine with me.

Please let me know if you would be open to arranging this meeting.

Thank you for your consideration.


michael kelly”

Now this is just one template to use. You would want to adapt the language to your style. In addition if you get the meeting, make sure you plan well for the 20 minutes. In next week’s post I’ll have suggestions on how to conduct the meeting and what tough though-provoking questions you might ask the person.

The ‘how to apply’ for this post: In the next seven days, identify a top performing senior executive in your organization (or outside your organization) whom you believe you could learn from. Then in the subsequent seven days, email them (adapting the above template) for a meeting.

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Showing 2 comments
  • John Groarke

    WOW … this is bold, Michael!

    And it also looks a bit one-sided, maybe unbalanced … ie Michael is seeking Karen’s wisdom without obviously giving anything in return.

    So my $64K question is … does this really work?

    • michael

      thanks John. It response to your ‘this is bold’ comment, with respect I’d respond ‘Compared to what?’. As far as the email being one sided I’d say this. I wouldn’t assume that I have anything of worth for the person. If a meeting was arranged I would of course do much pre-work to find a resource, referral or other information that I believe could benefit the person. In addition, when telling someone you want to learn from their wisdom they will feel esteemed and be more open to meeting with you. My view on this whole area of pitching is that we as business people should be in effect,’marble rollers’. That is, we should be continually rolling marbles (ie. making pitches) for meetings, time, resources etc. Some of the marbles will make it across the table and drop off the other side (ie. to business). Other marbles will get stuck before going very far. Others will go a way along the table and then start spinning and produce no result. The point is to be continually rolling marbles (of course learning and reflecting on what worked/didn’t work in past rolls). Regarding your ‘does this work?’ question, the hit-rate for the approach is between 15-20%. Thanks for the comment.

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