If you want to meet with someone, get it scheduled! To the degree possible, abandon the line in your emails, “Let me know what date works for you.” Instead, take it upon yourself to identify and suggest a hard date, time and location. The expression, “Call me!” may work for high school girls, but it is much less effective in the business world.
So, if you want to meet with someone and you’re pretty confident that they are willing to meet with you, too, go to your calendar… find one or two or three dates and times that work for you and place a “HOLD” on the timeslots that you are reserving for that particular individual. My preference is to suggest one date – that way you are not hamstringing your calendar and you remain available to schedule other conversations. Send your contact a meeting request with all of this information. Of course, tell your contact that if that date and time do not work that they should feel free to suggest an alternative date and/or time. Once the person confirms, remove the “HOLD” language from the entry.
In addition to suggesting the date and time, I think you should go so far as to suggest the location. Somewhere in the middle is always good form. But, I leave that to your discretion.
While this approach may seem overly aggressive, it is highly efficient and will save time wasted on unnecessary email banter. That said, please go with your gut, gauge the situation… if a softer approach is required, of course, go with it!
Next time on Coffee-Lunch-Coffee: The theme from Cheers!