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I am required to send a VP and a CEO of a company an email to schedule a meeting with them, however I must also include 2 internal managers in this meeting. I can check the availability of these 2 internal managers and their calendars is busy so not many options there. How can I organize this? How do I write an email to the CEO & VP of this external company and ask them for their availability? What if they're not available in the same time where my managers are?

I don't want to make a mess out of it and have emails back and forth. Any idea?

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    Do the VP and CEO have assistants with access to their schedules? Spend their time, not the VP and CEO's time.
    – spuck
    Dec 17 '20 at 17:13
  • @spuck that is a good suggestion, in case they have assistants
    – DarkCygnus
    Dec 17 '20 at 17:29
  • @spuck - and the assistants know what schedule items are actually important, and which can be moved to accommodate. That is one of their superpowers!
    – Jon Custer
    Dec 17 '20 at 19:30
  • @spuck the VP and CEO are in the external company, I have their emails, not their assistants' emails (not sure if they have assistants, it's an external company and I don't know their structure). Dec 18 '20 at 14:39
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I don't want to make a mess out of it and have emails back and forth. Any idea?

The way it has worked for me is the following:

  1. Check the internal manager's schedule and find the possible dates and times they have available.

  2. Email everybody, politely requesting the VP and CEO to join the meeting, and asking them what days and times they have available. Here you want to nudge their response towards the possible dates that you checked before, so include in the email something like "...What times are you free or available on Monday or Tuesday? In case neither of those days are ok, what day are you free?"

  3. Wait for their response, and check if their available times match the ones of the internal managers.

    • One outcome is that they match. Great, problem solved, everyone ok.
    • In case they don't match, then you will have to find a middle ground, so be sure to have several prospect dates in mind or listed to them.

You can also use tools like a Doodle Poll, where everybody votes on the date that is best for them. The dates you list as options should be the ones you see the internal managers have available. This perhaps may be more transparent than several email exchanges.

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  • I followed your first option. Checked my managers calendars first then asked the external managers to see if they match theirs. Dec 17 '20 at 17:01
  • @BrianJr. great :) yes, that way you are completely sure that the managers are available during those prospect times and can ask the CEO and VP which of those options are best fit for them. good luck, and welcome to The Workplace BTW :) I suggest you take the tour to start to familiarize yourself with this site, as well as read the help center
    – DarkCygnus
    Dec 17 '20 at 17:28
  • One thing this answer doesn’t take into account is the urgency with which the manager wants the meeting to happen. The manager might want it as soon as possible, say to close a large sale. In this case, the manager might well be willing to postpone any other meeting that is already on their calendar. (By contrast, the external company might be trying to make a sales pitch for something the manager thinks isn’t very important or urgent, in which case they might be happy if the meeting doesn’t take place for several weeks.)
    – aem
    Dec 17 '20 at 18:59
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    @aem you are assuming several things, and your scenario is quite specific. The advice given would still work under such scenario. Feel free to post an answer of your own instead if you feel other answers lack something (instead of posting answers in comments).
    – DarkCygnus
    Dec 17 '20 at 19:02
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How do I write an email to the CEO & VP of this external company and ask them for their availability?

Write them an email asking them for their availability. Explain to them that you're trying to coordinate a meeting with all of the parties involved.

What if they're not available in the same time where my managers are?

Find a time when all parties are available.

I don't want to make a mess out of it and have emails back and forth. Any idea?

Send one email to all parties asking them for their availability over the next week, 2 weeks, etc. Then schedule the meeting accordingly.

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  • What if they all don't agree on a specific time, let's say manager one is available in 2 days in the morning, the others in other days at different times. I will need to keep coordinating with all of them. Is there a way for external managers to share their calendars with me so I can see their availability? Dec 17 '20 at 16:51

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