We all know networking is an important skill in the professional world, regardless of industry.

Putting your game face on and striking up conversations with strangers can be a daunting task — keeping up the drive and endurance to build strong connections can be a draining process for any salesperson. But the power of a networking meeting is indisputable, especially with a top executive or potential client. If you’re a sales rep, you know the power of connections. A 30-minute call with a senior executive can land a million dollar contract for your business.

A hard-to-get meeting can be a crucial sales strategy for business professionals at any level. At a dinner party just a few years ago, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff and Dropbox’s Drew Houston got to talking, and their conversation resulted in Salesforce’s Chatter, the social network for enterprises.

Why Scheduling a Meeting is the #1 Hurdle

The only problem? Securing the meeting.

The people you need to reach are often the busiest people at the company. They’re the ones making the big decisions, and in and out of meetings all day. The “I-only-have-5-minutes” type of people. And the thing about five minutes meetings? Taking more than five minutes to schedule the meeting means you’re out of the game.

That’s why we’re giving you the hacks that make sure your golden “window” with a senior executive isn’t just a fleeting moment. You’ll lock down that window of time in seconds.

Hack #1: Reach Out When They’re Ready

What do I mean by “window”?

A “window” is the exact moment when the prospective is ready for your pitch. Making sure you and your sales team can identify these windows is the key to landing the meeting. Every opportunity counts.

If you’re sending an email campaign, you’ll want to know when they’ve read your emails. Maybe even track those few people who are re-opening the email multiple times today. Their ears are perking up, but you only have a moment to get in while they’re interested.

Here’s where Read Receipts will be your best friend, because you can track when people are opening your emails and when people are revisiting emails. Get an inbox plug-in that will track your email opens, so you can target the interested folks.

SalesforceIQ Inbox Read Receipts

Hack #2: Lock and Load. Land the Meeting Without a Never-Ending Email Thread.

Let’s say you’ve gotten your golden opportunity, a CEO has responded to your call and says “I’m interested, let’s chat.” What happens now?

With people outside your company’s network, setting up meetings can be a bumpy process. The email thread can end up looking something along the lines of:

You: “Great! Are you available sometime next week?”
CEO: “I’m completely booked next week”
You: “How about the following week? Could you speak Tuesday or Thursday?”
CEO: “I have some tentative meetings, but Tuesday before 9am could work.”
You: “Okay, how’s 8:00am Pacific Time?”

With that much back and forth communication, you’re not going to many responses.

For anyone in event planning, you know that making an event at a convenient time and in easy reach can make a world of difference.

Inserting availability directly in the email will save you the pain of “forever-long” email threads. Select gaps in your schedule that work, as many as you’d like, and let your contact choose the best time for them.

Seal the deal with just one email.

Hack #3 Don’t Let Any Opportunity Slip Through the Cracks

Here’s where we get real with you.

The world is an imperfect place, unfortunately. You’re not always going to notice every opportunity that comes your way, because like any sales professional, your inbox is bloated. The irony in sending hundreds of sales emails a day is that “playing the numbers game” can make it difficult to track of who’s responded back and who’s ready for the next step.

If you’re hoping for that one diamond in the rough, a big-time executive interested in your product, use an email software that will have your back.

SalesforceIQ Inbox tracks opportunities coming from emails that you don’t want to miss. Choose the emails from your VIP contacts and with the “Follow-Up Reminder” feature, you can toggle important emails “on.” That way, if you don’t receive a reply within a specified window of time, SalesforceIQ Inbox will automatically create a task in your Salesforce account.

SalesforceIQ Inbox is a suite of mobile and desktop apps that put your Salesforce data where you work: your inbox. Learn more about SalesforceIQ Inbox by joining the “What’s New with SalesforceIQ Inbox” Webinar on June 23, 10am PT. Try it out with a 30 day free trial.