When Is the best time to contact a prospect? Here is the definitive answer
The research is wrong!
There have been numerous research studies, advice and opinion published on the optimum time to try and contact new prospects. And there is one thing that is the same in all the pieces: none of them agree on any time.
Some will tell you that it is 11.10am on a Wednesday morning (how did they manage to work out that every prospect is in a talkative and engageable mood at precisely that time?!). Others will say that it’s a Monday afternoon. But although there may be loads of prospects who are ready to take calls and e-mails on a Monday afternoon, it’s a really bad time for sales people to contact me.
Every study has a different suggestion. And that is what has led me to create the definitive answer to the question “when is the best time to contact a prospect?”. If you were looking for a simple answer, be ready for crushing disappointment. Here goes:
There is no correct time to contact someone
It is simply not possible to generalise this answer. Everyone is different. For a start we need to take into account that there are different habits and cultures in each country, market sector and type of company. And that’s before we think about the fact that everyone has individual preferences or that, these days, people rarely have two weeks that are the same.
So how do sales people make the best use of their time? How do they create the maximum success for contacting people? Here are seven tips to maximise your chances of engaging a prospect:
Call when you are not supposed to
Where much of the research about best calling times agree is that no-one wants to speak to you on a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon. Bizarrely, those are some of the times when I get my best results! Perhaps it’s because nobody else is calling at that time. Calling after 5.30pm works pretty well for me as well: meetings have finished and other sales people have gone home.
Have a great message
It doesn’t matter how good you are at getting through to people: your time is wasted if you simply give them a standard sales message that they have heard before. If you want to find out how to create a good message, invest in my book How To Stop Print Buyers Choosing On Price.
So many people give up after two or three attempts to contact someone. It usually takes a lot longer to get hold of a prospect and start a meaningful dialogue. Sometimes it takes me two or three years from the first engagement until the sale. But you will never make the sale if you give up too soon. (I should add that I qualify my prospects carefully to make sure that I am not wasting my time on people who are the wrong fit or who are not going to take the next step).
Here’s a quick action point for you
Try and make contact with at least five people today, and the same tomorrow. Choose a channel that you are comfortable with. Try social media or writing a note card if the phone and e-mail do not appeal. The most important thing is to take action.
If you reach out to ten people you have a reasonably good chance of having a dialogue with one new contact. You will be making progress with your sales and you will also be doing better than a lot of the competition.
Research is over-rated!
Action is better.
This article is adapted from my latest book “Done For You Sales Scripts”
Searching for inspiration on what to say or write to prospects and customers? This book covers all sorts of sales situations. The article is an extract from one of the bonus articles that come with the premium version.
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