In yesterday’s Advisor, we discussed the importance of creating a sense of urgency in sales and how to express that urgency to a prospect. In today’s Advisor, we’ll cover another important topic for getting a positive response from a prospect.
Cold calling businesses is an important factor of winning over prospective clients, but it is also important to know when you should be making these calls. These tips will help you determine the best times to call that will actually result in a good response from your prospect.
Best Days of the Week: Wednesday and Thursday
Consider your own typical work week: Mondays are crazy catching up from the weekend, and Fridays can sometimes be a lost cause with weekend plans on everyone’s mind. Therefore, the best days of the week to cold call businesses are Wednesday or Thursday.
If this sounds like an oversimplification, take a look at InsideSale’s chart from a study of initial dials that became qualified leads. Wednesday and Thursday are the clear choice for calling, with Tuesday right behind them.
Best Morning Time: Between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
The best time to cold call a business is between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. in the time zone that you’re calling (adjust if you’re calling out of your time zone). The people you’re calling are typically at their desks (or wherever they do administrative tasks) planning for the day ahead.
The reason for this is that 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. represents the typical beginning of a person’s work day. This time also represents the most productive part of a person’s day, so he or she will be in the mood to get things done. Another excellent reason to plan call blocks around this time is that you’re likely to actually reach the decision maker—not a gatekeeper.
Don’t Call During Lunch Time
Making calls at lunch time (11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or so) is perhaps the worst time of day to make a sales call, unless a prospect has specifically requested a call for this time. Don’t disturb someone’s lunch—especially if you’re calling on a restaurant! They will resent this, which may end up disqualifying them as a prospect because they’ll be so turned off.
Instead of wasting time trying to make contact with clients at lunchtime, use this time period to research new potential leads to contact at a more appropriate time. Or, use the time to take a break and enjoy your own lunch!
Best Afternoon Time: Between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Besides 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., the second best call block time frame is between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. It’s around this time that most people are tying up projects for the day and have time to take your call. It’s at this point that their most important priorities have likely been accomplished, so prospects will have a larger capacity to listen to what you have to say.
Contact Warm Leads Within 5 Minutes
If you’re lucky enough to get warm leads, it’s important to also be strategic with timing when contacting them. Many companies can’t accurately say the average amount of time it takes them to respond to a lead, but lead response time is incredibly important, as it relates to closed, won deals.
Companies that contact warm leads within 1 hour are most likely to engage in meaningful conversation. Contacting warm leads within 20 minutes will result in the most effective qualification (with 5–10 minutes being even more effective). This should all come as no surprise; 35%–50% of sales go to the first vendor who returns a call. If you don’t catch prospects on the phone, follow up your call with an e-mail so they can get to you as soon as it is convenient for them.