The Best Time to Prospect
Ah, the joy of cold calling. The very fact that the word "cold" is used to name the basic, fundamental and critical task that should be in every sales professional's day, tells you there is not much comfort to be found when prospecting.
But whether you call it cold calling, prospecting, business development or fishing, if you have to do it then it's worth making sure you are doing it right. Beyond the techniques you use when cold calling, it is also important that you make your cold calls during the right time of day.
Making 100 cold calls a day is great and, if done consistently and with skill, should lead to success. But making those 100 calls during the best times of the day will be like adding jet fuel to a smoldering fire.
Into Your Customer's Mind
A quick reminder is called for when talking about being more effective with your prospecting. It should be pretty obvious that cold calling is like tug-of-war: You need at least two people in order for it to work. That means you and a customer. Of the two people involved, your first key to success is to put your customer first.
That means that if you are going to call on a prospect, you had better have something important to say.
Very few people like interruptions during work. Most want to get to their office (be that in a skyscraper or at their kitchen table) and get their work done. A sales professional stopping in or calling with nothing important to say is a time waster that many in the business world simply will not tolerate.
If you cold call, make sure you are targeting the right type of customers, delivering the right message and delivering that message clearly and succinctly.
"I Have Everything Ready. So, What Time is Best to Cold Call?"
Before we jump out of our customer's mind, put yourself in your customer's shoes for a minute. If you were the type of customer that you would prospect, what time of day would be the busiest for you? What time of day would you use to prepare, plan and review? When would a cold call be the most annoying?
The problem is that many sales reps don't consider their customer's schedule and make calls around their own schedule. If I were to guess, I'd say that the fewest number of cold calls are made during lunch time. Why? Because we sales reps need to eat!
It shouldn't be all about us when it comes to cold calling.
The Gate Keeper
If your prospect has a receptionist who screens calls and decides which visitors get in the door and which are sent packing, knowing the gate keeper's schedule if the first clue in when to prospect. If you can avoid having to go through the gatekeeper and get right to your prospect, you'd do it, right? Of course, you would, but so many sales reps start making their cold calls in the morning (after a couple cups of coffee and some water cooler talk), before or right after lunch.
Guess what? That's prime time for the gatekeeper to be protecting the gates!
Try making your cold calls before and after normal business hours. The gatekeeper probably isn't at work yet (or still) but your prospect may be. You'll avoid the gatekeeper and get directly to your prospect.
The best times to cold call are in the morning and after normal business hours.