Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Best Time To Reach Out


Is there a best time to contact a prospect?

I Don't know what you think you know but
The research is wrong!

There have been numerous research studies, advice and opinions published on when is the best time to contact a prospect. And there is one thing that is the same in all the published articles: none of them agree on any thing. Time, day nothing!

There isn't a good time!

Some will tell you that it is 10.37am on a Wednesday morning (I don't know how they manage to work out that every prospect is in a wonderfully receptive mood at precisely at 10:37 but ok). Others will say that it’s a Monday afternoon. (By the way, there may be loads of prospects who are ready to take calls and e-mails on a Monday afternoon)

But you are getting the idea here: everyone is different, everyone 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:

So when is
the best time to contact a prospect?
There is no correct time!

It is simply not possible to give an answer to when is the best time to contact a prospect. Everyone is different. We need to take into account that there are different habits and cultures in each area of the country, market sector and type of company. And that’s before we talk about the fact that everyone has individual preferences and 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 quick tips to maximise your chances of engaging a prospect:

Call when you are not supposed to:

Where much of the research about when is the best time to contact a prospect agrees is that no-one wants to speak to you on a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon. Really? For some reason I have made some of my best sales at those times. They might seem unproductive but yes this is when I get my best results! Perhaps it’s because nobody else is dumb enough to be calling at that time. Calling after 5.30pm works pretty well for me as well and before 7:30 also: meetings have not started or they are finished but the boss is in early or still there late.

Here is another secret: right before you leave at the end of your day, make 1 more call. Just 1 more. I don't care if it is 4:14 or 7:26, make one more call!

Mix up your calling times!

If someone is not available when you call them at 10.37am on a Wednesday don’t try contacting them again at the same time next week. Like I need to really be saying this but try a different day and a different time. Sooner or later you will find the right time for that person. But remember that probably won’t be the best time for your other prospects.

Go multi-channel!

Whenever I run one of my Teleprospecting workshops I ask the people there how many ways they contact prospects. Nearly everyone falls far short of the 14 different ways that I use. If someone ignores you when you call or e-mail, try something else. Use social media messaging, a blog, a direct mail postcard. You will usually get a response when you find a channel that resonates with them. It about them and what they want, not you.

Just remember the rule of 38. No matter what marketing channel you use, picking up the phone and making a follow up phone call will ad a 38% better response rate to what ever you are doing or getting.

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, again don't over think it. what do you want to achieve out of the call? What is the next step you want to take with them and ask for it. Really ask for the result you want to have happen.

Like now: I want to be doing teleprospecting and run your multichannel marketing program so call me at 847-991-1294 and calling right now would be good!

Be persistent!

So many people give up after two or three attempts to contact someone. I almost have to laugh here because the average prospect buys after 7 to 9 sales and marketing messages and they only see 1 out of 3. Do the math, That is 21 to 27 messages to get where you want to go with them. 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’ll 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).

Run a CRM entry for each important prospect!

When I have my buyers hat on, I will receive calls from companies trying to sell me something. Many of them called at the wrong time. I might tell them when I was next reviewing suppliers like them. But not even ten percent would call back at the right time. Yes laying out there dead in the parking lot. I often tell people to call me back the following week or month (and mean it) and they either fail to contact me or get the time wrong. So make a CRM entry to make sure that you never forget to call anyone again at their right time.

Just do it!

Sorry but research is highly over rated. If you do niche selling like I strongly suggest you do, you already know the problems and you know your answer to those problems. Yes good old pain and pleasure selling. We can spend a lot of time researching. We can also be diverted by prospect research, managing current customers or just the general busy. Sometimes we manage our time badly. And sometimes we use all these reasons as an excuse not to call new prospects because it seems too scary. The best thing that we can do is to actually start making contact with people. Pick up the phone and make the call!

Want to do it yourself?
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. At the end of the week you have made 25 reach outs!

If you reach out to 25 people you have a reasonably good chance of having a conversation with at least one new contact. You will be making progress with your sales and you will also be doing better than most of your competition.

Research is over-rated!

Yes, Research is highly over-rated!

Action is better.

What do you do if you don’t know what to say to new prospects? Have a weekly special. A new twist to your product of service or how you are servicing customers during covid.

Don't like to prospect?
For you there is Larson & Associates

We make good businesses great and great businesses even better!

Our focus is on working to become a part of your sales and marketing team in a seamless, invisible way to help propel your business to the next level. We will get to know you, understand you, sell you!

If you don't enjoy phone call after phone call or have a multichannel system that works call us!

WE Do!

Larson & Associates