One of the most often asked questions at our Appointment Making workshops is “when is the best time to make appointment setting calls?” The answer is now.
While it is true that you have to pick times based on the realities of the target of the call, trying to divine the best time just opens the doors to excuses as to why a particular time is not good. For example we were working with a group that was targeting maintenance and plant managers. Based on directives from the manager, they always did their call early in the morning, before leaving the office for the day. Their hit rate was not great, but to their credit, they were persistent. We took a look at what they were doing, and more importantly the habits of their targets. It soon became apparent that the people they were calling were generally on the plant floor first thing in the morning dealing with issues that arose over night and may impact the day. At around 10:30 or so, they went back to their office to fill our report or other paper work. We asked the reps to switch their calling time to 11:00, and sure enough, their hit rate went up, as did their appointments and revenue.
Having said that, I think that any time you have a few minutes, you can make calls as long as you have your list prepared. I have never lost an appointment because I called outside a window of time. The fact that you are prepared and ready to make calls any time reduces the stress and pressure, and allows you to do things in small chucks. The assumption here is that making these calls is not your favourite part of sales.
One other consideration is that if you make calls when others don’t (late in the day, lunch, etc.) you may find that the buyers actually answer their phones and you can immediately project a different image.
I bring this up, because I am about to make some calls. Yes Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm. My thinking is, if I get a VP of Sales on the line, talking about activity, accountability and a healthy pipeline, and he looks around the office and does not see his people making calls, and he has a weak pipeline; what’s the subtle message, and how likely is he not to get it.
What’s in Your Pipeline?