Prospecting for New Clients: Does Timing Matter?
You’ve got your list of hot, targeted prospects right in front of you.
You have every piece of information, every piece of data you could ever need: names, phone numbers, website urls, addresses, emails, company size, annual revenue…
You know which leads are currently spending their hard earned dollars on Google Adwords or YellowPages advertising, primed to invest in your consulting services.
You have a proven, solid prospecting strategy already in place.
Maybe you’ve got a killer phone script and you are ready to dial for dollars…
Or maybe you have a carefully crafted email ready to go out with an irresistible offer in tow…
You are READY. You have everything you need to start landing some new clients, and building up your consulting business.
The only question left unanswered is….”When”?
When should you make that call? When should you send out that email?
Timing May Not Be Everything…But it IS Important
As it turns out, there are certain days and times that are best for connecting with prospects and qualifying them as viable leads.
Common sense may tell us our chances of reaching a business owner or decision maker is highest right before or after prime business hours.
While common sense is important (and often in short supply these days), you realize that alone is not enough.
You’re savvier and more clever than the average local marketing consultant.
What we’re really looking for here, is some cold hard data to support our assumptions. Remember, our most precious commodity (TIME) is at stake here.
Fortunately, we do have that data we need to maximize the productivity of our prospecting efforts.
According to a study conducted by MIT, 4 to 6pm is the best time to make contact with a prospect.
If you want to qualify a prospect and determine if they’re a good fit for your services, 8 to 9am and 4 to 5pm are the best times to do this.
How about days of the week?
Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to get in touch with your prospects. Friday is the absolute worst.
Always Consider Your Audience
While the time frames uncovered by the MIT study are a good rule of thumb to follow, you must ALWAYS consider the audience you’re targeting.
For example, let’s say you’re targeting roofing contractors. These guys are perched on roofs busting their butts all day.
Probably about the only down time they have where they could take a call is during their lunch break.
So if you’re targeting roofers as clients, your best bet to reach them on the phone will be during the hours of approximately 11am to 1pm.
Maybe real estate agents is your target market. If that’s the case, you already know these guys and gals have their cell phones surgically attached.
So…what time you call isn’t as important since they will usually answer every call that comes in.
Always Consider Your Prospecting Method
You’ve probably realized by now that this timing stuff pertains to calling or emailing your prospects.
If you’re using direct mail, obviously this information would not be relevant.
After all, we don’t have control over what time of the day the postal service delivers our mail.
What about voice broadcasting?
If you’re using an auto dialer to leave voicemail messages, your best off running these campaigns after or before normal business hours so someone is less likely to answer the phone.
This can be an effective, automated strategy that allows you to reach out to a lot of prospects without manually making calls or hiring someone else to do so.
It’s a fantastic way to get your perfect message to your prospects on a mass scale. This is how I initially built my business and I highly recommend you try it out if you’re not currently using voice broadcasts.
So if you still work a full time day job, and don’t have the funds to hire a cold caller, a voice broadcasting system is an excellent option.
Remember, these are guidelines, not laws!
Strive to maximize your prospecting activity on Wednesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 8 to 9am and 4 to 6pm.
But always remember, these are just guidelines and may not apply to every business niche and every situation.
A good dose of common sense goes a long way too.
Finally, even if you still have a full time job and are working on your consulting business in your spare time, don’t let this stop you.
Prospect whenever you can, even if it’s not one of the “ideal” days or time frames.
Deals have been won, and clients have been landed on Friday afternoons and every other time you can imagine.
You owe it to yourself to prospect anytime you can to achieve the success you deserve.
Until next time…Prospect and Prosper
Let’s keep the conversation going below.
I’d love to hear about your experience prospecting and how you’ve found “Time” having an impact (or not) on the results you get.
Have you found a certain time works best for you and your niche? Let me know in the comments. I’ll reply to each comment personally.