When is the best time to make sales calls?

27 October 2022

P.O.V – You’ve got a big list of untapped sales prospects, and a whole week to make the calls. What’s the best time to try and onboard a new customer?

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t cold call at all. The business we work with would be so well marketed and respected clients would be ringing us. But with global referral rates at a mere 2.35 per cent, some cold calling still needs to happen.

Warm outreach

First things first, make sure you know who you are calling. It’s better to have a shorter, detailed list than just a long list of names and numbers.

Figure out who your prospect is. Basic information like approximate age, whether they are married and/or have children, and what their work history is can be really helpful in figuring out when to call and how to start a conversation. Follow them on LinkedIn or Twitter, get a casual but professional conversation going in the comments, and identify potential referral opportunities. In short, prime the pump.

True cold calling has a very low success rate of just 1 to 3 per cent, while a warm outreach approach can be closer to 40 per cent.

The first call

Once you have a prospect on the boil, try and make a time with them for a call. The best time to call is always a time they have agreed to. Can’t pin them down? The next best time to call is all about statistics.

Wednesdays and Thursdays are great days for good results, according to Keap.com – and their post-match analysis makes sense. Mondays are super busy, Tuesdays are often meeting heavy, and Fridays can feel light (although, don’t miss out on the Friday Opportunity). The Lead Response Management Study identified the most success with new leads on these two days of the week.

When to call? Well, avoid lunch. It doesn’t matter whether it’s microwaved leftovers at their desk or a big boozy lunch with the MD, the data says people don’t want to speak between 12 and 3 pm. Data from RingDNA shows the most successful time – the hour of power for salespeople – is between 10 am and 11 am, with Call Hippo suggesting a high success rate between 4 pm and 5 pm. Post-pandemic hybrid and home working scenarios mean that before 10 am is too unpredictable, and people are stopping work closer and closer to 5 pm to be with family. Make these days and times your starting point.

Manage expectations

Whether you are a diligent prospector or an off the cuff chinwagger, prepare for less success with your cold calls than you might like. But remember, every no is a learning opportunity so make sure you finish unsuccessful calls with at least one of these five things:

  • Ask, nicely, why the customer thought the product or approach wasn’t suitable and listen to the answer
  • Look for patterns. Is there a particular part of your speil where most ‘no’s’ are expressed? You may want to rethink that bit
  • Make notes after every call – what went well and what didn’t
  • Have a meeting with your team and see what other people have learned
  • Ask a colleague to run a practice call with you so you can put your learnings in place.

 Our Sales Performer course can help you develop warm outreach and prospecting skills. Take a look today.



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