Closing deals and getting warm leads over the phone is more than about being confident and well versed in delivering a well-practiced and effective sales pitch; it's about knowing when is best time to call leads. Sometimes, it’s not about how you do it but when you do it that makes all the difference.
One of the key considerations when making calls to business prospects is timing it when they are most likely to give you positive feedback and undivided attention. Below, we’ll share some tips on the best times to make that call to and close that deal.
Best times to call
1. Pick up the phone on Wednesdays and Thursdays
Mondays are usually the most hectic day of the week and people are just getting into work mode again, so calling on a Monday morning will probably be a waste of time. You’re likely to find someone grumpy at the other end of the line. You’ll also want to avoid calling on Fridays as most people are already in weekend mode and your call might be forgotten over the next couple of days while they are out of the office.
Try calling on Wednesdays and Thursdays for best results. According to the Lead Response Management study, these two days are the best when calling to qualify leads. This is probably because people are already in the middle of the work week and are in their most productive state when it comes to dealing with different people and getting work done.
2. Do it first thing in the morning or right after lunch
Time your calls when people are just about to begin their day. That way, they are not preoccupied with something yet and will most likely give you their full attention. The best time to call in the morning is between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. as they just came from breakfast and are most likely in the mood to start their work day, but probably not yet in the middle of a project.
If you didn’t catch them in the morning, try calling again after they had lunch at around 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The trick is to get them when they are not yet in the middle of what they are doing in the day so that they are receptive and accommodating to what you have to say.
3. Avoid these bad timings during the day
You can call first thing in the morning or early in the afternoon but avoid picking up the phone from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as these are dead hours. This window is when people step away from their desks and are out of the office to have lunch or do short errands.
Best time to make sales calls
Apart from knowing the best times to call, you should also take note of some best practices to make sure you maximize your time with a potential prospect or business lead.
4. Get to know the person you are cold-calling beforehand
Many people don’t like receiving cold calls, especially if the caller seems like they just randomly picked you out from a pool of people they want to sell something to. What helps is to know when the best time to cold call is.
Try to make your calls targeted by personalizing it and doing a little background research about the person you are connecting with so you can add a personal touch to an otherwise “cold” conversation. Doing so will make them appreciate the fact that you put in effort to know something about them and will increase the chances that they’ll listen to what you have to say.
This route also saves you some time. Knowing the background of the person will give you a good idea if what you’re selling is even relevant to them in the first place.
Additionally, try to get the personal landline of the person instead of going through the general mainline. This way, there’s a higher possibility that your prospect will be the one to answer the call and will not be filtered by a receptionist.
5. Remember, send a follow-up email after hanging up
Whether it is a product brochure or a simple thank you email detailing your next action steps—such as when you will be following up on their feedback—it is ideal to make the call official by sending proper documentation summarizing what has been discussed so that both parties are aligned with their expectations. This can also be used by your prospect as a future reference point and can be helpful in serving as information material to help them make their decision.
6. Use a great phone service to make your calls
Salespeople make a lot of calls on a daily basis, so it's sometimes hard to keep track on who you called and what you talked about. One of the best tools sales people can use to help with this problem is a great phone service.
Some of the features these phone services have include call transcription that can be downloaded via email and a call recording feature, which can come in handy for critical and important sales calls. Some phone service providers also use cloud-based systems allowing agents to take and make calls directly from their laptops or desktops.
Getting warm prospects through cold sales calls is definitely an effective way to grow your business. However, making an effective call entails a balance of knowing how and when to do it so you get the most out of your calls.
While these tips are a good jumping off point, it takes time and practice to determine what strategy will work best for your business. Try applying the basic tips we’ve provided above and customizing them based on the results of your continued sales calls.
Maggie Aland is a staff writer and marketing expert at Fit Small Business, where she writes how-to guides and articles on marketing for small business owners.