BEST TIME TO MAKE THE CALL

making the callI have been asked many times: “Joe, when is it the best time to make a cold call?”

Dr. James Oldroyd, from the Kellog School of Management in studying over a million cold calls from approximately 50 companies came up with a few observations:

  • Thursdays are the best day to call.
  • Friday is the worst day to call.
  • Between 8 am and 9 am are the best followed by 4 pm to 5 pm.
  • The worst time to call is between 1 pm and 2 pm.

With all due respect to Dr. Oldroyd, I am going to have to disagree for the following reasons:

  • How many industries were the 50 companies in? Was there a good cross section from high end IT products, to manufacturing machinery as well as simple commodity retail products?
  • Is the best day and time to call dependent on industry-specific organizations or even the level of the person that you may be attempting to connect with? By the way, if you are trying to connect with the purchasing agent, you are wasting your time. Therefore, stop it!
  • Was there consistency as to the objective/outcome for making the call.

I would like to provide a concept of the best time and day to place a call. What opportunities are you uncovering by not making the call? Go ahead take a minute to think of the answer. Right, there are no bad times or days to make calls. However, there are really bad times and days for not making the calls.

This goes also for special times of the year. I would like to share a personal story. Back in my corporate life my team and I were selling construction marking and measuring systems and commodity items. The summer months were thought of as a dead time as everyone had already purchased everything they needed and were being productive at work and further, had no time to talk to us. Generally speaking, September was the next time that everyone got a big rush of orders to get the projects done before the weather closed it down.

Summertime is where my team and I put the pedal to the metal for a couple of reasons:

  • First, everyone always runs out of something and as long as you are front of mind they will always call you first.
  • Secondly, because you were there during the summer and planted all the seeds, who do you think they are calling in September for the big fill in last push order?

We did exactly the same thing over the Christmas holiday period. When it came time to start up again, who do you think they called? Also, a lot of companies have leftover budgets that they need to spend at the end of the year, but how many of us fall into the trap of: “There is no business over Christmas.” Decembers were some of my highest months throughout my career.

You will never know the right day or time for your industry unless you actually make the call. However, make sure you are ready to make the call. If you waste their time and have no objective or goal for the call, all you will do is annoy a potential client. Is that something you really want to do?

We invite you to join The Action Suite to make sure you are prepared as you can be to make the call that has to be made in order to turn that prospect into a happy, loyal and satisfied client.

By the way, the answer to the question asked at the beginning is always: “Right now.”

DO YOU KNOW THEIR PROCESS?

desisionsThere are some of us that still recall the days before any technology hit the business world and that one of the selling points was that we would be able to increase the speed that business is done and further, we would become a paperless society.

Well, there seems to be a great spasm between what was promised and what actually is happening today. First, I submit to you the need for paper has actually increased, and secondly, while some functions have become extremely more streamlined such as inventory control, invoicing, and immediate communications with a paper trail, the decision-making process has increased.

BUILDING YOUR REFERRAL NETWORK

referrals“I got a referral!” Not so fast! Before you celebrate, do you know what to do with that referral? You’re probably sitting there thinking: “Sure, I’m going to call them up and make an appointment and get a new client.” Again, I say: “Not so fast. Are you sure that is the best way to proceed?” I bring you back to why people in The Action Suite have success. As a reminder, it is because they are D.U.M.B.; Different, Unique, Memorable and Believable.

HOW DO I GET THEIR CUSTOMERS TO SWITCH?

change1_origThat was a question asked of me recently during one of my sessions of The Action Suite. “Maybe they shouldn’t.” was my reply.  Total silence was the reaction.

You cannot ‘get’ anyone to switch to your product or service. Studies have shown that once customers feel that they are being pushed, their emotions will take over, and they will resist with more vigor even if it means that if they did make the switch, they would be better off.

WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER?

who-is-your-customer_origSomeone that values your service, who wants what you offer and who feels it’s important to them. That question and the answer came from a book that I have just finished called: Five Most Important Questions by Peter Drucker.

That may seem so simple that you may be wondering why do I even bring it up. The better question may be, however, who is my customer? Who is it that I should be really focused on? Who is that does need, want and can afford my product and service? Have you actually sat down and written down who your customers are? If not, I would suggest that would be a great exercise to do.