As the pandemic rages on, many of the advisors we work with have been forced to adapt their prospecting strategies to accommodate virtual interactions with potential clients in some cases. (We are, however, seeing live dinner events return in some markets and advisors using legacy media like radio and TV are seeing an increase in lead traffic.)
At Quantum, we leverage data from our partners and other sources to help our advisors to both 1) get in front of qualified prospects, and 2) convert them more efficiently. The fact is that there are universal best practices that will help you land and convert more appointments, pandemic or not.
Here is some useful data that could help you maximize your lead conversion in 2021.
- Best Time of Day to Cold Call
Research from HubSpot highlights the best time of day to cold call: “Surprisingly, the best time of day to cold call a prospect is between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm their local time. Most people are wrapping up their day and are more open to disruptions than at other times of day. They’re also more likely to be at their desks.”
Not a late-afternoon caller? Keep reading for the second-best time to call your prospects.
- The Best Day of the Week for Sales Calls
A 2017 study by Call Hippo found that Wednesday and Thursday remain the best days of the week to call prospects.
This finding isn’t completely surprising. After all, people are usually gearing up for the weekend on Friday and aren’t interested in starting a relationship with a salesperson. On Monday, buyers are transitioning into work mode and planning their upcoming week.
By the middle of the week, people have had enough time to settle into their work week and take care of pressing matters without your call feeling like an interruption.
- The Second-Best Time for Sales Calls
Making an early morning sales call might seem to make sense. After all, it might let you connect with prospects before their to-do lists become overwhelmingly long. But is it really the optimal time to catch someone at work?
While the best time to call a prospect is between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm, the second-best time to pick up the phone is between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm.
When you think about the structure of a typical office day, you realize at 11:00 am, most people are wrapping up tasks before taking their lunch break. Similarly, at 4:00 pm, they’re winding down for the day.
At those two times, they’re likely hesitant to start a new work task, making those the perfect times to take a phone call from you.
- The Worst Time of the Day for Sales Calls
What are most professionals in your organization doing between 7:00 am and 10:00 am? Trickling into work. That makes these hours the worst during which to make sales calls.
Most offices open between 8:00 am and 9:00 am, which leaves uncertainty about whether anyone will be there to even answer your call. And once in the office, the first hour or two is generally spent organizing one’s day and resolving immediate requests.
Oh, and don’t hold out hope you’ll reach a decision maker if you call earlier or later in the day. Those at the office before 8:00 am are probably there do get work done without distraction, making them less likely to pick up the phone. The same goes for those burning the midnight oil.
- Persistence Pays Off
Do you quit calling a lead after your second or third voicemail? You might be selling yourself short — way short. Call Hippo found over 30% of leads never receive a follow-up call after initial contact. However, the same survey found salespeople have a 90% success rate on contacting their lead on the sixth call.
That means by making a few more call attempts, sales reps can achieve a 70% growth in contact rates. Sound like something you’re interested in? Don’t give up too soon.
In a similar survey, Velocify found call sequencing strategy was a salesperson’s best friend. Six calls scheduled over a 15-day period saw contact rates improve by 110%.
- The Best Response Time—Speed to Call Trumps All
Can’t follow up with new leads within the first hour they become qualified? That will make a huge impact on your results. The Call Hippo study identified a 450% difference in response time for leads receiving a follow-up call within an hour of submitting an inquiry and those that didn’t.
Similarly, the survey by Velocify also found the biggest difference in actually getting through and contacting new leads is due to fast follow up. In fact, their research found prospects receiving a call within one minute of their initial inquiry were 391% more likely to convert.
The moral of this story? When in doubt, call immediately.
Ultimately, picking the right time to make your sales calls is essential to sales success. While these six rules of thumb are a good place to start, you may find different strategies work better for your business. Test these approaches and adopt the ones that work for you. You might be surprised to find how many more prospects you can reach with a few simple tweaks.
Scott spent 20+ years as a large market radio host, on-camera news talent and VP of content creation. He helps develop and manage all advisor client acquisition strategies for Quantum, including live events, digital, social and legacy media campaigns.