The study took place over 4 months with companies of various sizes from more than 40 industries taking part with 495 responses.
They discovered that with the best cold calling times that we currently think of are in fact completely wrong. Most people would probably suggest that the best times to cold call would be from late morning, over lunch and then the early afternoon when people are about, right?
Wrong. The statistical information gleaned from the study is quite the reverse.
The absolute best times to cold call are between the hours of 8-9am and 4-5pm, with the lunchtime period of 1-2pm being the absolute worst.
Whilst the study didn’t go into why these times were the best and worst, it’s probably not too hard to put your own theory around the “Why”. For instance, the 8-9am slot probably works because it’s before “normal work hours” (if they still exist) and so your decision maker’s gate keeper may not be at their desk yet, or simply that your decision maker’s Day may officially start at 9 am with rounds of meetings, hence why they are at their desk a little earlier to get ahead of the day.
With the 4-5pm slot, there are not usually as many meetings scheduled for this time of the day compared to the rest of the day and so your decision maker again may be at their desk. Many meetings are scheduled over the lunch period, and lunch itself takes place eliminating the lunch period as a good time at all.
The research also says that the very best day to cold call is Thursday, and the very worst day is Friday, go figure why on that. Having spoken to others about their own best days, it boils down to wherever you get the most success yourself, stick with that.
Another really interesting piece of information to come from the research is this:
Leads that are generated from your website have a very, very short life span and need to be dealt with within the first 5 minutes of their arrival.
That’s not a very big window of opportunity, but you are 4 times more likely to successfully qualify your lead than if you called back between 5 and 10 minutes. If you call within those first 5 minutes rather than waiting 30 minutes to get in contact, you are 21 times more likely to qualify your lead than if you waited. Astounding!
Do you contact your new inquiries back within 5 minutes or are you of the idea that you don’t want to look desperate so you’ll wait a couple of hours and call them back later, possibly making yourself look busier than maybe you are? I know I have done the very same, but after reading Dr. Oldroyd’s research, I’m onto it.
The point? Give absolute priority to any inbound inquiries over anything else that you are doing to generate leads, cold calling can wait until your new inquiry has been contacted in a very, very speedy manner.
I have taken this information from a really very good book that I am currently reading by Geoffrey James. Called “How to Say It: Business to Business Selling: Power Words and Strategies from the World’s Top Sales Experts”. Superb and enlightening read.