Guest Post by Michael Boyette
Conventional wisdom may imply that a sales representative’s best opportunity to get in contact with
a prospect would be at 9 a.m. It’s the beginning of the day, when other priorities such as meetings and work haven’t had the chance to pull their attention. Similarly, you may suppose that between the times of 4 and 5 p.m. would be ineffective as most workers are trying to wrap up their work and end the day.
But a study conducted by MIT revealed a different result.
As it turns out, while the 9:00 hour wasn’t bad for prospecting, calls made between 4:00 and 6:00 had a much higher contact rate. Of course, these numbers might differ based on your own industry, but they highlight the fact that some hours are better for reaching out to prospects than others.
The best sales reps know that they have to seek out and make the most out of their Golden Hours — that is, the hours when they have the best chance of successfully reaching prospects.
So how can you find your Golden Hours? By creating what we call a Time Optimization Plan, or TOP.
Keep an account of the number of times you make a call, and the number of times you make contact in an hour. Using these numbers, calculate your contact rate in that hour. For example: If you make 20 calls in one hour, and speak with 5 prospects, your contact rate is 25%.
Do this hourly throughout your workday over the course of several weeks. Your Golden Hours are the ones that reveal the greatest contact rate.
Your TOP is simply a schedule, based on your Golden Hours analysis, of when you will make your prospecting calls. Of course, your schedule will always have other tasks that need to happen over the course of a week or month.
But to the extent that you can, treat your Golden Hours like, well… gold. Be selfish with them. Avoid scheduling meetings, permit no disruptions, and allow no distractions. Remember, Golden Hours are a limited resource, and using them effectively can mean the difference between mediocre performance and sales success.
Michael Boyette is the executive editor of the Rapid Learning Institute Selling Essentials e-learning site and editor of the Top Sales Dog Blog. Contact Michael via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect via Twitter