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Only a Few “Good” Hours Per Week to Prospect

Blocking Calendar for Prospecting
Being in the business of creating business development campaigns for hotels, CVBs, and other meetings industry suppliers, we often get asked, “When is the best time to call prospects?”

Analyzing this empirically, we can now say the best time to prospect is on Wednesdays between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.  Have a look:

While a year is 365 days, there are only 261 weekdays, though not all productive work days for prospecting.
Since it’s pointless to prospect around Christmas and New Year’s, that cuts out 15  days.  Take away 10 federal U.S., three Canadian holidays, plus another five religious holidays, we’re down to 230 days.

All Fridays before long weekends and Tuesdays after a long weekend should be off limits for prospecting.  Actually, come to think of it, prospecting should be banned from all other Mondays and Fridays throughout the year because Mondays everyone is grumpy and Fridays no one's at their desk.  Now we’re down to 130 work days.

July and August are a write-off; who wants to do business in the summer?  And let’s not forget the week when kids finish school in June, when they go back after Labour Day and off course the week of March/Spring Break.  That leaves 84 work days.

Then there are those other fun holidays and miscellaneous celebrations.  Who wants to be cold calling on Super Bowl Monday, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Mardi Gras, or Halloween?  Let’s not forget patriotic days like Flag Day and Election Day!  Only 77 days left.

The average North American also takes two weeks’ vacation per year, and we all know it takes at least one week to prepare to go away, and one week to catch up after we return.  Another 20 works days gone.
Let’s not forget sick days!  According to the Society for Human Resource Management's 2004 Benefits Survey, the average North American is off 11 days for sickness, whether it is for themselves or to take care of someone else.  This means we only have 46 days left for prospecting.  A meagre 3.83 days a month, or less than one day per week.

Of course on that one day, probably mid-week, we can’t call too early, or over the lunch hour, or too late in the day.  Doesn't it make sense then that the best time to prospect is on Wednesdays between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.?  But with voice mail, meetings and people travelling, is it even worth picking up the phone at all?

OK, by now you know what I’m up to.  I apologize to all of you who were looking for the silver bullet solution.  It doesn't exist.

If we try hard enough we will always find excuses why it’s not a good time to prospect.  This is a guaranteed formula for no sales!  Sure, there are days that are likely not as productive as others to be prospecting, but there are always people looking for a new supplier, no matter what the calendar says.  The point is to have a system and to do it consistently.

Do you have any success stories when you reached a prospect at an “odd time” and had a great conversation?