When I first started selling, I had no existing clients and no other responsibility. I made cold calls out of the phone book, more specifically, the business section of the white pages. I dialed from 8:00 AM until Noon, went to lunch with people on my team, and returned to the office to make calls from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM. I made calls all day, every day, minus the time I spent at meetings booked as a result of my prospecting effort.
On Mondays, I would call the stack of index cards I used to keep track of the known prospects in my territory. I would flip through every card each Monday, jotting the date and result on the back of the index card. After getting through that stack, it was back to the phone book, or the list of prospects I built as I drove through the area where I had booked a meeting. It was my practice to walk into the two doors next to the prospect’s building, as well as the one across the street. I also walked into any building with many cars in the parking lot, as that was a sign they employed a lot of people.
I loved Mondays, and I always asked for time on Thursday. I believed that Thursday was late enough into the week that someone receiving a request for a meeting later in the week would possess a greater willingness to meet, even if I had no evidence to prove my superstition.
Some people believe Monday is a terrible day to prospect, as people are just getting back to work and are dealing with an overflowing inbox and a list of tasks that need their attention. Others believe Monday means business, preferring to book their meetings as early in the week as possible.
Others believe that Tuesdays are better than any other day, and I have seen the research that suggests this is the most effective time to make calls. I have seen conflicting research that insists that Thursday is the best days to ask for a meeting, with the highest percentages of positive outcomes occurring early and late on that day.
The truth about the best time to prospect is something like the Chinese saying that “If you want shade, the best time to plant a tree was 100 years ago. The second best time is now.”
The best time to prospect was days, weeks, months, and years ago, the result not being easily obtained without consistent effort and outreach over time. The second best time to prospect is now.
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