When planning your sales strategy, it’s a good idea to give some thought about when to contact new leads or follow up with old ones. Of course you want to be able to speak to your lead directly, but you don’t want to call at a time that is annoying or inconvenient. These suggestions can help you nurture your leads without being perceived as a pain in the neck.
1. Cold Calling Leads
Cold calling a prospect you don’t know makes it hard to determine the best timing for your call.
If you are cold-calling a business, it’s usually a good idea to avoid Monday mornings, when the person you need to talk to may be buried with issues that came up over the weekend. Friday afternoons, when many people leave the office early, is also a poor time to call. Typically, you’ll have the best luck reaching your prospect if you call early in the day in the middle of the week.
If you’re calling an individual, be careful not to call before 9:00 AM or after 9:00 PM. If you’re calling from a different time zone, stop for a minute and figure out your prospect’s local time. You may also want to avoid calling a prospect during the noon hour, a traditional time for lunch.
If you reach your lead at a bad time, apologize and ask him or her when you can call back.
2. Warm Calling Leads
Warm calling means calling a lead with whom you have some connection, for instance, someone you met at a business dinner or someone who has requested a call on your website. Good sales strategy dictates that you ask “warm” prospects about the best time to call. If a prospect requests information over the Internet, try to call him or her back as close to the time of the request as possible.
3. Lead Nurturing
You may talk several times after your initial contact with a prospect before the sale is finalized, a process known as lead nurturing. During one of your first phone calls, ask the prospect how and when he or she would like to be contacted and make a note of that in the prospect’s file. That way, you can avoid calling at inconvenient times and catch the prospect at a moment when he or she is ready to discuss your insurance products and make buying decisions.