How many times to call a sales prospect.

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How many times to call a prospect.

Sometimes I’ll look at a sales rep’s activity history and see call after call, showing voicemail after voicemail; sometimes every two or three days.  This type of calling activity really generates a lot of discussion and debate.  I once had a business owner tell me, “We just keep calling every day, sometimes twice a day, until they can’t take it anymore and call us back.”

While I don’t think the above example is a good way to talk to your prospects, I also don’t think there should be any hard and fast rules applied to this process.  The first question to ask yourself is, “How many times would I need to be called?”   By answering this honestly it helps give you the same perspective as your client.

A couple of other items that should weigh in on your decision:

  • Is it a cold call?
  • How far along are you in the customer buying process?
  • Did they ask you to call them back in X number of days?
  • Do you have new (valuable to them) information to speak with them about?

After the initial cold call I use this sequence for making additional attempts:

  • 2nd call – after one week.
  • 3rd call – eight business days after that.
  • 4th call – 10 business days after that.
  • 5th call – 20 business days after that.
  • 6th call – 30 business days after that.
  • Final call – 60 business days after that.

Note:  An email should be sent after every call that builds on the previous email and voice mail.

Follow up calls, when no timeframe has been given, have a lot of different variables.  Too many for one sales training lesson.  A couple things to remember, however:

  1. Don’t be a pest.
  2. If you call too much you look desperate.

A final tip – A study done by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) revealed the following:   The most successful time to reach an initial prospect is between 8:00am and 9:00am and 4:00pm and 5:00pm their time.

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