Timing Isn't Everything

Sales advice from Rob Wardlaw, associate publisher of Gulfshore Business magazine.

Over the years, I’ve participated in numerous sales
training programs, and one
thing that has come up repeatedly is the importance of timing. Specifically, sales trainers have stressed that there are certain days of the week, as well as certain times of day, that are more conducive to selling. And with electronic communication, the trainers further stress that the individual salesperson should time their communications to coincide with what are considered peak periods of buying behavior.

While I definitely agree with the premise that there are times that may be better or worse as far as reaching out to sell to certain demographics, I disagree that timing is everything when it comes to sales.

Let me explain.
 The majority of salespeople whom I’ve known over the years have not been driven by statistics. If they had been, my sense is that they would have been more likely to pursue careers in accounting or financial planning. Rather, I believe salespeople are motivated by conversation and communication—wherever and whenever an opportunity presents itself. Salespeople are the ultimate persuaders.

When it comes to selling, it only takes one closed sale to have a 100 percent success rate. By that I mean it may well be counterproductive to self-regulate communication with a possible client due to the belief that they may be unreachable at a certain time. No contact whatsoever reduces the odds of success to zero.

In my own experience, I have learned that selling is more situational—and that same experience has taught me the right tone to take with communication, even at what might be considered less than desirable times.

Ultimately, a salesperson needs to use his or her best judgment about when and how often to communicate with any particular contact. My advice is never to limit communication. One of the top things I would recommend during slower times is to thank a client for their business. That simple thank you can never be said enough. Another great way to show appreciation to a client is to forward industry research or breaking news that they may not know about. By this, you are being your clients’ advocate and another set of eyes and ears to help them be successful. And one fail-safe for a Friday afternoon is to send an email or leave a voicemail for your clients telling them you hope that they have a great weekend. You will be almost guaranteed to get a response and you’ll feel good at the same time. Come Monday, you’ll have a full week with all the time you need to close deals and make things happen. 

Contact Rob Wardlaw at robw@gulfshorebusiness.com.