In 2009, when I decided to experiment with something called “blogging”, all the pundits said I shouldn’t post on a Sunday. Sunday, apparently, was the worst possible day; no one opened and read blogs on Sunday. But, for a variety of reasons, it worked for me. It allowed me to get it done and get it out. Ten years later, I’m still posting on Sunday … and average a 25% open rate. Ignoring the experts with their data on “best times” was valuable for me … and it is for you as well.
Why am I advising you to ignore “best time” data? How will this help you grow your business?
Today, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) rapidly crunching and providing detailed data, there’s even more information available on when it’s best to make a phone call, send an email, post a blog, or interact on social media. Several times each month I receive yet another company’s interpretation of this data and a list of times and days when I’m most likely to reach my target market.
I glance at it … and ignore it. And I strongly encourage you to do the same. Here’s why:
- Most of us, including your target market, are crazy busy. Our schedules are filled to the brim with both personal and work-related tasks. And we are all juggling these in slightly different ways. Some of us are reading emails very early in the morning and then again late at night. Some of us aren’t answering our phone unless the conversation has been booked in advance. Others read email between each task throughout the day. And others answer their phone whenever it rings. There are so many ways that each of us are handling workloads and responsibilities that, no matter when you call or post, you’ll miss someone and you’ll reach someone.
- When we rely on “best time” lists or ideas, we support procrastination. You know exactly what I mean. You need to make some phone calls but it’s 9 am so you tell yourself they are just arriving at work; you’ll wait a bit. Then it’s 10:15, and they’re likely getting coffee, so you’ll wait a bit. Then it’s 11:45, so it’s too close to lunch; you’ll wait a bit. Then it’s 1 pm, and they’ re likely headed into a meeting, so you’ll wait a bit. Now it’s 3:15 and again, they are probably taking a bit of break so you’ll wait a bit. When it is 4:45 you really don’t want to catch them when they are looking forward to the end of the day so … you’ll wait until tomorrow. Throughout my 32-year career of reaching out to clients and prospects, I have created amazing outcomes from having conversations at noon, on Christmas Eve, at 5:30 pm and at 7:30 in the morning. The “best” time is when you reach them … and you can’t possibly know when that will happen, so simply pick up the phone or send that message.
- The true “best time” … is when you can get it done. If you are at your desk and have time to make those calls, make them! If you find yourself stranded in an airport and have time to send those emails, send them! Don’t use data as your reason for not reaching out to your target market. If they don’t answer when you call or they don’t respond to your email, you can try again.
I’ve seen a lot of sales efforts fail because team members relied on “best times”. While I admit that number crunching is fun and metrics can be invaluable, what works … what really, really works … is getting the job done!