When is the best time to make a cold call to a prospect?

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When it comes to making cold calls, finding the ideal time to contact someone is critical to maximize the chances of having your prospects pick up the phone when you attempt to reach out to them. You can’t sell to someone if you cannot reach them, so identifying the perfect time to contact businesses is well worth the time investment. All businesses in the United States operate on their own schedules and it can be difficult to narrow down an exact time frame that can apply to all industries, but thankfully there are patterns that can be easily identified if you pay attention. In this article we will be going over some helpful advice and statistics on how you can discover the best times to have your cold calls take place.

Basics For All Industries

In the United States, the typical working hours of almost all business are from 9:00am to 5:00pm in their respective time zones. Some business will operate on nonstandard hours or have decision making personnel working on their own schedule, but a general guideline to follow is to only contact businesses by phone during these times.


As for the days of the week, it should go without saying that the standard working days of the week for businesses in the United States are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. But which of these days are more effective than others when deciding on when you should be calling these businesses? If your resources are short and only have a set amount of time per week to dedicate towards making cold calls for sales, you want to be assured that you aren’t minimizing your chances at success. Based upon the research performed by Inside Sales in their Lead Response Management Study, Wednesday and Thursday turned out to be the most effective days of the working week to qualify leads. Another thing to note from this study is that Friday turned out to be the least effective day to qualify prospects. 


So we have narrowed down the best and worst days in which to have your cold calls take place, but one question still remains. At what time during these days will your cold calls be the most effective? Referencing the Lead Response Management Study again, they have found that the worst time to call prospects is between the hours of 11:00am and 2:30pm all days of the week. This is due to the common practice of taking this time off for lunch and the variance in times that people working in business are away from their desks during the day.

The optimal time for cold calls to reach their potential prospects is between 4:00pm and 5:00pm of their respective time zones. Based upon the Lead Response Management Study, the success rates of cold calls made during these times were as high as 164% compared to calling at other times throughout the working day. Another study done by PhoneBurner in 2018 also shows that an optimal time to make calls outside of this 4:00pm to 5:00pm window is to call potential prospects between the hours of 9:00am and 11:00am.

To Summarize

With all this data readily available on cold calling along with thousands of businesses performing them each and every day, it’s impossible to determine what times will guarantee the best results for your efforts. For a majority of businesses out there, the most optimal time to attempt to contact prospects based upon recent studies is on Wednesdays and Thursday between the hours of 9:00am and 11:00am, as well as 4:00pm and 5:00pm. The least effective times on average to contact prospects is during lunch, between the hours of 11:00am and 2:30pm, so noting this information down can make a big difference when making your calls. 


While these highlighted times and dates statistically show that they are the most effective time, use your best judgement when deciding on when you think your calls will have the most impact. As all businesses operate in their own manner and can vary depending on industry, the best insight someone can provide on when prospects will be around and available to take a call is someone who works closely within the industry you are attempting to reach out too. But taking this information and combining it with your own background knowledge and judgement can lead to an effective cold calling campaign that will hopefully yield the results you are looking for.

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