Prospecting is a task everyone agrees is necessary – yet few execute on a regular basis. It’s always on the “to-do” list. Unfortunately, it’s almost always at the bottom of the to-do list, which, conveniently, almost never sees the light of day because we’re so focused on what we perceive to be more pressing tasks.
To enjoy a healthy pipeline, prospecting is a critical task that deserves your undivided attention , not just when you have a few minutes between meetings. This is true whether you’re a branch manager who needs to tap the well of successful loan officers, or a loan officer who needs more business.
Cold calling, social media posting, newsletter emailing and postcard snail mailing all require a bit of your time. Fortunately for you, Blue Water Credit ran the analytics, allowing you to maximize your phone impact while minimizing your time commitment. The firm’s latest report, “The Science of Prospecting and Lead Management,” notes that the best times to contact prospects are between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The study also asserts that speed is of the essence, especially in this instant digital age. The most effective time to respond to a prospect is within five minutes of their message. Waiting just 10 minutes to return a message can lower your chances of closing that deal by 400 percent, Blue Water says. It may sound excessive, but the study also found that six call-backs was the magic number if you’re hoping to reach the prospect. A solid 90 percent of callers were able to make contact with their prospect when they made six attempts. Only 35 percent connected with the prospect after one attempt.
This valuable information should help you create a targeted, effective prospecting program. Above all else, make sure you track your progress. Note who you contacted, how many times, on what days/times, how you initially obtained this lead, what the next step is, what expenses are tied to this prospect and any other valuable information. While this study provides a great head start, it will ultimately be up to you to determine which prospecting practices are yielding the best results for you and your business.