As a company that has studied 1.8 million prospecting efforts to take the guesswork out of appointment setting, we get asked a lot of questions such as:  “Should you leave a voice mail?” or “What is the best subject line in an email?

Far and away the most common question we get is, “What is the best day and time to call?”

Many even offer up their opinions.   Some are confident that calling at 11AM on Tuesdays is best.  Others like to call early before the “gatekeeper” gets in.  The range of guesses is staggering.

Now for the answer you’ve all been waiting for: the best time to make a prospecting call is (drum roll, please) any business day between 8AM and 5PM.

Sorry for the disappointment.

Sure, there are subtle differences in the number of times a key player picks up the phone, but those differences are statistically negligible.

Suppose the number of key players that picked up the phone during the 11AM hour on Tuesdays was 20% greater than average (it isn’t, but play along).  What does that really mean? Are you NOT going to call the other days and times? I hope that isn’t the case.

Let’s look at the numbers.  The average pickup rate is just over 5% (about 5.1%). That 20% increase would mean that 6% would pick up vs. 5% in that one hour.  Should that change your behavior?  Is that 1% really going to move the needle for you?  Of course it won’t.

If you are really looking for an edge in appointment setting, the best place to look is the mirror.  Examine your own actions and behaviors.  Are you making enough calls?  Are you maximizing every call and every touch point? Are you communicating your value proposition in an effective and consistent way? How disciplined is your follow-up?

While there are no short cuts in prospecting and appointment setting, it doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult. Our best advice is don’t fall for gimmicks like trying to call at a specific time or clever subject lines. Look instead at the effectiveness and efficacy of your efforts.

There is never any substitute for quality.