Wouldn’t it be great if this blog handed you a golden hour of the day on a platter that could guarantee you results from your BD strategy?
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as that. While some recruiters claim the BD golden hour is 8.30am (to catch the early birds before work), and others say it’s at the end of the day (when decision makers return to their desks after a day of meetings) but the truth is, there isn’t a magical time that will work for every market.
However, that’s not to say golden hours don’t exist. It’s just that you need to work out the time that works for you and your prospects.
Here are some pointers to help you work out your own golden hour, and what to do when you figure it out…
Learn the work patterns in your market
To work out your BD golden hour, it’s important to know the typical working hours in your industry, and if you work with international clients, the cultural norms of the places your prospects are based too. That way, you know exactly when your prospects are available to take your call and also when’s likely to be most convenient for them.
When I was recruiting, I had a lot of clients based in the Middle East and their weekend falls on a Friday and Saturday (rather than Saturday and Sunday). This meant I had to make all my business development calls at the start of the week because by Thursday, all my clients were already winding down for the weekend.
So when you’re working out your BD golden hour, consider the following:
- What does a typical working week of your industry look like?
- What are the standard office hours in your industry?
- What are the work patterns of decision makers in your niche?
If you understand these factors, you can work out which days and hours prospects in your niche are most likely to take your call and capitalise on them.
Learn from your own data
Using your CRM to track when you’re successfully getting through to prospects is the most reliable way to work out your personal BD golden hour because it’s based on your own data.
Pull a list of connected calls from your CRM to figure out the time of day when you have the most success making BD calls on average. Bear in mind that a ‘successful’ period isn’t when you logged the most connected calls, but the hours when you had the highest number of meaningful conversations (i.e. calls that lead to new business or a positive step in the right direction).
If you’re counting chats with gatekeepers as connected calls, the data won’t tell you anything, so you’ll need to record your calls clearly in your CRM if you want to use data to improve your processes - another incentive to dig for your prospects’ direct dials!
When you look at your data like this, you can easily identify the hours of the day when you get the best results, not just when you make the most calls.
Be selfish with your golden hour
Once you’ve worked out your golden hour, you need to give yourself some space to make the most of it. The first thing to do is block out your golden hour in your diary so no one books any meetings with you during that time.
Explain to your manager why you want to use this time solely for BD and show them the research you’ve done as proof so they understand and can support you.
To ensure you maximise every minute of your golden hour, organise your target lists beforehand so you have enough prospects to last the entire hour and don’t waste vital time looking for contacts to call next.
Keep in mind that industries and prospects do change, so your golden hour today might not be the same in a year’s time. Keep tracking your data, and if you notice your golden hour is becoming less productive, try something else.
Learning your golden hour is just one part of updating your sales strategy in recruitment. The below eBook will show you how to freshen up your BD strategy and make the most of your business development efforts.
David is a Senior Growth Outreach Specialist at Firefish. After working as a 360 recruiter, he loves innovating recruitment with Firefish Software.