It's 5PM Do You Know Where Your Best Sales People Are?


I'm with you, in recent years it's been tougher and tougher to get through to DM's (decision makers) to schedule that first appointment.  In some cases it's taken me a hundred plus calls and many years of trying to get the DM on the phone.  The good thing about the 100 plus calls is that by the time I do get the DM on the phone they definitely know what I'm calling about.

Gatekeepers are better than ever, and the thought of potential phone scams keep them vigilant in their quest to not let you through.

There's much talk in sales about building relationships and that's all well and good as long as you can make contact with the DM. You can't start or build that relationship until you've made first contact.

You can't sell everyone is something you always here in sales, and I believe it's the same for building relationships. Not everyone you meet or greet is going to want to build a business relationship.  Thus it's the numbers game that can really increase your opportunities and your potential business relationships.

So where are your best sales people after 5PM?

1) They're still out in the field making cold calls!  One thing that I've noticed is that many gatekeeper leave in between 4:30PM - 5PM.  If you're in the field making calls after 5PM, it's a good shot the doors will still be open.  Most likely you'll trip over the DM as you scout your way around the office to find someone.

Instead of starting your day at 8AM.  Why not start your day at 9AM and work still 6PM, with the last two hours of the day dedicated to calling on those that you can't land the DM on the phone. It makes sense right?

2) Other sales peeps are attending and working at charity events.  There's nothing better than meeting that influential person while they're volunteering their time for a great cause.  Remember the six foot question? That's when you get within six feet of someone that you strike up a conversation and one of your questions is "where do work"? Of course then continue the conversation asking about what their roll is within that company.

3) Still at their desk or parked in a parking (by the beach) lot trying to squeeze in a couple of extra calls on their cell phones after 5PM.  You just never know who will pick up the phone.  Think, if this were your business, wouldn't you be working whenever and wherever you can? 

4) Continuing their education with reading sales books and or learning more about their industry. The web is a great tool because it's open 24 hours a day.  It's those rainy weekends that can give you a great kickstart to the week.  Been there and done that.

5) Continuing education not for sales people but for Professionals such as attorneys, architects, engineers, surveyors.  Each month these associations meet to deliver educational courses to their members so that they can stay up to date for state requirements.  Most associations will accept speakers (as long as they pay for booze or dinner) allow you to speak for 15 minutes and maybe have a small table.

6) Some are even sending emails late into the night.  Can't sleep, nothing will get a DM's attention more than an email sent at 2AM.  That DM can only wish they had that sales person with their company.

It's more about doing the extra work than it is about having fancy lines, trinkets or lame cold call gimmicks.  You need to be where the DM's (decision makers) are and interact with them. Not every stop in will generate a lead or build a relationship.  But from years of experience I can tell you that being in front the DM's if much better than not.

-=Good Selling=-

Special thanks to our friends at Polek & Polek for sponsoring tonight's blog, please make sure you check out their site and their awesome products for copiers



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Great post Art! I’ve got a team of young reps (23-27) and preach this to them on the regular. I’m hoping the same words but from an industry vet like yourself sink in.

Thanks and hopefully one day before you hang up your fuser belt we can grab a cup of coffee and shake hands!


We’re celebrating our 50th anniversary in a new location! See my email signature for the new address!

T. Michael Laverty Jr.
Business Development Manager
Colony Business Systems
155 N. Donnerville Rd.
Mountville, PA 17554
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That is so true. I think back at all the DM’s I’ve met in their office after 5. One I can think of in particular was a church who was a Toshiba direct customer. I was leaving a chamber event (about an hour from home) and saw lights on. I stopped in and the office manager happened to be there. We talked for a few minutes and hit it off. She asked me why I was still out prospecting in the evening etc. 

They still had about a year left on their lease and as we got closer to term and I had continued to follow up, about a year out she told me don’t worry, when the lease is coming up your writing the contract for a new machine. Sure enough about a month before term she called me and said go ahead and write me a lease for a 55ppm color with all the goodies. Since then we’ve implemented a second machine, some mobile print software and more accessories and gone through almost 2 5 year terms. She still talks about the day I stopped in at 7pm to call on her and how she never heard from her Toshiba folks at all until the lease was up and our machine was already in place. 


Another story for another time, but after we placed the first machine Toshiba started telling her all kinds of lies about how we were using the church’s name in our advertising without her knowing etc. For a year all they did was come back and lie. Now no matter when someone stops by “she just signed a new 5 year agreement”