In all my years of selling I still believe that timing is the most critical success factor in changing a customer from using someone else's product to using yours, or to start using yours. Last week I cold called a company for the first time, and after a few attempts got through to the owner, and just managed to time it right. He had in the back of his mind that he really needed to source a supplier for a particular product which we supply. He knew he had to do it, but hadn't yet taken the step towards making it happen. This is perfect timing.

In other instances calls like this have coincided with the customer being annoyed at their incumbent supplier over some small indiscretion. A call from a competing supplier at this time can just tip them to change.

Many times when I talk with glass and window companies they want to grow their business, and most have made some contact with their competitors customers, but few have regular contact. Few exploit the opportunity of timing. The key benefits of a regular calling plan are to exploit the opportunity for timing, and also to make it easy for the customer to change should they decide to – its always easier to change from someone you know to someone else you also know.

When was the last time you or your reps were proactive in making contact with your competitors 5 largest customers?