13-Oct-2010 11:40

In business - does timing matter?

We all experience, at one time or another, problems.

Whether problems arise in your business, socially; perhaps around a relationship or in general life, you may be left wondering whether things could have been quite different if your timing had been better…

Many in the business world believe that timing is everything.

Let's illustrate this with a few common, everyday situations…

You arrive at the station at 7:07 instead of 7:03 and your train will leave without you.

You miss an important phone call, you could lose a deal.

You hesitate over signing a contract and your competitor may beat you to the punch.

Timing even affects professional sportsmen - delay your cricket stroke and your stumps are uprooted... Mistime a tackle on the pitch and you could be shown the 'red card'…

Performing actions, however insignificant, at the appropriate point in time may have a major impact on your success or otherwise.

It's all in the timing...

A report I recently read in a telecoms trade magazine, appears to have proven that the optimum time to send out e-mails, make phone calls, and successfully connect with your clients is midweek and mid afternoon. Apparently, mid-afternoon & midweek is when responsibilities are somewhat reduced and people are increasingly receptive to, & possibly welcome, diversions from their work.

So what can we extrapolate from this?

Well, can we learn that if you are about to launch a product, market your new service, or simply send out or plan an e-mail campaign, you should put yourself in your client's shoes to ensure you time it just right…

For example:
1. Seasonal Marketing: Many products have a specific season. Fans & air-con systems are mainly required in the summer, not winter; toys & personal gadgets are often targeted around the holidays.
By focusing on your client and the market's needs, then your 'marketing timeline' will naturally follow.

2. Punctuality: Suppliers, agents, salesmen, interviewees, who arrive on time for meetings and interviews always make a favorable impression. However, late arrivers need to work far harder to gain favour and recover lost ground…

3. Technology: As we are well aware, new technology changes rapidly. Keeping your business, computers and phone systems in the updated & efficient will maintain your competitive edge.

4. Dress codes: Be sure to dress right for each occasion. Tuxedos are normally for weddings, t-shirts & shorts are for picnics, time-off and the beach. Each item of clothing has a place and time. At certain times you may need to dress to impress; at other times, you 'may' need to dress down to put your customers and clients at ease.

So, the question remains, how do you determine proper 'timing' in business?

Obviously many factors and situations influence this decision, but much has to do with your client relationship.
If you are fortunate and enjoy a solid connection with your customers and have your finger on the pulse of your target market, you'll know what they want and need - now.
Last month, last week, something may have been vital - this month, this week, today, it may be old news.
Don't miss your chance.
Keep in touch with your clients, find out their requirements and figure out a way to support them and to fulfill them with the correct & suitable products and services.

So remember, if your timing is 'out' and you are too early or too late, you could lose out big-time.

Timing can be really important: your creative ideas and inspiration are vital to your success, but employed at the wrong time, they may prove a real shame and waste of energy.

From my own (limited) experience may I suggest: utilise the gift of time to open your world - both business and social - to invaluable, possibly life-changing opportunities.

Best of luck!!

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Contributed by Rachel A. Longley on 14-Oct-2010 17:01
Especially with lead follow up, timing is everything.
I read an interesting MIT study on the topic:

In terms of marketing, I would say there is definitely a seasonal swing.
Sometimes the month or season will impact the success of an email campaign.
My company had an extremely successful email one year that was thanksgiving themed?!?!
It is funny that even though we are a B2B company that something like this would draw people's attention.
It was one of our most successful campaigns.

Sometimes it can be unpredictable.
I would be curious to see if another thanksgiving themed email would do well this year.

Did anyone else have a similar experience?
Contributed by SimplyFone Blogger on 13-Oct-2010 19:23
...& importantly the product or service must be 'right' for the purchaser.
Contributed by Paul John Castle on 13-Oct-2010 19:22

I think timing is everything.

To make a sale you need to get a tick in all of the following six boxes:-
4.Believe 5.Understand and
6. the Timing has to be right
Contributed by David Ramacitti on 13-Oct-2010 14:24
As marketers we can plan until the cows come home, producing detailed projections and target market analyses, developing and implementing multiple media promotional and advertising campaigns, but if our timing is off --- think of Ford and the Edsel.

Timing is one of those wonderful imponderables that makes marketing so interesting and frustrating. It is the edge that entrepreneurs have, being willing to jump early, even when things aren't certain, in order to be ahead of the curve.

Dave Ramacittiu
Contributed by Koshy SAMUEL - Strathclyde MBA on 13-Oct-2010 12:40
In business - timing is something for sure..
Contributed by Gary Golden on 13-Oct-2010 12:39
There are many types of business where timing is everything, or hitting a target market with just the right gimmick or product and again at the right time.
Don't you wish your products or services were picked up by the right people, like CNN or some other major news network and marketed just because they thought it was unique or something like that. I have seen them pick-up some of the dumbest things at times.

Custom Website Design and Development:
Contributed by Andy Preston on 13-Oct-2010 12:38

Good article.

I'd disagree with the 'sending times' people have told you, but your point about timing is spot on!

Timing is important for sales opportunities, meetings, proposals - in fact, almost everything!

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