Do You Know the Best Time to Present to that Must-​Win Account?

BY Kathy Crosett
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We have a pretty good idea of whether we’re owls or larks. Either you’re bleary-​eyed in the morning, or you catch fire after dinner. It’s one thing to know when you’ll be at your best for a sales presentation, but it’s even more important to know when you’re going to make the best impression on your audience.

Chris Matyszczyk has done a little research on the internal clock that runs most humans and he shared his thoughts recently in a column for Inc. Researchers have found that 10:00 a.m. is the best time for your brain in terms of feeling rested. Based on those details, Matyszczyk encourages you to get a 10:00 a.m. slot for your presentation. He equates a presentation to a performance. At 10:00 a.m., with your brain feels rested, you’ll be more likely to keep your audience engaged and entertained. Part of the performance includes being able to think on your feet. As the audience peppers you with questions, your brain can keep you going and focused.

In reality, the brain's power surge is likely to last from about 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Of course, the last thing you want to do is catch your audience after lunch. Those folks in the conference room who indulged in too many carbs at lunch might be fighting the need to drift off between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.

Every salesperson and audience is different. For example, if you’re selling a new line of liquor to the local bar, you’ll want to catch these folks when they are just starting their day. That might be at 4:00 p.m.

Matyszczyk makes a good point about presentation times. Think about when you have the most energy. Learn what you can about the key decision makers at the prospect’s site. If you are offered a presentation time that doesn’t work well for anyone’s best time of day, negotiate a different time slot. That strategy may be just enough to tip a final decision in your favor.