Leads on Holidays

November 2006

It is Thanksgiving Day, and you take a break from watching football to check your computer, only to find that two new leads have come in. The leads say you can contact them at any time. Do you call them on Thanksgiving Day, or do you wait until Friday (or even Monday) and possibly lose business? Why?

If they are contacting me on Thanksgiving, then they are ready to talk. I’m contacting them immediately ... unless it is Alabama playing football, then they will just have to be patient until after the game.—Edwin Dawson, President, Light SO Bright, Gadsden, AL

I would e-mail them a response and say that I didn’t want to bother them on the holiday, but that I was very interested in talking to them at their earliest convenience. This way they know you’re interested but they are not obligated to spend their holiday time trying to contact you. Also it puts the ball back in their court.—Anonymous

Fax right then and call on Friday. If faxed, they have a choice to read it if they are at work, or on the next business day when they return. Then make a follow-up phone call to start to personalize the opportunity, and at least leave a voice mail message.—Glenn Burley, President, Drywall Connections, Inc., Littleton, CO

Rule of thumb is you never bother someone on a holiday. The job isn’t going anywhere overnight. Wait ... or better yet, send an e-mail saying you’re in receipt of their message and you will be in touch, thanks for the opportunity, look forward to talking with you, have a nice holiday.—Anonymous

I would acknowledge my interest in the projects with a quick, short and casual e-mail sending holiday wishes first and then stating my looking forward to discussing on Monday.—David E. Chokey, Officer, Sharp Interiors, Inc., South Bend, IN

I return the e-mail and give them my cell number and tell them they can call [me] anytime and leave a message. I can return the call the following day and still look good. I can make a return call to make an appointment to meet Friday or Monday.—Anonymous

No calls on holidays because we don’t want to bite off more than we can chew, especially on Thanksgiving Day.—Mike Dude, President, Pro General Contractors LLC, Walla, WA

Call Monday unless you are deer hunting like I will be.—Anonymous

I’d check to see when they were sent to me first. If they were sent on the holiday, then the customer doesn’t mind doing a bit of business on a holiday and may be busy later on so I would call them right away. If it was sent before the holiday, I would wait until the next non-holiday day.—Matthew Banks, President, Matt’s Insulation Ltd., Lower Kingsclear, NB

Call Thanksgiving Day.—Beatrice Klash- Jeffries, Owner, Jeffries WaterProofing, Inc., Cherry Hill, NJ

Absolutely not! The fact that contact has been established indicates a willingness to conduct business. A quick response shows one’s resolve to work in all aspects to accommodate an early contract, and portrays the same willingness to perform the required subcontract duties in the same manner.—Anonymous

Thanksgiving is a time for family. 1) You should take a break from the usual rush-rush to recharge. 2) The customer lead will also be spending time with family (and watching football). He may be a little irritated at being contacted during his recharge time also. Happy Thanksgiving!—M. Lee, Production Manager, Tom Centella Drywall, Inc., Spring Hill, FL

Check time and date [of message received]. Send e-mail ASAP and call Friday morning!!!—Anonymous

Call Friday morning, leave a message if possible. Follow up on Monday morning. "Contact anytime” should be limited to normal business hours, and holidays should be observed as such. I would be more concerned about losing the opportunity by interrupting a family holiday than waiting until the next "business day.”—Dallas Fountain, Wake Forest Acoustical Corporation, Wake Forest, NC

People have different feelings on doing business on the holidays so I try to respect them. The only time I will call contacts on Thanksgiving or any other holiday is if I know the person (or if I don’t know them and they tell me in person to call). If it would mean losing business, then that’s the way it is.—Dave Mertz, Owner, Drywall, Plaster and Other Interiors, Quarryville, PA

Call them immediately. Most likely you will get a voice mail on Thanksgiving Day anyway, and your reply phone call will be available for review as soon as possible.—David Wareham, President, Wareham Properties Elm Grove, WI

Respect the occasion or you shall never be respected. Wait until Friday.—Anonymous

I would respond with an e-mail that I will be in contact with them on Friday morning. If it has to be handled on Thanksgiving day, then most likely I would let it go. If someone had been such a procrastinator that they waited until Thanksgiving Day to handle their business, you probably are better off not to take the job anyway.—Craig Scoggins, Vice President, O’Neal Drywall Inc., Smyrna, GA

Considering the season and the fact that this is one of the largest "Family Days” of the year, I’d wait until at least Friday, and if necessary leave a callback number for the weekend. If it is a true "emergency,” I will contact them at once, but not for just a lead.—Glen Riffe, Denver Drywall, Colorado Springs, CO

You wait until Friday to call them since 99.9% of companies will be closed for Thanksgiving and you don’t want to bother them during a holiday. If you get no answer on Friday, then you leave a message, if possible, to show your interest, and then call them first thing Monday.—Anonymous

Call them back immediately. If it was so important for them to call on Thanksgiving, it is of utmost importance to them. A customer waits on no one.—Anonymous

I would wait till Monday. Why? I believe in family time. At Designer Stucco we don’t advertise so it would be a good lead.—Alain Rosellini, Owner, Designer Stucco, Broken Arrow, OK

Someone who would call on a lead on Thanksgiving Day must be very hungry for more work. If you are that hungry, then your business is having much more serious trouble than needing another job. You’d better look at the whole picture.—Anonymous

If it came in on my computer, it was probably an e-mail or fax. I will make sure they have my phone numbers in my reply, and let them know that I will be in touch after the holiday.—Anonymous

Yes, I will call on Thanksgiving or any time for a job.—Rene Gunera, Owner, Rene-Deco, Washington, DC

You respond to the e-mail early on Friday morning. This lets the contact know that there are some things that are more important than work. Anyone who does not respect the idea of "Thanksgiving” and family time is not someone I would wish to do business with anyway.—Anonymous

In this day and age there are too few days to spend quality time with family and friends. I would not call on Thanksgiving Day, but would wait til Friday. Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year and most everyone is in the buying mood.—Linda Adams, Designer, Commercial Interiors, Texarkana, AR

Call now. Be thankful that you live in a country that’s as blessed as ours is.—Anonymous

Wait until Monday. Most people aren’t going to be in their office anyway.—Anonymous

Monday! Can’t a company close for a holiday without feeling guilty?—Anonymous

I would call Friday or Monday unless the lead specifically states that contact on the holiday is permitted or even desired. Otherwise I would respect the personal privacy of the lead’s contact and his/her family. Besides, what could be so critical that it couldn’t wait a day? We are not talking about production in progress, but a lead that probably has some lead time attached to it. Finally, when I am putting out a bid, I allow adequate lead times and would certainly not encourage or require bidders to contact me on a holiday, nor would I be positively inclined if they did.—Stephanie Cox, Lead Estimator, R&R Plaster, Escondido, CA

Even though the invite to bid states that you can call anytime. The proper thing to do is to wait until the next working day, which would be Friday, with a follow-up call on Monday. This would be done just purely as a professional courtesy, as you are not aware of family matters that the contact maybe involved in, and that the contact should be aware that the same is true for the invited.—Anonymous

Wait until Monday. No one in the commercial construction industry is working on Thanksgiving weekend. There is a time and place for everything. This holiday is about family.—Restoration Specialist, Inc., Broomfield, CO

I would call the customer immediately and ask them if they wanted to discuss the matter immediately or if they would prefer to have a discussion after the holiday. Business is business. The customer is #1.—Lisa Taumuli, Floor Technologies of Hawaii

I would wait until Friday to call. It seems like common sense that when someone says "call anytime” it doesn’t mean on Thanksgiving, just as it wouldn’t mean to call them at 3 a.m.—Anonymous

When you own your own company, you always take advantage for new customers and at least touch base with a courtesy call. If this were a previous customer you could give it some time, but with new customers, contact those as soon as they request it.—Anonymous

Monday. Let them enjoy the holiday.—Anonymous

The leads say that you can contact them at any time. It is best to contact them the next business day. If you lose the business, you probably would have problems with a potential customer who was inconsiderate enough to contact you on Thanksgiving Day and expect to do business with you. Most customers would not be that rude or demanding.—LA "Laddy” Dale, Dale Enterprising Inc.

You should wait until Friday. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and enjoy time with your family. Work can wait another day.—Anonymous

Contact them immediately. It shows them that business is important to you and if you can take the time to respond on a holiday, just think what kind of service they will get!!!!—Anonymous

I would wait until Monday! Because there are a lot of things in life that can be replaced, but true holiday family time can never be replaced! Happy Turkey Day!—Reggie Pugh, Superior Drywall Hard Rock Construction, Rockford, IL