Credit: Doug Ross

Rick Edwards, owner of Custom Patio Rooms, in Pittsburgh, once had a sunroom salesperson who belonged to the Seventh Day Adventist church. That religion forbids its members to work on Saturdays. “So we gave him a steady diet of Sunday leads,” Edwards says, which the rep used to produce some $3 million in sales.

But even some of the best salespeople prefer not to work on Sundays. “I never have,” says Kip Lee, owner of The Window Man and More, in Savannah, Ga., “unless I was forced by someone.” When that happened, Lee says he figured out that “80% of Sunday leads could have been run on another day.” Some prospects consider it less than respectful to do business on Sunday. They are the ones, Lee says, “who want to know what church I go to before they will do business with me.”

DAY OF REST For many companies, the advantage of running leads on Sundays is simply that all buying parties are likely to be home. The drawbacks: Salespeople often want the day off, and some homeowners consider Sunday to be the one day of the week free from commercial activity.

“We give homeowners the opportunity not to have the appointment on Sunday,” says Vince Nardo, president of Reborn Cabinets, in Anaheim, Calif. But with more people working longer hours, those who staff the Reborn Cabinets call center more often hear that prospects are only home on Saturdays and Sundays.

But, among the salesforce, Sundays are the least popular day to run leads. Typically, Nardo says, the company runs about 25 to 27 appointments per day, but on Sundays it runs about seven. “We respect [our sales reps'] beliefs,” he says. “If they want that day off, they get it off.”

Lindus Construction, in Baldwin, Wis., doesn't even ask salespeople to work on Sundays. “My guys are busting their butts six days a week,” says sales and marketing director Andy Lindus. “That's enough. A salesman has to keep his sanity.” The more aggressive reps use that day to catch up on paperwork.

SHOW ME But if reps get Sundays off from running leads, many companies still require that they work home shows or man the showroom on Sundays. Lindus Construction, for instance, requires its sales staff to work 14 home shows a year, including Sundays. Edwards — an owner who also sells — says that he “enjoys” selling on Sundays because they're free of distractions. “I just sold one a couple of weeks ago,” he says. “It was the only day the [homeowners] had available to see me.”