What do you say to a naked lead?

Got your attention? That’s the power of a good opening question.

Conventional wisdom says you have 30 seconds to get your point across – how you’ve helped others, your longevity, etc. Otherwise you’ll experience the death of a lead through interrogation: “How much are you looking to buy? When? Are YOU the decision maker?”

If you’re a lucky salesperson getting leads from your marketing team, then it’s important to nurture those leads to make the transition from general interest to engagement. Whether I get a phone call or am making a phone call out to a lead I’ve been given, I do the following:

First, I get my name and brand out there, and remind the prospect that I’m following up on their inquiry (obviously not for a phone in).

Second, listen – prospects will often jump right into what they care about and you have to listen, and listen carefully – not for an opportunity to take over, but to see if what they say helps you assess their need and qualify the lead.

If they are slow to start (or after they’ve spoken), I’ll ask “What prompted your interest?” This gets them talking about why they’re considering solutions like yours. “Was it a problem you’re addressing, a new initiative, etc.?” With one open question you get them talking.