Tips For Starting A Conversation With A New Lead

Updated 2 months ago ​by Matt Bilotti

Need help starting a conversation with a lead?

Well you’ve come to the right place.

And let us start by saying this: we totally understand where you’re coming from.

Reaching out to someone can be intimidating. You don’t want to spook them. You don’t want to annoy them.

So here are three tips for starting a new conversation with a new lead.

How To Start A Conversation With A New Lead

Say Hi

I know I know. This one sounds so obvious, right? But people rarely do it.

You have to remember that a lead isn’t just an email address — they aren’t just a lead in your database somewhere or a conversation in Drift — they’re a real person just like you.

So reach out and say hey!

What would you say if you were waiting in line at a coffee shop or passing someone in the mall? You’d say hey. Reaching out to a lead is no different.

Be Human

There’s no better way to start a conversation than by showing you’re a real person too. Don’t try to be too formal or buttoned up – be yourself. Start a conversation. Try and get them talking. If you’re using Drift in Slack, we make this even easier for you.

Every time you get a new message, we give you as much information as we can about the person writing in. For anonymous visitors, you’ll be able to see the page they’re on, their location, IP address and local time:

And for people who’ve already identified or given you their email address (this is where it gets awesome) you’ll get enriched data for that contact, including their name, location, job and company information, links to their social profiles and more, like this:

You can use any of this information to have a better conversation with your new leads, like “Hey Matt – saw you’re on our pricing page. Anything I can help with?”

Figure Out Why They Signed Up

By far, the number one question you can ask a new lead is why they signed up.

These people are brand new. They just signed up. And in most cases, they are live on your website right now! This is when they are the most engaged. It’s rare that you’re ever going to get this level of attention and engagement from someone again without putting in a ton of effort, so now is the time to ask them why they signed up.

This is a key piece of information that basically dictates where things will go from here (and will help you have the best conversation possible).

For example, when we ask new leads why they signed up for Drift, they might say “we want to have better conversations with people on pricing page” — that tells us they probably want to use Drift for sales, and we can have a better conversation now that we know that.

Or they might say “we want to get more customer feedback” — that tells us they’re probably going to be using Drift inside of their product. Knowing that, we can have a better conversation and get them the answers they are looking for.

Other things you can ask:

  • What are you hoping to accomplish?
  • Do you have specific goals that you’re trying to hit?
  • How’d you hear about us?
  • Are you using [existing competitor/other solution/related product] today and looking to switch?
  • What’s the weather like today in Boston? 🙂

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is be a real person. Say hello and try and figure out why they became a lead in the first place so you can tailor the conversation to their needs.

To tie all of these together, here’s an example of the welcome email we send to people when they join our newsletter (this email has a ~40% response rate):

OK let’s get this out of the way.

Even though this is an automated email…

I just wanted to say hey and let you know that I’m a real person.

I’m Dave, and I lead marketing here at Drift. I might not know you personally yet, but I’m pumped that you’re here.

You have my word that we’ll be respectful of your inbox and only email you when we have some fresh new content or a big announcement that we want to tell you about.

One favor before I go: reply to this email and let me know why you signed up?

Would love to learn more about you.

Talk soon.
PS. If you want to read more about talking to leads and customers, here’s a blog post that might be helpful (and shows the importance of talking to customers).

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