You know that lead has been in your pipeline for too long. It seemed so promising, though. The potential client was excited about your product and seemed ready to make the deal. And then…

Nothing.

Some encouraging leads just seem to disappear, with no response to emails or returned calls. Unfortunately, it’s an inevitable component that’s part of every sales setting – the dead lead. But before you start planning the funeral (removing the lead from your pipeline), there are some strategies you can utilize to see if resuscitation is possible.

The following are some steps you can take to bring those dead leads back to life:

Determine Why the Lead Went Cold

You have to be able to answer the question of why the lead went cold in order to know if it’s truly a lost cause, or it demands another try. Make an attempt to talk to your lead in person, as this conversation is best done face-to-face. The trick is getting the lead to give you an honest answer. When most people turn down a sales deal they try to do so politely, and sometimes that means that they give a stock answer as to why they don’t need your product or service. They may say something like, “It’s bad timing,” or “The budget is too tight.”

Uncovering the real reason may be as easy as asking some open-ended questions that will help move them in the right direction. After talking about the reason that they have given, you may be able to segue the conversation and ask something like, “When you think about the ideal (product/service), what would have to be improved or modified in your current (product/service)?”

Reconnect with New Content

Resuscitation of dead leads is a delicate balancing act. You want to keep yourself in the forefront of your lead’s mind, but you don’t want to annoy them. You may be able to achieve this with the content you send. Sending timely and useful content will remind your lead that you have value to offer, and it may prompt your lead to respond. If you are using a CRM solution – which you should definitely be doing – then you should have some useful notes about your lead that will help you create the right content.

You can also utilize content to reconnect if your lead is a connection on LinkedIn by posting relevant content and sending them a quick message about it. That keeps you top of mind but isn’t over the top pressure. And it may be doubly beneficial because you may uncover new prospects with your content as well.

The goal is to be a resource rather than a salesperson.

Send Emails That Will Get a Response

The key here is not to send just any email, you want to send an email that will get a response from your lead. One type of email that is likely to prompt a response is the 9-Word Email that was created for the real estate industry but is applicable to all sales. The goal is to ask a question in around nine words and leave it at that. An example is, “Are you still looking to invest in a CRM?” That’s it. Short and sweet – and it works. In an article on SEMGeeks’ blog, author Pete Schauer says, “The reason why the above question works is because it’s not pushy, it engages the customer in conversation and it focuses on a need. This means that the email is much more likely to solicit a response. And isn’t that the goal of sending out emails?”

Use Trigger Events Strategically

A trigger event is anything that signals a buying opportunity. When a salesperson is able to identify trigger events and act upon them promptly with a dead lead, it could result in a closed sale and a loyal customer. Some common trigger events are:

  • Product updates
  • Executive change
  • Company expansion
  • Internal promotion
  • Competitor’s contract expiration
  • Quarter with financial losses

Sales expert, Alen Mayer says, “Every change in the business environment causes a search for new suppliers or new service providers, and your main goal is to be in front of qualified buyers when they are ready to buy,” in his article, What are Trigger Events and How to Use Them.

It isn’t impossible to bring leads back from the dead. You just have to have patience, persistence, and the right set of circumstances.

Jami Deloe