How To Call Leads Back

How do you call a lead back? Leads are different from a cold call, in that they’ve already expressed interest, whether they’ve submitted a request for more information after seeing an advertisement, or they’ve expressly said they’re interested post cold-email or social media direct message. 

What NOT to do on this first call is assume that the lead is going to be ready to purchase from you because they’ve expressed interest in whatever way that they did. Jumping into your solution and how to get started without first finding out if you can even help them is a great way to scare off your leads! It’s not guaranteed that they’ll purchase from you whatsoever. Rather, go into the first conversation calm and neutral, ready for a conversation that seeks to determine if working together is a good fit rather than assuming they already think so. A lead is certainly more interested than a random cold call as they have responded to some type of ad or message, but your attitude in finding out more about them and what they might be looking for will by far help them open up to discuss the challenges and problems they are looking to solve.


Begin by asking what’s called a connecting question, such as this:

Hey_____, this is just _____ (your name). You recently responded to one of our ads about possibly looking for ________ (plug-in what you sell) and I just had time to get back to you to see if I could help. Is this an appropriate time?

Then, if they say it is, ask “Have you found what you’re looking for or are you still looking?” This helps you find out if they have already found a solution and if so, you might be wasting your time and theirs’. You can almost always assume that they’re still looking and not much has changed since they expressed interest (especially if you call within the week), but it’s good to ask regardless. That way, the tone immediately shows that you’re simply seeing if there’s still a problem to be solved and if you can help.

After the lead answers, the question and they are still looking –  your second connecting question would be: “I was curious what it was about the ad/message / email that had attracted your attention?” 

This puts the focus off of you as the salesperson, and onto them – the potential customer – within the first sixty seconds of the call. The lead starts to tell you, but more importantly tell themselves, why they are looking. This first part is important because the more they can state out loud why they want your service or product, the more they’re convincing themselves. It’s reaffirming what they’re looking for and why they were curious about what you have to offer. It also reminds them why they were interested in the first place – they have to mentally return to the moment they saw the ad, and think through what motivated them to request more information and give their phone number for a phone call. 

Once the lead has answered, add the question, “Was there anything else that attracted you?” There may have been something else that they didn’t share when you first asked the question – such as the fact they had heard about your company previously, or because there’s a new problem unfolding in their company or personal lives that may need your help. Always open up the opportunity for more explanation by asking more questions, because the more you know about why they need you, the more you can help them see that they need your product or service.

You can also ask the lead what’s called a probing question, such as, “Can you tell me more about that?” or, “Why is that important to you?” to understand the exact circumstances and motivators that led them to express interest. 

Another possibility is, “What were you hoping could happen from this call today?” Let them tell you exactly what their best case scenario is in moving forward with you. 

Remember to take diligent notes as they answer these questions, as the more you repeat back what they’re saying, the more they’ll feel that you understand them. These questions frame the conversation and help you meet the lead where they are in the sales cycle. It also helps the lead come face-to-face with their reasons for requesting information, reminding them more about their pain points and needs rather than going through the phone call just to get information.



Once you have a firm grasp on why the lead expressed interest, begin to ask questions about what particularly their company does, to better understand if you can, in fact, help them. Treat this like a casual dialogue where you’re both simply getting information on if it’s a match between the two of you. And, it shows you’re putting in the effort to actually care – which you should. 

Make sure you ask what are called situation questions, that find out their present situation, such as: 

-Can I ask which company do you use now?

-How long have you used that service / that company?

-Why did you get involved with their services?


Based on their answers, see if there’s a way you can solve their problem better than the current vendor they are using now. And keep in mind, they responded to one of your company’s ads, so there must be some dissatisfaction in what they are using now if they expressed interest already. They wouldn’t be interested or curious unless there was some gap that needed to be filled, or they were considering moving to a different company or service.

To recap, here is the list of what to do on a call when phoning a lead who has expressed interest:

  1. State who you are.
  2. State where you’re from.
  3. Note the ad they’d responded to, and remind them that they expressed interest and gave their phone number for a phone call. 
  4. Ask if this is an appropriate time that they can talk. 
  5. Understand why they expressed interest in the ad.
  6. Understand their present situation through a series of Connecting and Situation questions.