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Three Vital Questions To Ask Leads

Woman on phone to lead.

What’s the most crucial part of the first conversation with a potential new lead? Many sales professionals would say it’s the first 10 minutes. Here are three things that you should be asking about in the first 10 minutes of any sales call…

  1. What would make this call the best use of your time?

Any version of this question, which at once stresses the importance of the lead’s time and gives them the opportunity to ask their own questions, is a good opener. It directly engages the lead and doesn’t involve you talking at them until they find an opportunity to politely escape. You are demonstrating that you are there to find a solution for them. The call is about their challenges and pain points, not about you selling a product or service (although of course it is). It’s all about building trust, which can make the biggest difference when it comes to qualifying leads.

  1. May I ask what your purchasing process is?

This is a polite way of finding out whether the person you are talking to is actually the one who has the power to make purchasing decisions. If they are, this is a great jumping off point for you to demonstrate what value you can offer their business. If they aren’t, you could waste precious minutes on what could turn out to be a fruitless interaction. Rather than the call be a complete waste, this can give you a valuable opportunity to find out the key contact you need to be talking to and perhaps even set up a joint meeting right there and then.

  1. I’ve spotted that your company is looking to upgrade, is that right?

Any variation on this crucial question (relevant to the research you have actually done on their company) heads the conversation off down the right path. Notably, how and why you are exactly the right person to help them to upgrade/expand/change/improve. It also gets them talking, and leads to plenty of follow up questions.

Of course, everyone has their own tactics for lead generation. However you approach it, the crucial goals to aim at for the first 10 minutes are to build trust, get the lead talking about their business challenges and make sure that your time is being well spent.

What else you should be doing in 10 minutes…calling leads back.

Just as crucial as what you say during a sales call is when you actually make the approach. An important Lead Response Management Survey by found that the chances of contacting a lead if called in 5 minutes compared to half an hour drop 100 times. The chances of qualifying a lead drops 21 times if left 20 minutes rather than 5 before calling back. Meanwhile research by reveals that only 27% of interested leads ever get contacted at all, demonstrating the millions of opportunities businesses are missing. The takeaway from this is always to call, and call within 10 minutes!

Tailor Made Media are specialists in lead generation. For advice, strategy and lead gen services that really do reap tangible results, contact the team today on 01904 501600 or drop us an email at