How To Turn Warm Leads Hot

A major misunderstanding amongst some entrepreneurs is that warm leads translate to sales at a significantly higher rate than a cold prospect would. While it makes sense — they’ve already made their interest in your product or service known — the numbers show that it’s unfortunately not quite true.

Bear City Impact wrote that for warm leads, “depending on the industry, average conversion rates fall somewhere between 2% and 10%.” Your job is far from over just because someone expressed interest. 

Actually scheduling those warm leads for an appointment once you get them on the phone is your real chance to shine. Here are some do’s and don’ts that can spell the difference between a lost and a converted warm lead. 

1. Don’t Be Assumptive Right Out Of The Gate

It’s worth restating that just because the lead has expressed interest in your product or service does not mean that they’re going to be an easier sale than a cold prospect. You still have to put in the work. One of the worst avenues you can take here is to be assumptive the moment you get onto the call. The prospect will be able to feel the expectation in the assumption, which will come across as pushy and likely make the prospect wish they had never expressed interest in the first place. 

Ways to be assumptive include rushing to close the sale, especially when conversations around the price haven’t been had yet. Brian Kavicky writes on Lushin, “Move conversations about money, budgets, and price earlier in the conversation, so the prospect is forced to talk about it. The best time to have the conversation is somewhere shortly after we have found their compelling reasons to use us or buy from us, and before we tell them if and how we can help them. You must qualify that the prospect is both willing and able to spend money on you before you tell them how.”


Unless you expressly state your price on your landing pages or your ads and are 110% sure that the lead had to have seen the price before getting on the phone with you, it’s best to treat these calls in the same way you would a cold prospect who has no idea how you’re priced.

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2. Ask Emotional Questions

We know that most purchasing decisions are rooted in emotion rather than in logic. But, few salespeople incorporate emotional questions into their sales calls. This is a mistake. Edric Zheng, the founder of MedicalPatientReferrals, which helps physical therapists scale their practices, shared that it’s not hard to get a warm lead. But the conversion is another animal entirely. He teaches his physical therapist clients to ask emotional questions, such as, “How is your pain affecting your life?” before booking the appointment.

“You have to understand their pain to make sure it’s a good fit,” explained Zheng. He additionally coaches his staff to repeat back everything the patient says to make them feel heard and validated. For example, if a patient says something like, “My lower back pain has become so severe that I can no longer garden, which is my favorite thing to do,” the patient liason would reply with, “I understand that this pain is taking a toll on what you love most to do.” Zheng went on, “this emphasis on the pain shines awareness on the problem, which creates more urgency to fix what’s happening.” 

Do the same in your conversations by asking questions such as, “How is this problem affecting you?” The more that you can get the prospect to talk about their problem, the more they’ll feel emotionally compelled to fix it. 

3. Follow Up — With Details

Many won’t proceed with booking an appointment on that first call, which is why the follow-up is so important. Find some way to continuously get in front of them. Laura Licursi urged on Elite Virtual Assistants to “follow up with a personal phone call followed by a personal email within 24 hours of your interaction (only 24% of automated sales emails are opened).” Make sure to be detailed on these phone calls, referring to the pain or problem that they had mentioned. This could look like this: “Hello, just calling back to see if you would like to move forward with scheduling that first appointment so we can help to generate some warm leads into your sales funnel.” Remind them of their emotional resonance with the problem and solution that was discussed on the phone.

Licursi also suggested connecting with the prospect via LinkedIn and making sure to have their email address so you can send out a weekly or monthly newsletter with the latest happenings or new developments with your company. However you can get in front of them – do it. The “Rule of Seven” (the idea that prospects have to see something seven times to take an action) is an old adage, but it has some truth to it. Whatever it takes to make the ‘warm lead’ turn ‘hot’ and into a sale – your attention to detail, follow-through, and emotional resonance will do it.

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