When Warm Leads Go Cold

Posted on April 24th, 2024 to Uncategorized

Let’s talk about what to do when a warm lead goes cold. 

I recently received a question from a brilliant founder at the Sales Roundtable, and it’s worth sharing because it’s such a common and important one:

How do you handle a warm lead who isn’t consistently responsive and has been unable to answer questions about the budget?

Click play on the video — or, read on!

Let’s set the scene:

You have a conversation with a warm lead with whom you have a relationship. There’s great energy and excitement about working together — but then they go radio silent (or kick the can down the road).

If you’ve found yourself here, I first want to share that 9.9/10 of the time, it’s not about you — you didn’t say or do anything wrong.

Remember, your buyer wouldn’t have engaged you if they didn’t think you have what it takes to address their challenges, especially if they’re a warm lead.

Knowing this, let’s focus on the secret to getting really good at B2B sales: Your job is far less about convincing your champion you’ve got what it takes to help them, and much more about spending time supporting them to get internal buy-in and jump through all the hoops it’s going to take to get to contract. 

Remember: It’s not likely you — it’s more likely them!

It could be that there’s internal politics at play. 

Perhaps leadership is on a different page than your champion. 

There may be competing priorities, and your champion may need help identifying which one to tackle first. 

You can’t possibly know! So your goal is to find out what’s going to get in their way and help them solve for it — sooner rather than later. 

During your sales conversations, you can ask:

“I’m curious; is there anything that might get in the way of us working together on this?”

They may say no, which is great. 

Or, they may reveal that people internally see the problem differently and have competing opinions about which solution is best. 

Not great, but helpful, because now you can strategize how to address those tensions with your champion. 

While your client might not share everything, you’re much more likely to uncover the potential roadblocks by asking the question.

Got a lead that’s gone cold? Don’t worry, I got you.

This approach has proven to work well for my clients: 

“Hey, I’m just checking in. I really enjoyed our initial conversations around this. 

I heard you say that you’re [insert challenges the client is having] and that [specific type of support] is the type of support you need. We haven’t been able to get that off the ground, and I’d like to know if it’s worth a conversation about what you’re running into over there?

I’m curious if there are ways I can support you through it. Would you like to schedule 30 minutes later this week to chat?”

We can make the mistake of thinking that what happens inside that organization regarding decision-making and objections isn’t our business until they bring it to our attention. 

That couldn’t be farther from the truth — we must make it our business because that’s what makes or breaks the sale. Period.

Asking these questions and tuning into the tensions that might get in the way of the deal is a required skill for founders who want to get really good at selling premium services B2B.

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