A Proven 2-Step Method To Turn Dead Leads Into Customers

This is a guest post by Joel Fortner. He is a Small Business Marketing Coach and the creator behind Get Serve Keep.

Just because someone inquires about your product or service and then disappears doesn’t mean they’re not still interested.

It’s very common to mistaken a quiet lead for a dead one.

Selling, sales, email marketing
Don’t mistaken a quiet lead as a dead lead. Sometimes you just need to revive and bring it back to the surface.

The thing is people often inquire when they’re most interested and have time to think about what you offer and how it may help them.

So they email or call and then life happens. They get busy with stuff or distracted or even forget they ever inquired.

The worst thing you can do is write them off and say things like this. “They just must not be interested anymore,” or “If they really want it, they’ll inquire again.”

These statements come from not wanting to be salesy or pushy, or even a fear of rejection.

Don’t do this and instead take the lead.

Here are 2 tested and proven ways to revive leads:

1. The “tiny” email

It goes like this.

Keith – Are you still interested in ferrets?


That’s it. No more. No less. Send.

Now the tendency is to send a sleek-looking, well-crafted and well-intentioned email, pitching your product or service. Don’t do it. Why?

It comes across as salesy, like an ad, and impersonal.

Instead, send a plain text, tiny email in the form of a question.

2. Propose a specific day/time to chat

If your sales process involves talking with people, this tip is good for any lead, not just quiet ones.

That said, leads who have gone quiet may need a little more nurturing. So when they reply to your tiny email and say they’re still interested, propose a specific day and time to talk.

It looks like this.

Hi, Keith! Good to hear from you! Are you available to chat Monday at 3 pm ET? If you are, what’s a good number to reach you at?



This is superior to this alternative.

Hi, Keith! Good to hear from you! Let me know when you’re available to talk about the ferrets!



Leaving it up to them is not as effective because you’re putting work on them and asking them to figure it out. You want to make this as easy as possible at the time they open the email. That’s when they’re most likely to act.

So offer up a specific day and time. Then, all they have to do is check to see if they can do it or not. If they are, great! If they’re not, they’re more likely to see when they are available and respond to you because at that point they’re engaged in the process. That’s key.

I have used this 2-step method numerous times to revive leads and nurture the relationship to conversion. You can, too!

You can go deeper with marketing by downloading Joel’s free eBook, Small Business Guide to Marketing: Ideas You Must Know & Mistakes You Must Avoid, by subscribing to his marketing blog getservekeep.com.

Question: How do you keep leads alive? Share below!



Walk through your challenges with one of our coaches for FREE and see the difference a shift in mindset can make. 


Get more out of your business, your team, and yourself than you thought possible. Sign up to get free leadership tips and advice today.

Check Our Podcast


Sign up for weekly curated insights and frameworks from coaches, leaders, and business owners that help you take your business to the next level.

Posted in

Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

36 thoughts on “A Proven 2-Step Method To Turn Dead Leads Into Customers”

  1. Great post! I am definitely passing this one along in our business meeting tomorrow morning! Thanks Chris and Joel for helping me improve my business and build a stronger team!

  2. Thanks for this Joel – I’m going to use it with a few quiet leads this week. Great post! I struggle with not wanting to come off as pushy. I hate pushy, so I never ever want to come across that way. Thanks for the encouragement today. 🙂

  3. to your question, I try not to, let to much time pass by to follow up. The most I’ll let by is three weeks. Great post Joel and great job with your interview on HTYC too.

    1. Ah yes the infamous subject line. I’ve tested several things and I’m currently testing “First name – product/service.” For instance, if you inquired with me about marketing coaching and you went quiet, I’d follow up with “Louis – marketing coaching” in the subject line. So far I’m getting good results with this. I suggest testing different subject lines to see what works best for you.

      1. Louis Mars Patrick

        Okay, thats a great plan. Having developed a little bit of a dialogue with most of the leads I’m thinking of, I think I can craft a specific, but non-salesy subject line. Thanks!

          1. Louis Mars Patrick

            Man!! You wouldn’t believe it!! Sent THREE “salesy” follow up emails to a prospect in the past 6 weeks. The result? Nuthin. Sent this simple one to the same prospect yesterday. The result? She got back to me in less than 24hrs, and she’s still interested in doing business!! W-O-W!!
            Thanks Joel!!

  4. Great advice Joel! I need to start implementing this. I have tried to do the long email to people before with minimal luck. Anxious to see if this works better for me.

  5. Here’s a semi related question, I hope: what about with LinkedIN? Do you have any suggestions for when people add you back?

    I have been working with a focussed contact strategy – thanks to your help with identifying my niche/market. I’m looking for HR /Training managers/directors of small businesses in Mexico City with 100 -250 employees.

    I have a group of 50 contacts identified, and I’ve started reaching out to their HR/Training managers to connect with me on LI.

    Much to my surprise, I’ve already had 2 info requests. Hurray! But I’m wondering if you have any advice for replying to someone who has just connected with you?

    Hope this is related.

    1. First, congrats on the info requests! That’s great! My suggestion for replying to someone who has just connected with you is simply try to get to know them. Ask questions. Don’t force the conversation to business. Focus on the relationship.

      1. Brilliant Joel. Thanks very much for your kind help. I really appreciate it, and I’m working hard to apply what you’re teaching. 🙂 I am growing in 2014! (And I’m working my tail off in what’s left of 2013 to get a head start!)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *