Sales / Sales Process

How to reach out to a dead lead

Laura Dolan

Updated: Sep 20, 2022 · 4 min read

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how to reach out to a dead lead

Not all successful sales are closed on the first try. A prolific salesperson nurtures relationships with prospects and is diligent about reaching out, following up, and connecting with them on a regular basis. It’s always a good idea to reengage dead leads that you haven’t reached out to in a while. Who knows? You may have better luck this time around. It may be a better time for them to invest in whatever you’re selling because they’re more financially stable, or it could be the right time for your product to benefit them or their business.

Upon reaching out to them after a long break, you need to be a little more understated when you approach them rather than just randomly asking them if they’re ready to buy. Consider these five courteous ways on how to revive a sale and reconnect:

1. Use your content as leverage

If you represent the type of company that produces content in the way of articles, blogs, or white papers, this is a robust way to gain credibility when attempting to reconnect. You can reach out by sending them a link to or a copy of your content and explain how this information could benefit them. This is a good way to become top-of-mind with old prospects. You can also improve on this outreaching process by having your business’ content team create material specifically catered to each segment. This will reflect the extra effort that was devoted to the prospect rather than just reaching into the backlog of old content that somewhat relates to what your prospect is looking for.

2. Bring new features to their attention

Launching a new product or announcing enhancements to an existing one is the perfect opportunity to contact old leads and inform them of the new and exciting news your company has. Take the time to sift through old contacts and gauge which individuals can benefit from your new product or rebranding. It’ll make for a more sincere reason as to why you reached out after a long period of time. If you’re using a customer relationship management (CRM) system like Keap to organize your prospects, tag them under specific features that your company offers so you can go back in your files and easily locate them at the appropriate time when you identify a product that can satisfy their needs.

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3. Put the focus on your prospect

A great way to stay in touch with a potential lead is by following them on social media, particularly on LinkedIn, which provides a great way to network and keep up with your prospects’ news, especially if they’ve found a new job, in which case you can update your records and stop following a lead that goes nowhere for that reason. You can also set up Google alerts for the company for which they work. Then if you see positive news revolving around them, which could be anything from a successful fundraiser to a new product launching, send them a note of congratulations and regenerate your communication.

4. Start networking

If you’re getting nowhere with a preexisting contact after several failed attempts of reaching out, this may be a good time to find a different contact at that same company. You never know, your previous contact may have left that company. If so, find the correct contact and start garnering a new relationship. Once you’ve contacted the new person, be upfront and tell them you’ve made several attempts to contact their predecessor, but was unsuccessful, and that you’d like to discuss the opportunity with them instead. It’s wise to have multiple connections within one organization, as most purchases require more than one person’s signature. Involving as many people as possible helps you develop more of a rapport and trust with the company. It never hurts to gain as much credibility as you can with an organization, whether you’re reviving a dead lead or still nurturing an active one.

5. Change your routine

If you’re in the habit of calling someone the same time every day, don’t. First of all, don’t call every day. Second, if the afternoon doesn’t work for your prospect, try calling them in the morning or finding different ways to reach out. Some people respond better to emails than phone calls, and emails provide a nice paper trail of your correspondence. You can try sending a message via LinkedIn, sending a letter in the mail, or any other clever way you can think of to reach out.

Whatever you do, don’t contact them outside of their normal business hours. As conscientious as this may seem, it’s likely you’ll repel them by not respecting boundaries and work-life balance. There’s plenty of time in an eight-hour workday to get in touch with a prospect, so if today doesn’t work, there’s always tomorrow or next week. You also want to make sure you space out your attempts. Calling someone every day without giving them the chance to respond on their own accord will make you seem like a desperate scammer. Try not to straddle that line–be patient and give the prospect a chance to come to you after an initial contact.

Reviving a sales lead can be daunting. Nobody likes getting rejected and in the sales world, it happens many times before someone finally says yes. The key is knowing how to get in touch with the right people and having that perfect opening statement that will pique their interest. Don’t get discouraged, be resourceful, and don’t forget about your active leads that have become customers that you can fall back on as retargeting contacts.

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