Sales people are really, painfully, silly sometimes.

In the rat race of online lead generation, where success is defined by cost per selling opportunity and close ratios, we ignore our most valuable skills in communication and consultation. When our efforts become a math equation of “call X amount of leads, set X amount of appointments, close X amount of sales,” we forget that our most important mission is to HELP people.

That’s why I’ve always despised the word “lead.” What is a lead? A lead is a person with a need. Say it with me:

A lead is a person with a need.

A lead is a person with a need.

A lead is a person with a need.


End of rant. Here are five tips for setting more appointments with people from your website:


1. Put yourself in the lead’s shoes:  

Ask yourself, “What was this person’s wish when they submitted their information?” If the lead came from your website, pay attention to what page and form they came from. What does that tell you about their journey, their curiosities, and more importantly, how you can be their magic genie? Example: Someone who came from your website page about “replacement window color options” probably wants to know if your replacement windows will match their home.

2. Let empathy guide your follow-up conversation: 

When a customer is in research phase on your website it’s kind of like online dating. “Hi, I’m calling to set your appointment,” makes you sound like the big bad wolf that she was afraid of. She isn’t ready to invite you into her life, she’s merely investigating you on her computer. And she’s looking for every reason to cross you off her list. Show her you’re there for HER, not for YOURSELF: 

”Hi, I saw that you asked a question from window color options page. I was wondering if I might be able to send you some samples of our colors so you can match them to your home.”

3. Do not underestimate email follow up: 

If you are unsuccessful at reaching your customer through phone, consider that 50.7% of Americans are of the introverted personality preference, meaning they like to think before they talk. For these folks especially, email is the ultimate security blanket. With proper etiquette you can build the trust needed to move to the next step. It goes something like this:

Hi Donna, 

I saw that you were browsing some of our colors online and was thinking it might be helpful if you had a color chart. Would you like me to mail you one of those?

Let me know if there are any other questions I can help you answer  on window prices or options.

(Bonus technique: Fish for other possible curiosities that you can help them overcome).

4. Blurt out the cost:

If your customer is serious he won’t be afraid of your big scary price tag. Come right out with it so you can get on to helping him get what he needs. PS – Being fast with your pricing builds a huge amount of trust! PPS – Isn’t it be better to know if the answer is “heck no” before you waste your time?

5. Picture your lead as a person: 

No matter your method of communication, imagine the person you are trying to influence is standing right front of you. Imagine yourself carrying on a conversation with them in person. What do their tone of voice and facial expression tell you about their needs? Listen before you speak, ask questions, and radiate with gratitude, because you’ve been given the opportunity to help make someone’s life better. 

The Author:


Dad to three, husband to his one and only, and enthusiast of anything he can grill or fly. Brandon eats, breaths, and sleeps thinking about ways to help your business communicate more powerfully.

About the author