Best practices for starting a conversation with a new lead

Your first conversation in Drift with a new lead can seem daunting as you do not want to spook or annoy the other person. But remember, the person chatted in because they want to connect or find out more.

So here are three tips for starting a new conversation.

Say Hi

At first glance, this one may sound obvious or overused, but people rarely do it.

We have to remember that a person chatting in is not just an email address but rather a person who wants to feel welcomed and valued. They're a real person just like you.

So reach out and say hi, or hey, or hi there. Use what is most comfortable for you.

When in doubt, think about what you would say if you were in line at a coffee shop or passing someone in the mall? You would say hey, and reaching out to a site visitor is no different.

Be human

Truly, there is no better way of starting a conversation than by showing you are a real person too. Don't try to be too formal or buttoned up because what resonates is when people can see that you are being yourself.

Every time you get a new message, we give you as much information about the person writing in. For anonymous visitors, you’ll be able to see the page they’re on, their location, IP address, and local time:

And for people who’ve already identified or given you their email address (this is where it gets awesome), you’ll get enriched data for that contact, including their name, location, job and company information, links to their social profiles, and more.

Use this information to personalize your communication, and one great example is "Hey Matt – saw you’re on our pricing page. Anything I can help with?”

Figure out why they signed up

By far, the number one question you can ask a new lead is why they signed up.

These people are brand new. They just signed up. And in most cases, they are live on your website right now! This is when they are the most engaged. Rarely are you ever going to get this level of attention and engagement from someone again without putting in a ton of effort, so now is the time to ask them why they signed up.

This is a key piece of information that basically dictates where things will go from here (and will help you have the best conversation possible).

For example, when we ask new leads why they signed up for Drift, they might say, “we want to have better conversations with people on the pricing page” — that tells us they probably want to use Drift for sales, and we can have a better conversation now that we know that.

Or they might say, “we want to get more customer feedback,” — which tells us they’re probably going to be using Drift inside of their product. Knowing that we can have a better conversation and get them the answers they are looking for.

Other things you can ask:

  • What are you hoping to accomplish?
  • Do you have specific goals that you’re trying to hit?
  • How’d you hear about us?
  • Are you using [existing competitor/other solution/related product] today and looking to switch?
  • What’s the weather like today in Boston? 🙂

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is be a real person. Say hello and try and figure out why they became a lead in the first place so you can tailor the conversation to their needs.

PS. If you want to read more about talking to leads and customers,  here’s a blog post that might be helpful (and shows the importance of talking to customers).

Have more questions about creating meaningful conversation in Drift? Comment below!

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