Lead Response Times: How Long Should You Wait?

In the 1996 cult classic, “Swingers,” starring Vince Vaughan and Jon Favreau, the question of when to first contact a “qualified lead” is raised in a rather hilarious way.

After chatting with a potential love interest at the bar and getting her phone number, Favreau’s character, Mike, goes back to his friends to get advice on when to call her.

Mike: So how long do I wait to call?

Trent: A day.

Mike: Tomorrow?

Sue: Tomorrow, then a day.

Trent: Yeah.

Mike: So, two days?

Trent: Yeah, I guess you could call it that… two days.

Sue: Definitely, two days is like the industry standard.

Trent: You know, I used to wait two days to call anybody, but now it’s like everyone in town waits two days. So I think three days is kind of money.

Sue: Yeah, but two’s enough not to look anxious.

Trent: But I think three days is kind of money.

Mike: (snidely) Yeah, but you know what? Maybe I’ll wait three weeks. How’s that? And tell her I was cleaning out my wallet and just happened to run into her number.

Charles: Then ask her where you met her.

Mike: (snidely) Yeah, I’ll ask her where I met her. I don’t remember. What does she look like?

Trent: You know what? Mike, laugh all you want, but if you call too soon, you might scare (her off).

Mike: Well, how long are you guys gonna wait to call your babies?

Trent & Sue: Six days.

Now, Swingers was a rom com, not a sales movie. But this comical exchange does raise a great question about timing. How long should you wait to make first contact with your new, qualified leads?

Well, Conversion Media Group has the answer for you, and it’s not a random “industry standard” one. Rather, it’s based on tens of thousands of conversations we’ve had with real leads, and the real results of these conversations.

So, let’s look at some facts on leads and response times, and how you can optimize your conversions by utilizing them properly.[1][EH1] [EH2] 

Before we begin, it’s important to know that only 27% of all leads actually get contacted, and the average response time on these leads is a whopping 47 hours!

This means 73% of all leads never get contacted, and those who do are running cold by the time that initial contact is made.

This may work fine for Favreau’s Mike character, but in reality, leads cost money, and time is money… so don’t waste either one.

Now, some stats:

Day of the week: If you’re looking for the best day of the week to make initial contact with a truly qualified lead, that day is Thursday. The worst day of the week, not surprisingly, is Friday. If you cannot make your initial contact on Thursday, the next best day is Wednesday.

Methods: Only 1-in-4 businesses respond to new web leads by calling them. Despite the proven results of calling leads, 75% of businesses take the easy way out with autoresponder emails, for example. If a lead has supplied you with a phone number, call it!

The First to Call: Up to 50% of all sales/conversions are captured by the person/business who acts upon the new lead first. Sitting on leads is a bad idea. A truly interested lead may have submitted information to, or contacted, other businesses like yours. Be sure you’re the first to reach them.

A half hour is too long: Data show that waiting more than thirty minutes to contact a new lead, especially by phone, is 21 times less effective than calling the moment the lead comes in. Even waiting 5 minutes has shown a 10% drop in effectiveness.

Lead expectations: Leads expect you to respond to them. In fact, 82% of leads want to hear from you within 10 minutes. They’re giving you their contact information for a reason. Use it and use it fast.

Gone in 60 seconds: For the best results, by far, you should contact your new qualified leads within the first minute of them asking about you. Data show a 1-minute response time can boost conversions by up to 391%. Waiting just one more minute means your success rate could be cut in half.


How long should you wait for initial contact? You shouldn’t. Contact your qualified leads as soon as humanly possible.

However, there is one method of converting leads that could potentially increase your conversions even more, and it happens much faster than “as soon as possible” …

Live call transfers from Conversion Media Group.

While in continual contact with thousands of highly motivated individuals, CMG does all the lead-generation, lead qualification and lead nurturing… for you!

The very moment leads tell us they’re ready to hear from you, we can transfer them directly to your sales team. Live, while they’re still on the phone with us.

This cuts your lead response time to zero… yes. Zero!

Which means they are potentially ready to convert the moment they hear your voice. No lead response times are faster than this! And, don’t forget to ask about our AI Text Chat Bot option for all of your leads! It’s s upper cost effective way to drive your contact and conversion rates up significantly!

If you’re interested in learning more about how Conversion Media Group can drive qualified leads, live transfers, and help you boost engagement and sales, call one of our specialists today at: (+1) 800 419 3201. We’re always ready to talk!

[1] 9 Lead Response Time Statistics (2022) | ServiceBell

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