Cold calling is an essential part of being a salesperson, but it can be difficult to reach people over the phone. Without the best cold call opening lines, you won’t get a response and your conversion rates will be lower.
Your opening line will determine how successful your call is. We have compiled the best cold call opening lines to help you reach more customers. But before we get started, let’s learn a bit about cold calling.
What is cold calling?
A cold call is a sales call to someone who may not have expressed an interest in the product or service before the call. Although the lead may not be familiar with the company or brand, they may have an interest or benefit from the product or service.
Sales reps don’t just dial a number and start a conversation. They look for prospects who are compatible with their ideal buyer persona.
Cold calling has evolved significantly from simply reading a sales pitch over the phone to becoming an active sales communication tool. Although it can be difficult to reach out to someone who does not know your company, cold calling is still an important part of sales outreach. Contrary to popular belief, cold calling is legal. Although there are laws and regulations in different countries that restrict cold calling, cold calling is legal in all cases.
How to start with the best cold call opening lines
Before we go to the best cold calling opening lines, you must be familiar with the basics of opening cold calls.
1. Greet the prospect politely.
Although greetings are essential in all calls, it is surprising how many salespeople forget to do it and get on with their business. You must greet the person on the other side of the call whether you are selling B2B or other types of sales. This is a fundamental part of building long-term relationships and falls under the category of basic manners we were taught in school. When greeting prospects, be respectful and professional. Formal greetings are preferable.
2. Introduce yourself and your company.
You must make the call so engaging that they don’t want to hang up.
“I am Jhonty Rhodes, the CEO of ABC. We are interested in helping small businesses like yours grow.”
Everyone will want to learn how you can help them grow their business.
However, if you say “We provide training to small businesses like yours”, you probably won’t get a positive reply.
Always focus on the benefits that your customer will get from what you offer. If they feel that there is something for them, they will be more inclined to continue the conversation. They have no reason to keep talking if they won’t get anything from you.
3. Say thank you.
It is not necessary to tell everyone that they are busy with work during the busy hours of the day. Most people will tell you this when you call them. You can encourage them to stay on the phone by thanking them for taking the time to answer your questions and telling them that the conversation will not take too long.
“Thank you for answering my call. It will take you no more than a minute.”
You are thanking them for taking the time to pick up the phone and letting them know that they will be returning to their work shortly. You can make the prospect feel important and valued, and they might be willing to listen to what you have.
9 best cold call opening lines to improve your lead conversion rates
These are the best cold call opening lines that will get you great results.
1. Start by addressing the prospect’s problem.
“Hi prospect_name, I’m Hillary Holmes from company_name. I help sales teams improve their outreach skills. Can I ask you some questions to see if I can help you?” Is it OK with you ?”
This opening is great for cold calling because it addresses a problem. The customer will likely listen to what you have.
However, you will likely get a negative response if you say “We offer training to sales reps.” It is important to clearly state the benefits that the customer will receive by using your services.
2. Drop the name of a referral or mutual contact.
Hi, I’m Jane Wordsworth from company_name. Referral_name with referral’s_company mentioned that I should call you in connection with how our company helped him in alleviating_pain_ point. If you feel it is a good opportunity to speak to you, could I ask some questions to find out how our solution might be beneficial to your business? Is that okay?
This script mentions a mutual contact. Referring to someone you both know will increase your chances of getting the prospect’s attention.
3. Mention what you’ve done for their competitors.
Hi, prospect_name, Gregory William here with company_name. I am calling you because we have helped competitor1_name, competitor2_name, competitor3_name to overcome pain_point and provided them with benefit.
This opening line will get you lots of deals because it is human nature to find out what competitors are doing. The script mentions a combination of fixing a pain point and offering benefits that are great for any cold call.
4. Acknowledge that the prospect is busy.
Hi, prospect_name, I’m Greg William with company_name. You must have been in the middle of something important but the reason why I’m calling is ….
A professional is involved in a task when you call them during work hours. Your call is causing them to delay their work. If you acknowledge this in your opening line, it shows that you are empathetic and the prospect will appreciate you doing so.
What you say in a cold call is just as important as how it is said. This is why it is important to know when and where you should pause. It is better to pause right after the line “I must have caught you in the middle of something”. This will allow them to respond better and move the conversation in the right direction.
If they say they are busy, you can respond with “Can I call you back on Thursday at 4:00 PM?”
5. Ask the prospect’s help.
Hello, prospect_name, I’m Samantha with company_name. I was wondering if there were any way you could help me.
This works because you’re asking the prospect for their help instead of asking them for their time. You are more likely than not to receive a positive reply. It is part of human nature to want to help others, so you should use this trait for your benefit in your opening line. Even though they don’t know you, the prospect is likely to give you a positive response. Once you have gained their attention, you can thank them and begin to discuss their problem.
Here’s how to do it after they give you the nod.
Great, thanks! You are a prospect’s_name because most small businesses have difficulty setting up support teams.
You will get the prospect to listen to you if you mention their name in the call.
6. Create intrigue.
Hello, prospect_name, I’m Samantha with company_name. I’m a little lost. Please spare me the time to explain why I called.
The purpose of your call should be mentioned at the beginning of the opener. This will make prospects pay more attention to you. This will help you build a relationship with the person you’re speaking to. You are intriguing them by asking for their help, as they don’t know what you’ll come up with.
7. Be honest.
Hello, Prospect_name, I’m Samantha with company_name. We have never spoken before.
Although it may sound like a great way to make the prospect give up, it actually works. It is honest and pays you when you make cold calls. After using this line, most prospects will be open to listening to you. It is a great way to build trust and allow you to get to the point of your call.
8. Show concern.
Hello, prospect_name. How are you doing?
This opening line will make prospects feel like they are getting a call from a friend or colleague. It is a sure way to get a reply. The prospect might reply with ‘I’m fine’ or ask you who you are. It helps to move the conversation forward in both directions. Although it may sound like a trick, it can be very effective in opening up a dialogue.
9. Ask about the welfare of the prospect.
Hello, Prospect_name, How are you?
This gives the prospect the impression that you may already know them and makes it easier for you to start the conversation. This is a variation of the opening line we talked about above.
4 best practices to open a cold call
The best cold call opening lines come with best practices that you need to keep in mind. Here are four of the most important things you have to remember when making sales calls.
1. Pay attention to your tone.
Cold calls are only about your voice. What you feel and what the other person hears is what will be reflected in it. Your voice should reflect your enthusiasm about your product or service. You can listen to the call recordings to help you improve your voice and convey your message better.
2. Keep an eye on your pace.
It is difficult to call someone you don’t know. There is a danger of speaking too fast when you are nervous. It happens, even though you may not be aware. If you speak too fast, prospects will get annoyed and will hang up. It is a good idea to slow down and make sure the prospect understands what you are saying.
3. Show your human side.
You must show your human side to prospects when you want to build a relationship. This can be done by sharing humor and empathy. You should admit to your mistakes when speaking. Being human can help prospects relate to you better. Perhaps that is why, even in the age of automation, cold calls are still made by humans.
4. Don’t show weakness.
One thing to remember when making a phone call is that you should never ask for forgiveness because you made the call or took a little longer of the prospect’s time.
8 tips for the best cold call opening lines
1. Get the prospect to stay on the phone as long as you can.
Successful cold calls take longer than calls that aren’t successful. The length of the call determines how likely you are to continue the conversation. Keep the prospect’s attention. You can predict what will happen next and turn it in your favor.
2. Do your research before making the call.
Do your research before you make any cold calls. You will have a better experience calling prospects if you have all the information beforehand. This will allow you to grab the prospect’s attention more effectively. On the contrary, if you don’t spend even a moment researching your prospect, it will make you appear fake. Prospects will be happy if you put in the effort to personalize the call. Make your research a priority.
3. Don’t call at a bad time.
You can’t just pick up the phone and dial any number you like. You must choose the best time to call — when prospects are more likely to answer the phone. The impact of your call will be greater if you reach out to them at the right moment. Plan your calls at the most convenient times of the day so you have time to complete other tasks such as reviewing your script and prepping for calls.
4. Always focus on the customer.
When reaching out to prospects, make sure you are focusing on them and not yourself. Do not start talking about your company or what you do. Nobody would be interested in hearing anything about you. Focus on what you have for them if you want to grab their attention. You should explain to them how your solution can meet their needs.
5. Be prepared for rejection.
Not all calls will result in a deal. Most of the time, you won’t even reach the person to speak with them. This shouldn’t be a reason to give up. You might be able to achieve your sales target with the next one. Remember that you are not the only sales rep who is facing rejection. Many other salespeople have experienced rejection. Just keep trying.
6. Empathize with your prospect
If you want to master the art of cold calling, you must put yourself in the shoes of your prospect. How would you feel if you received a cold calling from someone? What tone of voice would feel good? How would you like the other person to call you? How much time would you prefer the person to take to get to the point? These questions will help you determine how to present yourself to prospects when making calls. To get the prospect’s attention, you must be polite, courteous, understanding, and professional at all times during a call.
7. Voicemails should be treated with tact.
Sometimes, you may have to leave a voicemail because the prospect is not available. Don’t be disappointed if this happens. Keep it simple and to the point. You should have energy, but also keep it polite. If you are serious about making a sale, it is fine to leave callback information. However, be prepared to follow up on every detail.
8. Follow up.
One call will not guarantee you great results. Follow-up is key. They may not agree to the deal immediately. There is also a chance that the person you have just contacted may not be the decision-maker. In such cases, you will need to get in touch with the person concerned to finalize the deal. This means that you must follow up.
Worst cold call opening lines: avoid at all costs
Your opening line determines whether prospects will listen to what you have to offer them. While some opening lines are acceptable, others are not. Here’s one.
Hello prospect_name, I am your_name with the company_name. Did I reach you at a bad moment?
Although it may seem polite, this is not a great opening. When you ask if it is a good moment to speak and the prospect says no, then the conversation will no longer proceed. Instead, you ask the prospect if it is a bad time to speak. The prospect’s involuntary response is ‘No’ which allows you to continue the call.
This is a potentially problematic opener if you put yourself in the shoes of the prospect. This is more like tricking prospects into talking to you. In truth, would you buy from someone who uses tricks? It’s unlikely!
Another problem with this opener is that the prospect might enter into defense mode and not answer your question in the way you want. This will lead to failure.
Another common opening line for cold calls is this:
Hello prospect_name, I am your_name with the company_name. Do you have 27 seconds spare to listen to me?
It may seem easy for prospects to give you 27 seconds. But do you think that you can convey your message and engage prospects in just 27 seconds? This is where the opening line fails. You are no longer in control of the call and you must provide as much information as possible about your solution as soon as possible.
Most people will respond to such calls by asking you to just send the information. Although the prospect may seem interested, this is not the reality. This would make your efforts go stale, so it is better to avoid such opening lines.
Here’s another very common opening line.
Hello prospect_name, I am your_name and company_name. Because we help small businesses like yours save money, I am reaching out.
It is confusing and vague when you say save money. It is something that the prospect hears many times per day and believes is a standard format for all cold calls. It is time to get rid of these opening lines and use the ones that will help you nail the call.
Cold-calling is all about building your confidence and buying yourself some time to speak. The best cold call opening lines will give you a headstart, but remember that cold calling is about trial and error. These lines are generally successful, but you will need to adjust them to suit your calls’ success.
Keep track of all calls and use the same opening line repeatedly to test it. Make adjustments and then repeat the process. You can also use different lines together, if necessary.
Remember that cold calling is an outbound marketing technique. However, you can integrate this strategy into your inbound marketing efforts. It is possible to create a prospect list that includes customers who match your ideal customer profile. A well-constructed list will increase your chances to make successful calls.
Finally, do not be discouraged if your opening lines fail at first. The most successful cold callers are the ones who have failed enough times and figured out what works.