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The 3 Best Cold Call Opening Lines

The Best Cold Call Opening Lines

The 3 Best Cold Call Opening Lines

The best cold call opening lines do two things:

  1. They pique the prospects interest within the first few seconds of the call
  2. They gain permission to continue the sales call

The Best Cold Call Opening Lines Avoid These Tactics

When it comes to cold calling, most sales training material will teach sales reps to “stay in tight control” of the sales call right from the beginning. They teach this by using questions right after the opener.

Here’s an example:

Hi (prospects name), this is (your name) with (your company). Did I catch you at a bad time?

Why is this type of cold call opener not recommended?

The theory behind this cold call opener example is to trigger the prospect to say “no”. The thinking is, most prospects respond with “no” when you ask, “did I catch you at a good time?” so by saying “did I catch you at a “bad time” and still getting the knee jerk reaction of the prospecting saying “no,” the salesperson now says “Great!” and proceeds with the sales call.

One of the many problems with this type of cold call opener is if you put yourself in the prospect’s shoes and feel what they feel in that moment, you will realize this is not off to a great start. If the saying is true that people buy from people they like, how many people would YOU like that tricked you into having a conversation with them? The answer is zero.

The other problem with this type of cold call opener is that it puts the prospect on the defense. So as you try and qualify the prospect by asking questions, the prospect responds by giving you short one word, guarded answers back from your prospects. And now you feel like you’re trying to pull a donkey uphill.

It’s a recipe for disaster.

Another popular opening line for cold calling is the:

Hi (prospects name), this is (your name) with (your company). Do you have 27-seconds to hear why I’m calling?

This cold call opener fails even when it works. What do I mean by that? Even if the prospect says “sure, go ahead,” you’ve now put yourself into a situation of having to do a min-sales presentation. A data dump. Also known as the “show up and throw up.”

You’ve completely lost control of the sales process, and you are simply hoping for the best – that maybe, just maybe, you through enough data at them that something will stick, and they’ll ask you for more information.

These sales calls end fast with a “send me some information” more often than not. Most salespeople take this o to mean “yea! They’re interested!”. They will waste time chasing a prospect by following up with them repeatedly until they realize they were never interested, and a lot of energy and efforts were wasted. One too many of those sales scenarios, and before you know it, sales numbers are down, and the turnover ratio is up.

Another familiar but bad cold call opening sales script goes something like this:

Hi (prospects name), this is (your name) with (your company). I’m calling because we save time and money for companies like you…

There is no power behind the “save time and money” statement. It’s too vague, and everyone says it. It falls on deaf ears. Besides, most people are resistant to change, and if you’re cold calling them, chances are they don’t even know they have a problem. And when you say “companies like you,” the prospect thinks, “I’ll bet they say that to everyone,” and guess what – they are right! If you want to have more success selling by phone, you’re going to need to use cold call openings that work.

Cold Call Opening Lines that Work

There are three types of cold call opening scripts that I personally use that work exceptionally well.

Here they are:

Cold Calling Opening Statement Examples

#1: The Cold Call Opener

For an opening cold call sales script to work, it has to pique interest in the first few seconds.

A great way to do that is by agitating a pain point or scratching an itch.

Example:

Hi (prospects name), this is (Michael Pedone) with (SalesBuzz.com) The reason for my call is I help outbound sales teams overcome call reluctance – and if I caught you at a good time, I’d like to ask you a few questions just to see if what we have to offer may be of some help. Would that be OK?

Why does this cold call opening script work? Because I’m calling sales directors, VP of sales, or small business owners who have 5 to 500 sales reps. You can be sure that at least 20% of their sales team (and I’m conservative here) struggles to pick up the phone as much as they should. And every day that goes by that they make fewer sales calls than they should have, it costs the small business owner, sales director, or VP of sales cold hard cash in lost potential revenue.

But if I would have said, “The reason for my call is I provide sales training,” I would have heard, “no thanks, not interested, we already have something that does that.” See the difference?

The Referral Cold Call Opening Statement Example:

The Referral Cold Call Opener

Yes, even if you call your best client and ask them, “who do you know?” and they give you a few referrals off the top of their head, when you pick up the phone to call them, it’s still a cold call. Why? Because the definition of a cold call is contacting any prospect that is not currently raising their hand.

Hi, (​prospect’s name​), this is (y​our name​) with (​your company​).

(Referral name​) over at (​referral company name)​ mentioned I should give you a call regarding how we helped him/her (​cut/ reduce/avoid common pain)​ , and if I caught you at a good time, I’d like to ask you a few questions just to see if what we have to offer may be of some help to you. Would that be OK?

Now its time for my FAVORITE cold call opening script:

The Competition Cold Call Opener:

I’ve used this opener to close some of my most profitable deals. The theory is simple: Most decision-makers want to know what their competitors are up to and do something that works. They want to try it too.

So here it goes:

Hi, (​prospect’s name​), this is (y​our name​) with (​your company​).

I’m calling because we recently helped (competitor 1)​, (​competitor 2​), and (competitor 3)​ avoid (​pain)​ while at the same time (common benefit​)

There are several ways you can use this style of opener. Instead of using the “pain” as the primary button, you can use the “desired result” as well.

One of the opening value statements I used when I was the top sales rep for duPontREGISTRY’s online sales division was:

The reason for my call is we help (name of high-end luxury auto dealer) phones ring with qualified buyers on the line, and there’s a chance we might be able to help do the same for you, but I would need to ask you a few questions first to be sure – would that be OK?

I still hold the record of closing the first and third call I ever made on my first day of employment there. I took the leads that all the “sales vets” didn’t want – the ones they said would never buy. I filtered it to the leads that matched our ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) and used my own competition template sales opening process – and one-call closed my very first and third call (the second call went to voicemail)

Great cold call openers work when the salesperson using them has conviction. It’s not enough to go through the motions. You have to have a sense of urgency – you have to want to make something happen. Successfully selling by phone takes more than reading a well-crafted sales script – become a student of the game and always learn all that you can – and once you hit an elite level – share what you’ve learned with others that want to know what you know.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company offering on-demand sales training and consulting.