Cold calling is one of the fastest ways to drum up business for your company – but only if you’re using one of the best cold call opening lines. If you’re just shooting from the hip and saying whatever comes to mind, you’re dead in the water.
Thankfully, I assume you want to master your cold-calling skills (either for yourself or your sales team) and really start optimizing for meetings booked. That’s why you’re here, right?
Plain and simple, you need more qualified sales meetings on the calendar. The more qualified sales meetings you have, the more deals you’ll close. The more deals you close… well… you know the rest.
So today we’re covering the best cold call opening lines to get your prospects’ attention and start crushing your sales numbers.
What is a Cold Call?
A cold call is when you pick up the phone and dial your prospect. It’s “cold” because the prospect hasn’t heard from you before. But you should have at least their name and some other information about them and their company. The barrier to entry is almost non-existent. You simply need a phone, and that’s it. But mastering the cold call is another animal altogether. So let’s get into it.
Do This BEFORE You Start Cold Calling
Now, before you start dialing for the day, you need to be in the right frame of mind. The selling frame of mind. Give yourself a personal pep talk, reminding yourself to:
- Be honest with everything you say
- Be confident and passionate
- Don’t take “No” as final, ask more questions
- Speak authoritatively
- Listen empathetically
- Have fun (or else what’s the point?)
And also be sure to do your homework on your prospects. Take a few minutes to do some Googling to learn about them, their product or service, and any recent stories in the news regarding their company. This will allow you to really connect with them on the call.
Without further ado, here are the best cold call opening lines that are tried and true.
Top Cold Call Opening Lines to Try
1. Pique Curiosity with Intrigue
“Hi Beth, this is Carol with T&T Software, I’d like to speak with you a minute about [solution to their problem], but first I was wondering if you saw the news on [prospect’s competitor]?
Why it Works: Curiosity and intrigue are main drivers in any marketing or sales campaign… or anything in life, really. Think about movies and novels, for instance. What keeps people on the edge of their seats is wondering “what comes next?” Use a bit of intrigue to win the sale.
2. Dropping a Shared Connection or Referral
“Hi Jared, this is Tanya with T&T Software, I was actually talking with [shared connection/referrer] about your company and he thought I should get in touch with you. Quick minute to talk?”
Why it Works: The referral is king when it comes to cold calling. In fact, one study shows that 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
3. The Ego-booster
“Hi John this is Kenny with T&T Software, I was hoping you could help me with something here…”
Why it Works: People light up when asked for favors, it’s science. It makes them feel important and powerful. So by asking if they can help you with something (and having a question ready for your prospect!), you can gain access through “the ego-entrance.”
4. Honesty is the Best Policy
“Hi John, I have to be honest, we’ve never spoken before, but I’m with T&T Software and…”
Why it Works: Love it or hate it, this one works. It jars the prospect out of their automatic defense so they drop their guard. It also helps to build trust right away, which is an all-important factor in moving along a sale. Don’t be mistaken, this isn’t a sign of weakness or timidness on your part. It’s simple psychology.
5. Address Problem / Agitate Pain Point
“Hi Jared, this is Henry with T&T Software, look I know the regulations in [prospect’s industry] are really constricting right now causing [further agitate pain point], I’d like to talk this through with you to see if we can help [with solution!]. We’re both busy, but do you have a moment now?
Why it Works: First, remember that it’s always important to introduce yourself and your company. This gives your prospect context for the call, and it’s just the right thing to do. Also, if you can agitate a pain point that the executive feels on a real visceral level, and then offer a solution to alleviate their pain, they are far more likely to hear you out.
Best Tips and Tricks for Cold Calling Opening Lines
Confidence is king. Be sure to go into every cold call with a confident mindset. Remember, your product or service is the prize. You are the solution. This doesn’t mean you should be arrogant. It just means you need to re-frame your mind to fully believe that you are truly helping each person you speak with. When talking with c-level executives, keep in mind that while they may be the CEO, you’re the CVO (Chief Value Officer!).
Focus on your prospect’s needs, not yours. Sales isn’t about selling features and benefits, it’s about building relationships, listening empathetically, and focusing on fixing a real problem that your prospect has. Again, you don’t sell features and benefits, you sell the transformation that takes place by working with you or your company. And this can only happen if you’re focus is on your prospect’s needs rather than your own.
Be personable, be human. Try to relate to your prospect on another level outside of the professional world. Let’s say you find out your prospect is a die-hard Denver Broncos fan. Not the best taste in NFL teams, but you can still steer the small talk toward their interests and passions (the Bronc’s standings, for example). My point is, try to offer something on a more personal level.
Bring tonality and passion. I write extensively on the importance of mastering tonality to increase sales. On every cold call, use authoritative and unique voice inflections to draw your prospect into your pitch. Also, the more passionate you are about your product or service, the more buy-in you’ll get from your prospect. Just don’t over-do it. Find the balance.
Stand up and walk around. This tip alone will help you or your team increase sales almost immediately. Get up and walk around while talking on the phone. This helps to keep blood circulating, it helps your mind fire on all cylinders, and your prospect will hear the difference in the tone of your voice. It works.
Final Words on the Best Cold Call Opening Lines
The best thing about sales is that you can tweak and pivot as you go. So I’d highly recommend trying each of these cold call opening lines to see what sticks. Also be sure you’re cold calling at the right times. It makes a real difference, trust me.
And remember, be confident on the call, listen attentively, ask questions, and position your product as the only solution. But just as important, do your absolute best to be honest during the cold call, from beginning to end. There’s no sense getting a new client or customer on false pretenses. It will only turn around to bite you in the long-term.
So go on, employ these cold call opening lines and be sure to report back on your success!
Until next time…