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What’s the best cold call opening line?

What’s the first thing you say when you are making those cold calls to new prospects? Learn the best cold call opening line and why it works!

What's the Best Cold Call Opening Line?

The cold call “How Are You?” Debate …

I have tried asking, “how are you today?” Asking if they’re free or if they have a minute or if they’re busy or even “I hope your day is going well so far”.

If you’ve ever received a telemarketing call, or even a robo marketing call lately (they sound so real, don’t they?), you may have noticed that they just jump right into their pitch, without any niceties at all. Like if they talk quickly enough without giving you a chance to speak, that you might actually listen – not.

What cold call opening line works for you? For me, I get great results by saying “Hi, this is Nancy Carter with XYZ company. How are you doing today?” I’ve done this forever, and if it ain’t broke, I’m not going to fix it.

You have to do, obviously, what you feel comfortable with. What works for me and a lot of other people, may not work for you. So try the words, and the meaning or psychology behind the words, that aligns most with who you are.

Let me explain why starting a cold call phone conversation off with, “Hi I’m Nancy, how are you today?” resonates with my overall message.

For one, you can get a pretty good feeling about the way your conversation might go by getting the response to this question. 

Some responses you might get are:

 “I’m terrific. How about you?”

 “I’m good, what can I help you with?”

 “Or I’m busy, now is not a good time.”

Three different responses from a prospect that will get three different responses from me. Notice I didn’t say outcomes. When I am cold calling prospects, my goal is to set an appointment. And it is possible to set an appointment with any of those three answers – you just need a different approach with each Prospect. You will adapt your answer to their response.

Secondly, if I say “How are you?” with a smile on my face and use it as a true attempt to engage a prospect in a conversational way, I am setting the tone for a future, two-sided relationship, where they speak, and I listen. Not just “I am going to talk and tell you how wonderful my company and products or services are without understanding first if you even need us!”

Like a telemarketer that jumps right into their 60 seconds sales pitch about whatever they want to get you to buy. They just keep talking, right? Most of them don’t even know what they are saying and that becomes apparent very quickly, as they read through their script without even knowing, or caring, what they are saying.

One phone call and they’re done, no follow-up, no real interaction, no relationship forming. And what  they get is low response rates and a lot of frustration.

I’ve had telemarketers say to me, how is your day going, or how are you doing, but the difference is in what happens after the prospect responds.

Without missing a beat, the telemarketer says “that’s fantastic”, or “good”, or “I’m sorry to hear that”, and then they’re off with their sales pitch. Am I wrong?

Whereas what I say next to engage them, and qualify them, by using a consistent, strong message and quickly create authority, trust, believability… and an appointment.

And if I don’t set an appointment with that first call, then I have a follow-up system and cadence that I know will work until the appointment is set, or I can disqualify the prospect. The messaging I use allows me to set better-qualified appointments faster and have deeper, more meaningful conversations with prospects. That’s what asking how you are today does for me.

To save you some time, I Googled what is the cold calling opening line for a prospecting call? Here’s what I found – 

Don’t use how are you because it gives your prospect the chance to disrupt your flow – however, in the first script they provided, they asked how are you???

Another answer said to ask “Is now a bad time to talk?” To me that’s either a yes or a no answer and it doesn’t give me a whole lot of room to try and establish a relationship, or understand the prospect. 

Here’s another one I found that I’ve tried before, “Did I catch you at a bad time?” In my experience, that’s almost always a yes.

The best Google answer I found was, … be confident. To me that means knowing what you plan on saying, no matter what the response you get from the prospect.

I have found that asking how are you when I am cold calling, three simple words, produces 3 fairly predictable responses that I can prepare for and quickly guide the conversation into an appointment, or at least a follow-up conversation.

Whatever you do, don’t just wing it. Just like you are intentional in what you expect to achieve during your sacred prospecting time, be intentional in what you plan on saying. Intentionality breeds confidence breeds authority.

And let me know what your best cold call opening line is and why!

If you’ve been listening for a while, you know I love podcasting because I don’t have to do my makeup or hair, or even get dressed to do it. And it’s easy for me, record, edit, put it all together and have it ready for Tuesday Mornings at 12:05 am Eastern Standard Time, and you’d be amazed how many downloads there are by 6:30 a.m. when I get up. So I have a feeling there may be some early birds that want to listen to a new episode before it’s even published! You can join me weekly LIVE on the podcast and after the recording is done, I will stick around to answer any sales questions you have, either about the episode I just recorded or any other sales questions you might have.

I hope to see you there to discuss our next sales dilemma.

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