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Cold Calling Tips

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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The other day I got an email “why I don’t love sales scripts”, and it basically said that sales scripts take the human-to-human connection element out of sales.

So, my analytical brain immediately went into overdrive about why I think using a sales script is instrumental in a salesperson’s success, when used properly.

Meaning, you understand the how and why behind each script, and how and why you should incorporate prospecting into your daily activities, including time to research your prospects before you make that call.

It’s the same with closing techniques and scripts. You are probably already using some type of closing technique that is working for you, at least a little. But do you know why it works, or the science and psychology behind it?

When you really understand not only what you are saying, but why you are saying it, I believe it allows you to create a deeper human-to-human connection. Because you learn how to ask deeper, more meaningful questions and to understand your prospects’ wants and needs in a deeper and more meaningful way.

It creates empathy and understanding into your prospect’s current situation. That’s one.

And two is, it helps the salesperson to have more confidence to pick up that phone, or send that email that will help to move the prospect in the right direction, while making sure to include relevant points and have competent and effective responses to many prospect objections. This helps to take the uncertainty and stress out of the sales conversation.

In my opinion, sales scripts are designed to give you talking points to touch on.

While customizing those talking points for each salesperson and each prospect, without sounding robotic.

To “avoid the robot”, I also say the sales scripts to the person I am teaching them to. Or, in the case of the Cold Calling Magic scripts and mini course, I provide videos so you can hear how natural and conversational they sound, before you use them. 

Take the scripts, reword them to fit how you naturally speak, while retaining the basic essence and ideas.

The goal is, that as you grow and become more confident, you will create your own talking points.

I remember how terrifying it was when I was first given a list and told to pick up the phone and start setting appointments.

I’m not being dramatic – I was terrified. Phone Anxiety is real. And I didn’t even know the term for it back then. But I knew if I wanted to sell, I was going to have to prospect.

As an introvert, I knew that I would feel more comfortable if I just had some idea of what to say before I picked up the phone – a security blanket, if you will.

Just like I had to learn to take a deep breath and ask for a sale, I picked up the phone and started calling.

The more calls I made, the more appointments I set. And my managers took notice, and soon I was teaching my simple script to other sales people. Instead of having five appointments a week I now had ten.

I actually started to enjoy the conversations I was having over the phone, and I set even more sales appointments!

Why? Because people can feel your energy over the phone. And if the energy you give off is positive and caring and happy, other people will want a part of that energy and will want to meet you.

Prospecting and cold calling is just the beginning of creating the interest, and the relationship where someone wants to meet you and learn more about what you do.

And if having a little “cheat sheet” helps you to get started, there’s nothing wrong with that. Whether it’s a script you adapt from someone else, a script you create for yourself, or a hybrid of both.

I think you should create for yourself any advantage you can to help yourself be more successful in your sales career, and that’s what I teach in a 5-Figure Paycheck Sales Membership.

There will always be someone out there that says “sales scripts don’t work”,

or “cold calling is dead”, or “selling is manipulation” – whatever.

I believe that selling is helping another person to achieve their own goals and meet their own needs.

Prospecting is an unavoidable part of the sales process.

There is no “magical” cold calling script, or any other sales script for that matter.

The magic is in you, and how you use it to create the confidence you may actually need to pick up the phone and start calling.

In my case the “magic” was twofold.

One, that I was able to pick up the phone at all and talk to strangers, and

Two, that I came to actually enjoy prospecting over the phone.

The “magic” is that you can actually confidently set qualified appointments over the phone and grow your business into a 5-figure-a-month income for yourself. 

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