Let’s face it — cold calling is one of the most challenging aspects of a sales rep’s job. Most people you call don’t answer. When they do? Those first calls tend to have incredibly low conversion rates. But you know that when your prospects pick up the phone, it’s that first touch that sets the tone for the entire relationship (regardless of their initial response). Taking a human-centered approach to the best cold call opening lines can make every difference at this stage of the sales journey.
So why is it important not to piss off your prospects? Well, you’re making contact in real time. And they’re busy, just like you. Maybe you caught them at the wrong moment; perhaps they’re not quite ready for all that you have to offer, or they just need time to think. But in a week or a month, when you connect again, all of that can drastically change. It’s vital to your success in sales that you don’t burn your bridges before you’ve even had time to build them.
The first words you use are going to have the biggest impact on your relationships with your prospects. Don’t waste their time by asking, “How are you?” and “Is this a bad time?” or even by exclusively pitching yourself and your product. Instead, consider a human-centered approach to your cold call opening lines that’ll keep your prospects happy, set you apart from the competition, and drive your pipeline towards more wins.
The Best Cold Call Opening Lines
The BombBomb Sales Team is well-versed at making those first connections that fuel pipeline growth. Over time, we’ve learned that cold calling as a numbers game — one that creates noise and digital pollution — can hurt in the long run. Taking that lesson, we’ve started implementing a more human-centered approach to cold calling.
Before you make your next call, check out our favorite human-centered cold call opening lines that’ll help you open the door for engaging conversations that lead to better relationships and more closed deals.
1. The Problem-Solving Approach
“Hi [NAME], I’m [YOUR NAME] with [YOUR COMPANY]. I know you’re [THEIR PROFESSIONAL ROLE]. The reason for my call is [REASON FOR YOUR CALL]. I help [THEIR PROFESSIONAL ROLE] such as yourself with [THEIR PAIN POINTS].”
The problem-solving approach to cold calling immediately highlights that you’ve researched your prospect. Having key identifying information before you make contact is critical to the success of your first touch. Knowing a potential customer’s role in their company and what that looks like humanizes them by focusing directly on what they do and what problems they may encounter each day. It also establishes you as the expert who can help.
BombBomb Business Development Rep Jack Schlabach says that acknowledging the pain points your prospects encounter in their role allows them to quickly and easily understand why you’re calling and what’s in it for them.
Tip: Sales intelligence software can help you access accurate lead data. Information like contact and decision-maker details can help you fully understand your prospects’ role for successful outbound sequences. Find the one that works best for you here!
2. The 20-Second Pitch
“Hi [Name] it’s [YOUR NAME] at [YOUR COMPANY]. Do you have 20 seconds for me to explain why I’m calling to see if we’re a good fit?”
The 20-second pitch acknowledges that your prospects are busy by establishing boundaries immediately. These boundaries demonstrate respect. They imply that you understand people have lives outside of your call, and they may only have a short window to listen to what you have to say.
In addition, the use of the word “we” creates a sense of partnership. Power words like “we” help build trust because your prospect immediately feels like they’re part of a team.
Feel intimidated by constricting time limitations? No problem. BombBomb Business Development Rep Trevor Parker suggests trying this cold call opening line out on sales leaders first. Sales leaders tend to say yes because they understand upfront what you’re trying to do and the limits in place. The more people say, “yes” the more confident in this approach you’ll become.
3. The Competitive Edge
“Hi [Name] it’s [YOUR NAME] at [YOUR COMPANY]. I help companies just like yours [WHAT YOU HELP THEM DO]. I’m wondering how you’re using [YOUR TYPE OF PRODUCT] in your [THEIR SPECIFIC WORKFLOW OR PROCESS]?”
The competitive edge approach to your cold call openers is multi-focused:
• First, it humanizes your prospects and establishes that you can help them with a problem they may be having in their role.
• After that, it implies that their competitors have an advantage over them — because they have a product like yours. If your prospect’s competition has leverage your prospective customer doesn’t (that solves a problem they have), chances are they’ll be more interested in what you have to say.
• Finally, asking your prospects how they’re using the type of product you’re selling makes them consider what they’re missing in their workflow (and how they can fix that with your help).
Tip: BombBomb Business Development Rep Charlotte Vanderham always follows up her best cold call opening lines by referring to the video email message she sent before she made the call. By connecting touches, her prospects can put a face to her name and voice. And incorporating video messages into this multichannel approach to sales prospecting helps her build relationships by differentiating her from spam, bots, or other digital pollution — and her competition.
Best Practices For Sales Call Opening Lines
Now that you have some of the best cold call openers for your outbound prospecting, let’s talk about some measures you can take that’ll help make them more successful.
Focus on your tone
Listen, if you aren’t excited about what you’re selling, how can you expect anyone else to be? The tone of your voice should reflect how you feel about your product or service. (Or at the very least, it should express how you feel about a potential win.)
How do you know what you sound like? One of the most vital best-practice methods for all sales reps is listening to your calls’ recordings. Your recordings provide valuable insight into what’s working (and what isn’t).
Monitor your pace
You might find it nerve-wracking to call someone you don’t know. And nervous people tend to speak quickly. When you’re talking, take a moment to slow down and ensure that your prospects can actually understand what you’re saying.
You need to establish a sense of trust with your prospects to start building a relationship. And the best cold call opening lines can help you do this by focusing on humanity — including yours.
To demonstrate that you aren’t just some noise or digital pollution, concentrate on empathy, having a sense of humor, and acknowledge your flaws in situations like misspoken words. All of these characteristics make you that much more approachable and relatable. (To learn about how to be more human in sales, check out this post.)
Don’t give up
Even the best cold call opening openers won’t always lead to a win. In fact, according to Invesp, 60% of prospects say no at least four times. And, 48% of sales reps give up after just one attempt. To stand out from your competition, you have to try — and then try again.
Start Using These Sales Call Opening Lines Today
Now that you have some of the best cold call opening lines that won’t piss off your prospects, it’s time to put them to the test. But, if you’re still reluctant to pick up the phone, check out Aspireship|Live! Don’t Fear the Phone with Ken Baldo to help you overcome that hesitation.
Then, after you hang up, follow up your cold calls with a personal video. Personal video can help your prospects feel connected to you on a more human level because you’re face to face.
Check out a few of the best video messages you can send throughout the prospecting journey. These video messages will help you stand out from your competition in a crowded inbox and make the most of those critical interactions that ultimately drive sales conversations towards more wins.